baseball

Free agent Kawasaki only interested in Mariners

91 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

91 Comments
Login to comment

Why? He is fond of Nintendo or Yunker?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Stay in Japan if you don't have what it takes to make it in the majors. Hell, the way the Mariners have been playing the past couple of years they are almost like a triple A team anyway! That would suit most Japanese players skill level.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

another 165lb slap-hitting singles hitter. Just what the Mariners need

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Well, he IS a .294 career hitter and steals a lot of bases, but yeah, he's no MLB player.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

LOL, typical arrogant comments from Americans, Yes, those triple a level teams, and 165lb slap hitting singles hitter are the ones who kicked your butt in the last two WBCs. By putting down Japanese players, you are only putting down your own American players.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Mr. Suzuki...sorry chief, but your argument makes no sense.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Hide Suzuki: Japan defeated the U.S. in 2009, but lost their game in 2006, and don't let me hear that was only because of Bob Davidson. And a U.S. team made up primarily of minor leaguers defeated Japan at the 2008 Olympics.

Munenori Kawasaki might be a useful utility player for the Mariners, but there's little chance he would hold up over a 162-game MLB season and be a productive player. My guess is the Mariners, with their history of Japanese players and owner, will give him a shot. Unfortunately for M's fans, they will need a heckuva lot more than Kawasaki to start putting a competitive team on the field again, especially with so much money tied up in a declining, aging Ichiro.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

i am a pro-Japan national baseball team fan and MLB fan in general. I rooted for the Japan team against the US team, yes I am a traitor to my country. Anyways, I think this Kawasaki player would be good in short stints, maybe as a pinch runner or spelling the regular SS. He is not a starting SS quality player at all. Hiroyuki Nakajima is a far better player and probably will end up better than Nishioka, Kaz Matsui, Iguchi, and all the other NPB players that played in the US.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nakajima is a much better player than Kawasaki. I can see him being successful well before Kawasaki is. I just don't see how Kawasaki's skill set translates to MLB. I'm honestly not sure how he's so successful in Japan, seems like smoke and mirrors to me.

Strange to think that 2010's "Big 3" Pacific League SSs will all be out of Japan soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't know what his major league prospects are, but his statements that he's only interested in Seattle are certainly limiting whatever negotiating leverage he has. Seattle will say, OK, here's your Major League minimum contract, take it or leave it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seattle will say, OK, here's your Major League minimum contract, take it or leave it.

He's not getting a major league contract from anyone. Mariners will offer a minor league contract or nothing - and if it's nothing he'll be in Japan next year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

studiokdc, what doesn't make sense ? Above posters are saying "That would suit most Japanese players skill level.", as if MLB are so much better, which is not true at all.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Mr. Suzuki...I have no idea what you mean when you say "by putting down Japanese players, we are only putting down American players"... if most Japanese players were so skilled, wouldn't many many more of them be playing in the Major Leagues now??

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Suzuki San has a good comment but it looks like only the BEST Japanese play in the MLB, right??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“I’m only thinking of playing on the same team as Ichiro. I would have to turn down other offers.”

Well, then, I hope that he doesn't get ANY offers, if that's going to be his arrogant attitude. While he is a good player, you don't demand which team asks for you, the TEAM chooses whom to ask for. Next we'll hear about how he wasn't offered a position and/or hefty sum from the Mariner's and he'll whine and cry about how 'it was his dream' to go to the majors, and his agent will say it's not his fault, just like Iwakumi. These guys never learn that it is a privelage, not a right.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Suzuki: "...as if MLB are so much better, which is not true at all."

Then why do all Japanese players (or almost all, any way), want to go to the MLB whereas only overseas washouts come here?

"LOL, typical arrogant comments from Americans..."

Who says all comments come from Americans? Isn't that an arrogant assumption in and of itself? But again, since we're discussing arrogance the fact remains that Kawasaki saying he would 'only accept an offer from the Mariners and would reject all others' is the ultimate arrogance here. Companies here may deal with crap like that from the Japanese players, but overseas, as was seen with Iwakumi, they do not. I hope he gets shot down and grows up a little.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Paulinusa: Good point! If he's ONLY interested in the Mariners they SHOULD offer him a contract -- for $10, take it or leave it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If the MLB was so much better, then maybe they should prove it by winning the WBC for once ? @smithinJapan, who said all the japanese players want to go to the MLB ? Some do for money, is it so hard to understand ? And what's wrong with wanting to go to a specific team ? Oh, I forgot , you are american, we are supposed to make decisions based on money, only is that right ? Switching from Japan to MLB is not that easy, differnet strike zone, different balls, different mound, on top of regular language barriars, playing against roided up american players

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@smithInjapn "Who says all comments come from Americans?" Because I have a brain and i can make a reasonal guess. Baseball isn't exactly an internaitonal sport, most Europeans and Australisn don't care about baseball, and wouldn't care to commnent. Do I need to explain everything for you ?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Does anyone actually want him? Seems a bit too arrogant. Beggars can't be choosers.

Folks, ignore Hide - he's very "ware ware" with Japan. Takes any criticism against anything Japanese personally.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@tmarie, LOL, i guess if you have nothing constructive to say, that's the best you can do huh. Completely untrue, as I have said many times, Japan is just like any other country, it has good and bad, it's no utopia like some anima fans like to believe, but it's not as bad as typical JTers like to claim.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

agree with Suzuki that if the US thinks it is better in baseball, it should try winning the WBC. The problem with US/MLB is that it is all money-focused and there is no national pride. The top American MLBers should be playing for the US team in the WBC, but instead they end up sitting on their azz and protecting their multimillion dollar contracts.

That said, the talent level is undoubtedly higher in MLB because it encompasses the best players from all over the world, especially Latin America. I would say NPB plays better team ball and better strategy. If Kawasaki wants to dictate his terms and play for only Mariners, good for him. I doubt he will make it with the Mariners though, but since he is a FA, why not try? He will probably fail and go back to the Hawks. I am more excited about Nakajima. That kid can play.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I really like Kawasaki, he's always upbeat and gives 110%, but I think he just shot himself in the foot here. I wonder if he knows the situation with the Mariners, having 2 overpaid/underperforming lead off type hitter in Ichiro/Figgins. They are in need of a power hitter and a Kawasaki type player is the last thing they need.

I guess this is his first time as a free agent, but he needs to market himself better if he is values his career. His Ichiro worship is a bit childish and has gone too far.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He will probably fail and go back to the Hawks.

He says he's not interested in coming back to the Hawks, so it'd probably be a different Japanese team.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Talk about Kawasaki limiting his choices to one very mediocre team. He needs to reassess his motivation for going to MLB - play in the Major Leagues or follow Ichiro around.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hide Suzuki...i'm from Canada. if kawasaki wants to play with ichiro, then he's going to have to earn it...but Dotakun makes the best point so far. Figgins failed rather miserably in Seattle, so it's hard to imaging kawasaki being a huge improvement.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hide Suzuki: "If the MLB was so much better, then maybe they should prove it by winning the WBC for once ?"

The WBC is not a valid measurement of which team is 'better', especially given the moronic point system that allowed Japan to win in the first WBC despite losing a couple of times to Korea (then beating them to win). They got through ONLY on points, albeit they fared better in the second WBC. What about the Olympics? Oh wait -- when Japanese get upset about losing in the Olympics they point to the WBC as the world standard despite the Olympics being around far longer and fielding venues besides simply men's hardball.

"Some do for money, is it so hard to understand ? And what's wrong with wanting to go to a specific team ? Oh, I forgot , you are american, we are supposed to make decisions based on money, only is that right ?"

So, your point is that some players want to go over there for money, but then you claim I'm an American and American's think it's only about making money? Can you not see the hypocrisy in that statement? And BTW:

" "Who says all comments come from Americans?" Because I have a brain and i can make a reasonal guess."

I'm not American, I'm Canadian, so does that mean you don't have a brain or just can't make rational guesses? :) See what I mean about your assumption being arrogant? And don't try to pull an 'I meant NORTH American' because when a Japanese says, "America" they're not referring to the continents. I could also be Korean, or maybe Cuban, or even Taiwanese. Ah! but you saw the rather anonymous 'Smith' in my name and so used your 'rational mind' to deduce I MUST be of European descent? :)

"Baseball isn't exactly an internaitonal sport,"

No kidding! And yet besides many people here saying the Olympics are 'not important' Japan is still trying to get baseball put back into the games in the future for a medal chance.

"...most Europeans and Australisn don't care about baseball, and wouldn't care to commnent.

Why not? What if they like baseball and watch it here in Japan, knowing the Japanese players and wishing to comment?

"Do I need to explain everything for you ?"

So far you haven't really explained anything, just made a bunch of baseless accusations and obviously incorrect 'rationalizations'.

And finally, all you did is prove my point: not only about how your comments smacked of the arrogance you proclaimed us 'Americans' of commenting with, but that it should not be about money, which I have stated clearly before (especially on the Iwakuni threads where I said if he REALLY wanted to play for the majors to accomplish his dream, as he stated, then he would have accepted the contract offered to him by Milwaukee). If he wants to go to the majors, let him! All the power to him, and who knows? maybe whatever team he went to would benefit from his being there. But him saying, "I will only accept this team and deny all others" is a pretty stupid public announcement to make. He should keep his options open, as he's not the greatest play out there and not really in a position to make demands before being offered anything.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What's the point of trying to win the WBC????I means nothing. It's not even close to the best in the world in terms of skill and players. All the best players in the WORLD play for the Major Leagues and that's a fact. That is why Ichiro Suzuki is in the major leagues. Japan does have a lot of good players but to compare is foolish. I hope Suzuki-san is able to make it but i don't know if he's got the skills to be dictating which team he wants to play for.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"If the MLB was so much better, then maybe they should prove it by winning the WBC for once ?"

one problem, Mr. Suzuki, MLB doesn't field a team to the WBC...

"Because I have a brain"

Then try using it, Mr. Suzuki...

-> Smithinjapan... seriously, is Japantoday your only source of information? Kawasaki has already said that he'd be willing to take a minor league contract, and that if he doesn't get a contract, he'll simply play in Japan... Ichiro probably has only one year left with the Mariners, let Kawasaki have his fun

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hide Suzuki, how many American "hosers" do u know? There goes that reasonable guess business. Anyway, I wouldn't get too excited about the WBC victories because anybody who follows baseball knows that the only countries that really care are the ones with nothing to lose. Japan, Korea etc. who need it to fuel their national pride. The American players have to be dragged to the competition kicking and screaming with the usual superstars mysteriously getting injured in the week before it starts. The ones who do grudgingly go are more concerned with not injuring themselves before spring training.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

http://forums.seattletimes.nwsource.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=182186&sid=6f812b8aeaf5db1a12eb3705eddbbefa

interesting, a warmer reception from the Mariners fans than I had expected I guess it is quite flattering to them maybe he will end up there...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@hoserfella Yup, that's what losers always say, "who cares". You can say the same thing for the japanese players. They don't want to get injured right before the season starts. That's why they set a limit on how many players they can get from each team. As I always say, it's funny how Americans ( and canadians too i guess) like to downplay the results of the WBC, "we lost twice in a row but we are the best !!!". If the US has the best players as they claim, then perhap they should prove it by winning instead of arguing about it ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan didnt' decide the system, did we? So we played in the system set by the WBC and we won, twice in a row.

Wareware whaaaaaaat??? ;)

Hide, I made a point - this guy is arrogant to think he gets to dictate which team he goes to - if anyone wants him.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I should think that MLB by now realises that Japan is exporting too many Shinjos and not enough Ichiros.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All the best players in the WORLD play for the Major Leagues and that's a fact. That is why Ichiro Suzuki is in the major leagues.

And he makes about 3x what he'd make in Japan. US has $$$$$$, that's why the players come calling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Readers, please stop sniping at each other. Focus your comments on the story, not at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The WBC is not a valid measurement of which team is 'better', especially given the moronic point system that allowed Japan to win in the first WBC despite losing a couple of times to Korea (then beating them to win).

smithinjapan, so what do you suggest is a valid measurement? in my book, the best measurement of the better team is head-to-head competition. You can say all you want, but in the end, it comes down to what happens on the field. In this instance, Japan beat the US in the WBC. Why did the US even enter the WBC if they werent going to take it seriously? and the US was the host as well as the main organizer! Nuff said.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How is he arrogant ,how is he stupid?? if the mariners aren't interested so be it,he said he'll play in Japan..it's obviously more about playing in the majors with Ichiro-than just about playing in the majors..some of you anti Kawasaki ranters are taking far too much liberty with ornamenting what he actually said and meant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The arrogance comes from thinking he can dictate whom he gets to play for. There will be egg on his face (and a huge ego burst) if they pass him over and no one wants him.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mrmiyagi: "Smithinjapan... seriously, is Japantoday your only source of information?"

Not at all. But I don't pick up regular sports papers nor do I check out sports info on other sites unless I want to check on sports not reported here (like hockey, for example), or if I have time to follow up with additional information. I usually check this site on my breaks and scan over the articles, once in a while taking the time to write a lengthy message/retort (as you can see).

It can be a detriment not to check other sources in some cases, granted, and thank you for filling me in on his willingness to take a minor league contract, but like I said I only check this site when I have limited time and/or interest.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Last sentence sounds bad. What I mean is that I do not search other sources when my time and interest are limited, I read only what is posted here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ironchef: "smithinjapan, so what do you suggest is a valid measurement?"

Allow me to qualify. It would be a valid measurement of how great the team is if the same players were used regularly against the top players of another team (and we know that's not the case with the WBC), and that the Japan team winning is not an effective way of gauging a single player's performance when trying to negotiate a contract. It can be considered a plus, especially if they played notably for the team, but saying, "He teamed up with Ichiro as a member of the Japanese team that won the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009" means a lot less than his .267 average and stats because for all we know the team bat-boy is claiming the same WBC fame.

"Why did the US even enter the WBC if they werent going to take it seriously?"

Because as it is there are so few teams in the 'World' Baseball Classic imagine the added excuses from all sides if they DIDN'T enter. In my opinion, the WBC should be scrapped completely, or at least the name changed. Also, they choose not to field their best players to avoid injury since it is COMPLETELY independent from the MLB. So, while the players who DID play for certain teams probably played their hearts out and took it seriously, you can't say it was the best team they could have fielded. Japan and Korea did manage to get a lot of their star players in, and it caused a lot of concern in the MLB. Wasn't Jojima injured?

cracaphat: "I should think that MLB by now realises that Japan is exporting too many Shinjos and not enough Ichiros."

Good one. And we can't forget that they can't even get the Iwakumi's out the door because their heads are over-inflated!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Hide Suzuki: "As I always say, it's funny how Americans ( and canadians too i guess) like to downplay the results of the WBC, "we lost twice in a row but we are the best !!!"."

Just because we may argue about the worth of the WBC does not necessarily imply the US or any other team is better than Japan! I've certainly never stated once I think the US team is best, but that does not imply I think they WOULD be the best team in the WBC even if they fielded their best MLB players.

The argument here is about the language used by Kawasaki and other foreign (in this case Japanese since the subject is Kawasaki) players who think they can dictate their own terms to the MLB, and said players' performance. Ichiro is without a doubt one of the best players in the MLB, and the world, but just because Kawasaki participated with him in the WBC is no measure of the latter's performance as a whole, especially given his average and stats for the year.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

studiokdc asks: "if most Japanese players were so skilled, wouldn't many many more of them be playing in the Major Leagues now??"

Well ... there are many good players in Japan. But they have to wait something like nine years before they are a free agent, and after this period of time most are well worn ... like in worn out. When they are in their late teens and early 20s, many Japanese pitchers are hard to hit. But by the time they get to the Majors, their arms are burned out. They play mainly on guts ...

Of course, a player can leave Japan earlier if he goes through the posting system, but then, too, he has been around for quite a while.

Every baby boy born in Japan is owned by Professional Japanese Baseball ... unless they boycott the Japanese baseball system and go directly to the Majors or Minors when they grow up. It's a wonder parents don't start collecting money from Professional Japanese Baseball as soon as their sons are born. If young Japanese were allowed to go directly to the Majors/Minors without being pressured by Professional Japanese Baseball to play here, we'd see more good Japanese players on the other side of the ocean.

studiokdc ... I hope this, which is condensed, comes close to answering your statement above. This is a controversial subject ...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This should be the Mariner's fans' business more than anyone else's here since it matters more to them. A friend who's a M's fan mentioned that they need a run-producer (RBIs) to drive in runs, above yet another base-runner who will just end up getting stranded yet again. So even if Kawasaki wants to go to the M's, if he's not what the M's need, then it won't be a good fit, and both sides will just be miserable - and all that'll do is piss off the fans. So advice to Kawasaki is: find a team that fits for you and for the team.

As for the WBC, it won't be important like the Soccer World Cup, not until all the best players treat it seriously and is run separately by a year-round institution solely dedicated to it - currently, the MLB and MLBPA run the WBC, so their dedication to it is divided. Like the Olympics, which was good while it lasted.

IIRC, there was an amateur Japanese baseball player who wanted to go straight to America (minor leagues, of course, to develop) and asked the NPB not to draft him, but the NPB drafted him anyways; yet he still went to America, but the NPB blacklisted him if he ever returns. I think Taiwanese players, and maybe even South Korean players, are allowed to go straight to America - and that's why there's more of them in the U.S. minor leagues than Japanese players.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The guy is not arrogant. He wants to play for Seattle or will return to Japan. He is a free agent. Free agents can choose where they want to go as long as their is a suitor. A minor league contract is not a bad thing either as US baseball pays a lot better than Japan baseball. If he makes to the majors then good for him. I personally don't watch Japanese baseball and have no idea who this guy is, but if he is a free agent he can test the waters.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As I always say, it's funny how Americans ( and canadians too i guess) like to downplay the results of the WBC

Hide, we downplay the WBC because competitions that inspire nationalistic, jingoistic behavior and are contested between representatives of nations (not leagues; in the WBC Ichiro plays for Japan, not the US, despite the fact that his team is in Seattle) are not fun to watch.

I have no desire to support certain players because I share a birthplace or passport color with them, nor do I enjoy seeing players who are teammates on their "real" club teams torn apart from each other and made into enemies or rivals because they come from different countries. That's a giant step backwards for the game and for human relations.

I say scrap the nativist WBC and replace it with the Real World Series that genuine fans on both sides of the ocean have been wanting for decades. Let's see the MLB champion face off against the NPB champion -- or, better yet, get the other Asian leagues involved. Yes, that means that Ichiro and Fukudome and Matsui, if one of their teams makes it, will be playing for an "American" team -- that's a good thing; that's where their home is now!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Have both a real World Series and WBC. Look how popular fooball or soccer is. Fans like to see different types of games. In any case. I like Kawasaki a lot. He has a good upbeat personality and has a good sense of humor. But I do not understand his comments that he ONLY wants to go to Seatle. It seems to me that he doesn`t have such a strong desire to go to MLB? It is a bit strange.

One thing one also should remember is that many players who go to the States are over the hill. They have their prime in Japan and then they get older and their career goes down hill perhaps even faster in MLB. Everyone is talking about Dice K. But already before leaving he was struggling a bit. The Japan Series where Lions played Giants in 2002 before he left for the States he got killed. Giants were hitting him all over the place. The signs were already there. Then people say, oh, it is because MLB is better. One of the few exceptions is Saito the former Yokohama closer. He was over the hill but was able to adjust himself and had some good seasons.

If Kawasaki wants to go, I wish him the best of luck. If he wants to stay then that is good too. Either way, Japanese baseball will still be where I have my prime focus and either way Fukuoka DOme will still be playing in a packed stadium almost every night. And they will survive without Kawasaki as they got the best roster with the most depth out of all 12 teams in Japan.

I don´t care if some people say MLB is better or Japanese baseball is the equivlent of some beer league in the States. Whatevah. I think I´ll be bored without the trumpets, the drums, beers in the States. It is too quiet. I like a bit of singing and clapping, some noise. Reminds me of Europe but with much friendlier people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Believe it or not. Many players in Japan do not want to go to the States. Some want to go others do not. Also, it is not as if only the top players want to go. Many mediocre over the hill players from Japan has gone to USA. Many of Japan´s exports has not been the top elite but rather a mix of good, mediocre and washed away. But you know what? I really do no care. I enjoy baseball in Japan just as it is. Japan does not have to prove anyone anything. They already have a great league and are back to back WBC champions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One could argue that U.S. didn't field their "best" lineup during the last WBC but I'm not going to buy to the notion that the players that participated didn't "try". They wanted to win badly. This was obvious when they had that comeback win against PR during the semi-final stage where they celebrated as though they just had won the World Series.

The WBC is not a valid measurement of which team is 'better', especially given the moronic point system that allowed Japan to win in the first WBC despite losing a couple of times to Korea (then beating them to win). They got through ONLY on points, albeit they fared better in the second WBC

Still hurts huh smith?

The point system employed during the WBC is the almost the same as the one used during World Cup Soccer except for the fact that there are no ties during the preliminary and the semi-final rounds. When people complain after the fact that the rules were already established prior can only be seen as "sour grapes".

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A friend who's a M's fan mentioned that they need a run-producer (RBIs) to drive in runs, above yet another base-runner who will just end up getting stranded yet again.

No offense, lostrune, but that makes no sense. An RBI producer is someone who simply gets a hit with runners in scoring position. If a batter can get hits and the batters in front of him can get on, that guy is an RBI producer. It's not a special skill, it's a spot in the lineup.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Mariners don't need another overated AA ballplayer like Kawasaki. Mariners already have Brendan Ryan at SS, who has better OBP than Ichiro. Ryan only cost the Mariners $1.375 million for the year compare to Ichiro at $18 million. Heck, Ichiro only batted .272 and drove in slightly over 40 RBI's. Mariners should trade Ichiro and sign free agent Carlos Beltran or other impact players. If Mariners need another SS, they should look for Alex Gonzalez SS of Atlanta who hit 15 homeruns last year. He has alot of pop then a dribbler hitter like Kawasaki.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hide SuzukiDec. 02, 2011 - 03:46PM JST As I always say, it's funny how Americans ( and canadians too i guess) like to downplay the results of the WBC, "we lost twice in a row but we are the best !!!". If the US has the best players as they claim, then perhap they should prove it by winning instead of arguing about it ?

Here is the list of pitchers from U.S. team that played in WBC. Bell, Padres, Broxton, Dodgers, Grabow, Pirates, Guthrie, Orioles, Hanrahan, Nationals, Hawkins, Astros, Howell, Rays, Lilly, Cubs, Lindstrom, Marlins, Oswalt, Astros, Peavy, Padres, Putz, Mets, Shields, Angels, Thornton, White Sox, Ziegler, Athletics. You notice, excluding Oswalt, there is no significant impact pitchers on the list. Most of the pitchers on the list are barely marginal players on MLB. There is no Cliff Lee, Sabathia, Velander, Halladay, Lincecum or Kershaw. Or let alone, no top 20-30 starting pitchers or position players in the MLB league. No wonder Japan had chance. U.S. send players that are in the wheelchair.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

pawatanDec. 03, 2011 - 01:09AM JST. but that makes no sense. An RBI producer is someone who simply gets a hit with runners in scoring position.. If a batter can get hits and the batters in front of him can get on, that guy is an RBI producer. It's not a special skill, it's a spot in the lineup.

Maybe you don't understand baseball. Ichiro gets alot of hits but barely 40+RBI's per year for how long at $18 million a year? Ichiro only leads off in the first inning, after that, he's in alot of situation where runner is on base and he can drive runs but can't. Seattle needs guys that can hit in the gaps and create opportunity to drive in runs. You don't need a slap hitter like Ichiro or Kawasaki to move runners one base at a time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You notice, excluding Oswalt, there is no significant impact pitchers on the list.

That's who Japan beat in order to get to the finals.

All that work for nothing....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe you don't understand baseball. Ichiro gets alot of hits but barely 40+RBI's per year for how long at $18 million a year? Ichiro only leads off in the first inning, after that, he's in alot of situation where runner is on base and he can drive runs but can't.

No he's not. The Mariners lineup is the worst lineup in baseball. And even if they were a good lineup he's still batting behind the 8 and 9 hitters who are likely the worst hitters on the team.

Learn some baseball and drop the blind Japanese ballplayer hate, sfjp330. It's tiresome.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

pawatanDec. 03, 2011 - 06:07AM JST. No he's not. The Mariners lineup is the worst lineup in baseball. And even if they were a good lineup he's still batting behind the 8 and 9 hitters who are likely the worst hitters on the team.

If you said Ichiro is in a worst lineup in baseball, If you were a GM, would you want to continue to spend $18 million a year to build your team around dribbler hitter like Ichiro and add Kawasaki? Or would you trade him for top AAA prospects or add Beltran who can drive in 100 RBI's for the team? Your answer would be you want to keep Ichiro the dribbler hitter to make excuse on his 40RBI's.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

pawatanDec. 03, 2011 - 01:09AM JST. but that makes no sense. An RBI producer is someone who simply gets a hit with runners in scoring position.. If a batter can get hits and the batters in front of him can get on, that guy is an RBI producer. It's not a special skill, it's a spot in the lineup.

They don't have to be in scoring position. Of course it makes no sense to you. This sounds like how Japan baseball theory that plays one base at a time and this is what you understand only. Runner could be in first base, but you got guys like Beltran that can hit in the gaps for double and could score runner from there. This is what Ichiro cannot do. Ichiro is only a singles hitter. This is what Seattle is lacking not having a gap hitter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you said Ichiro is in a worst lineup in baseball, If you were a GM, would you want to continue to spend $18 million a year to build your team around dribbler hitter like Ichiro and add Kawasaki?

Ichiro got old really quick last year. But he's also far, far, far and away the most marketable face on the team and almost certainly a future hall-of famer. May even get to 3000 hits in MLB! He's not going anywhere.

You run down Ichiro's 47 RBIs last year but a) He averaged in the high 60's when the team was actually good b) the BEST leadoff hitter in history - Rickey Henderson - averaged 56 over his career. There are no excuses to be made for Ichiro's RBI production. He's also an amazing defensive player as 10 straight gold gloves indicate.

As I said many times before, I don't think Kawasaki is an MLB player and I don't think he's that solid of an NPB player, either. I wouldn't build anything around him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

or add Beltran who can drive in 100 RBI's for the team?

No. I would not try to build around a 35 year old injury prone outfielder who's best days are over. Your Giants can have him for he did such a FANTASTIC job there. (sarcasm)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What's with the Beltran love, anyway? He's old, his teams never win anything. You think he's on the upswing? He's a Boras client as well - you think he'd be cheap?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you keep Ichiro, Mariners will have no money to get a impact player and they will finish again in the last place. I said it would would be better to trade Ichiro for top AAA prospect or Beltran (type) RBI power and gap hitter that Seattle desperately need. Can you read between the lines? Seattle has options for players like free agent Josh Willingham, who drove in 98RBI's and comes much cheaper than Ichiro who is on the downhill.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

pawatanDec. 03, 2011 - 06:48AM JST. He's old, his teams never win anything. You think he's on the upswing? He's a Boras client as well - you think he'd be cheap?

Ichiro and Beltran is about same price. Ichiro is older by 2-3 years. Would you rather keep Ichiro or take chance on other players? Ichiro teams never wins anything anyway.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I would not "build" a team around Josh Willingham. HIs numbers will go down even more playing at Safeco. Hope the A's re-sign him but doubtful.

You remind me of an old MLB commercial. "Chicks dig the long ball".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ichiro and Beltran is about same price. Ichiro is older by 2-3 years. Would you rather keep Ichiro or take chance on other players?

Ichiro's not going anywhere at all. Future hall of famer who makes $$$$$$ for the team. Of course you will not rebuild for the future around a 38 year old outfielder on the decline. But he's not leaving Seattle no matter how much you may wish it so.

Beltran will be declining rapidly as well, he's at that age. I wouldn't want him at all for the money he will get - but some foolish team will overpay for him, they always do with Boras clients.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

pawatanDec. 03, 2011 - 07:19AM JST. Ichiro's not going anywhere at all. Future hall of famer who makes $$$$$$ for the team.

Are you dreaming? Their attendence has been significantly down for the last four years. Mariners has been losing money since 2009. They lost $4.5 million in 2009, and been losing ever since. Ichiro cannot draw with his dribbler singles.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

nigelboyDec. 03, 2011 - 07:00AM JST. I would not "build" a team around Josh Willingham. HIs numbers will go down even more playing at Safeco. Hope the A's re-sign him but doubtful.

Willingham batting cleanup would be a major upgrade over Ichiro. With money left, you might be able to get Hideki Matsui as a DH for one season batting third. I rather take chance with Willingham then keep Ichiro and have predictable losing year for the Mariners.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

pawatanDec. 03, 2011 - 07:19AM JST. Beltran will be declining rapidly as well, he's at that age. I wouldn't want him at all for the money he will get - but some foolish team will overpay for him, they always do with Boras clients.

Who said? You? There is no indication of decline in Beltran's ability. He still has one of the quickest bat in the leage. In fact, he hit .323 with the Giants during the stretch. Combine total between Mets and Giants in 2010, he hit .300. Compare to non-communicative Ichiro, Beltran is a positive influence on younger players. Mariners definitely need establish unselfish player that younger players could look up to.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nigelboyDec. 03, 2011 - 07:00AM JST. You remind me of an old MLB commercial. "Chicks dig the long ball".

You remind me of Japanese fans who like the small balls.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So nice to see people thread jacking talking about something completely irrelevant. Not. As for Kawasaki. He is a decent hitter. He was good. Had a perfect inside outside swing and got on base a lot. Also a sound glove. With Ichiro and Kawasaki on the same team, I could visualize them being the perfect 1, 2 hitters on the line up. But Ichiro is getting old and Kawasaki´s season this year has not been too good after implementing the new baseballs. So, not sure if he can make the transition. THough he has said that he is ONLY interested in Seatle, he has also said that he is willing to take a Minor League contract so that does seem like he is interested in trying out his luck in the States.

But Zduriencik did say that he's "aware" of Kawasaki and will proceed accordingly with him as he would any free agent in search of the backup shortstop he's looking for to slot in behind Brendan Ryan. "We are aware of all the opportunities out there, both internationally and back here,'' he said. "We're going to keep all options open at this stage, then let the dominoes start to fall and see where we're at.'' One thing playing in Kawasaki's favor is that he said he's willing to take a minor league deal if he has to. (Somebody had best get this guy an American agent, fast).

http://yakyubaka.com/

Further Aoki, one of my favorite players is also wanting to try his luck out in the Majors. And then there is Nakajima too. Out of the 3 players, it is hard to guess but I feel Aoki might make the best transition. There also is the fact of how well one could cope in the States. I for one would not want to end up in some hill billie bible thumping town in the middle of no where. You would want to try as much as possible to end up on the East or West Coast and skip the uncivilized parts which got nothing but K Marts and American food.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tmarie - You think he's arrogant because he says he wants to play for the Mariners? He's a FREE AGENT!!! The purpose of free agency is to allow a player to go to a team of his choosing. Whether the player chooses a team because of the money, or because they have a shot at winning, or because they would feel comfortable is entirely up to him. If this were the draft, I would agree. I absolutely hate it when a teenage athlete pouts about what team he gets drafted to, but free agency is a whole different ball game.

sfjp - I agree, the starting pitchers for the US at the WBC were obviously not the best. But Oswalt wasn't the only notable pitcher on that team. Peavy's a CY young winner in 2007, and that bullpen, especially with Bell and Broxton (in 2009) is full of star relievers. And as for the rest of the team, this year's MVP Ryan Braun, 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins, David Wright , Derek Jeter, Evan Longoria, Curtis Granderson, Brian McCann and another former MVP in Chipper Jones. That team is stacked. There is no way around it. The US came with a cast of all-star hitters.

The WBC is not without its flaws, but it is the only tournament where major league players can suit up for their country. To me, that makes it more of a legitimate competition than the Olympics. Really I think it's silly to suggest that the NPB is anywhere near the MLB in terms of talent. But at the same time, I think it's silly to suggest that Japan didn't win the NPB legitimately. The rules were set, and most of the best players in the world played. If the US wins the next WBC, then they could claim to be world champions. Until then, Japan is.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

DotobockDec. 03, 2011 - 09:38AM JST. Actually the Japanese had the most talent.. One solid pitcher after an another, Japan was looking solid.

I don't think so. That is why Matsuzaka wrecked his arm. Was it all worth it? U.S. has the best talent and players don't want to go all out in February and March to wreck their career.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I don't think so. That is why Matsuzaka wrecked his arm. Was it all worth it? U.S. has the best talent and players don't want to go all out in February and March to wreck their career.

It was fun to see Japan first beat Cuba in the first WBC then Korea in the second. In the mean time, America keeps disappointing. They even had bribed American umpires who cheated. When Americans then come with one excuse after an another, it starts to get funny. Players from other countries including Ichiro, Darvish, Sugiuchi all played well, not sure why Americans can´t. What are they, little spoiled girls?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

DotobockDec. 03, 2011 - 10:05AM JST. Players from other countries including Ichiro, Darvish, Sugiuchi all played well, not sure why Americans can´t.

Who was the real disappointment? Boston Red Sox were extremely disappointed with Matsuzaka's action. He had arm problem and was ineffective for the entire season. He was getting paid millions to win for the Red Sox team and the dumb guy throws out his arm at the advise of Japanese managers to go all out for Japan. What a dumb team. Now his career is over. It was fun to see Japan lose their top player.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Instead of being arrogant. I think these guys summed it up well here.

You know when you play Japan, they're going to play fundamentally sound baseball," Team USA second baseman Brian Roberts said. "They're going to do the little things, and you're going to have to go out there and beat them. And so when it comes to that, there's something for everyone to learn from."

In four years, in the next World Baseball Classic, we'll see if the rest of the world learned from Japan, or if Japan will be the one teaching the lessons again on the way to another title.

http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090324&content_id=4059914&vkey=wbc&team=

Think many people should stop considering USA to be the most talented until they actually prove it. When some people still go on about that they are the best in the world, it really is making them look like sore losers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

DotobockDec. 03, 2011 - 10:25AM JST Think many people should stop considering USA to be the most talented until they actually prove it. When some people still go on about that they are the best in the world, it really is making them look like sore losers.

If there was similar talent in Japan as in AAA there would be tons of players capable of making the jump to the MLB and making an immediate impact. for example a guy like Mark Trumbo of Angels who immediately hits like 30 homers in the MLB. Who is that player in Japan? because we need to go find him and sign him ASAP. According to you Japan has more of those guys then AAA. Very very hard to believe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

sfjp330 There are a million of reasons to why Matsuzaka has not been performing but you can always blame it on WBC. WHY not blame everything on WBC? 9-11, global warming, the global recession, hungers and wars in the world. Blame it on WBC and then please keep on living in your fantasy bubble of yours dreaming that USA is the best at everything always.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

for example a guy like Mark Trumbo of Angels who immediately hits like 30 homers in the MLB. Who is that player in Japan? because we need to go find him and sign him ASAP

SFJP330 YOU ARE NOT ONLY REPEATING YOURSELF IN EVERY THREAD, YOU JUST CUT AND PASTED THIS FROM A DIFFERENT THREAD.

Quit making everything baseball related about how much you hate Japanese players! You're ripping on future hall-of-famer Ichiro here! Do you know how irrational that sounds? 10 time all star, 10 time GG, 2400+ hits in 11 years, MVP vote in 9 years (including one title), WAR over 5 every single year (until this year).

That WAR is higher than all but Beltran's ultra best, peak years and per year is leaps and bounds above your buddy Willingham's best WAR. Statistics show Ichiro is a great player. Fans around the world know Ichiro is a great player. He will be in the hall of fame 5 years after he retires, guarantee. So sure, Mariners, kick out the legend and Hall of Famer for some scrub named Willingham who nobody cares about and produces less.

Great idea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't think so. That is why Matsuzaka wrecked his arm.

And YET AGAIN, Matsuzaka did not wreck his arm because of the WBC. He wrecked it because he is a fat idiot who can't follow a conditioning regime. Look at all the other pitchers who pitched in WBC with no ill effects - by you logic their careers should all be over because their delicate arms pitched a few extra innings than they normally would in basically and exhibition in March.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I meant to say Matsuzaka is a "fat idiot with an extremely violent motion who can't follow a conditioning regime". Of course look at in shape, did follow the best and safest conditioning regime Strasburg - messed up arm anyway. You never know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp, let me clear up a few things to you. Yes, Ichiro had a bad statistical year in 2011. You mentioned that Brendan Ryan has a higher OBP than Ichiro. WRONG. Ichiro's career OBP is .370 compared to Ryan's .313. What you meant was that in 2011, Ryan's OBP was .003 points better than Ichiro, who had by far his worst year in the MLB. Also, you mentioned that Ichiro cannot drive in runs. WRONG AGAIN. Let's look at RISP, a batter's average with runners in scoring positions. Ichiro's RISP in 2011 as well as for his career is higher than his batting average. If you look at RISP with 2 outs (clutch situations) it's even higher. He hits the ball when guys are on base, it's just that they never get on base. Thus the low RBI total.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

By the way, you never addressed the "Darvish is too skinny" comment. You seem to like mentioning Cliff Lee a lot. He's 6'3" and 190 pounds. Darvish is 6'5" and 220 pounds. Again, how is he too skinny for the MLB?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

By the way, you never addressed the "Darvish is too skinny" comment. You seem to like mentioning Cliff Lee a lot. He's 6'3" and 190 pounds. Darvish is 6'5" and 220 pounds. Again, how is he too skinny for the MLB?

bicultural, you forget Darvish's big problem for sfjp330 is that he's Japanese. (He'd be great if he were Korean)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More stats : Carlos Beltran's career RISP w/2 outs is .261 as opposed to .344 for Ichiro. Ichiro is a clutch hitter and can drive in runs if men are on base, which is never the case with Seattle.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Then lets just say Darvish is Iranian... there, case closed...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Besides Japan who really cares about the WBC anyway? Japanese "pro" baseball is MLB's 4A league anyway, with an occasional player that truly deserves and earns the right to play in the major league.

Japanese position players do not last, besides Ichiro, and sadly his days are numbered as well. Beyond that they dont have the stamina or skill level to stay competitive beyond a couple of years, and only a few at that. Kawasaki is shooting himself in the foot by limiting himself to the Mariners. Who would want to play for them anyway right now?

But then again seeing as how poor their team is an added clown attraction might bring in more fans.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

YubaruDec. 06, 2011 - 09:18PM JST. Japanese "pro" baseball is MLB's 4A league anyway, with an occasional player that truly deserves and earns the right to play in the major league.

Japan baseball is a convincingly a "AA"" or maybe a high single "A" ball. When the Atlanta Braves announced the signing of Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami in 2009 for three years and $23 million, it was their first signing of a Japanese-born player ever in the Braves history. Considering the results, they probably fired their Asian scout team. Kawakami came to the West with a more than impressive resume—he pitched 257 games (214 starts) for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan’s Central League, posting a 112-72 (.609) record with a 3.22 ERA. He notched 1,328 strikeouts and allowed just 351 walks in 1,642 innings of work for the Dragons. Kawakami also won Japan’s version of the Cy Young Award in 2004.

However, Kawakami left his single "A" game in Japan. In two major league seasons, Kawakami was 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA, and never even made the Braves’ 25-man roster in 2011, earning his $6.7 million salary in Double-A ball and hurting his shoulder in the process. The Braves’ first Asian investment cost them $3 million per win. Tell me Japan ball is 4A ball?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330, just keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better ...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

nigelboy: "Still hurts huh smith?"

Still can't really address the topic, eh, nigelboy?

No, it doesn't hurt at all, nor did it ever. Truth be told I'm not a big baseball fan to begin with, and very much prefer soccer, especially given that it's a sport worthy of being called 'international'. I do enjoy some of the larger events, such as the Olympics and even the WBC, yes, but since my nation's team isn't involved whatsoever (or at least, usually not for long) I don't really care who wins or loses.

And you need to look up 'sour grapes'. Someone complaining about the system is not 'sour grapes'. A Japanese begging for baseball in the Olympics, then upon losing at the Olympics says, "Only the WBC matters" because they won that is an example of sour grapes. Don't make me pull out Aesop's Fables and read to you! :)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And you need to look up 'sour grapes'. Someone complaining about the system is not 'sour grapes'

You need to read more carefully. Complaining a WBC format after your favorite team "Korea" lost is "sour grapes".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites