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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Rotten spring for Kazu "O for 4" again

last spring training, kaz matsui looked like shit. then suddenly on opening day, he led off the game with a shot over the centerfield fence and magically transformed into what mets fans were privately expecting him to be: the combination of the best of ichiro and hideki matsui.

that fantasy vanished quickly. it turns out that kaz's power failed to translate in america. there was a brouhaha over whether he needed glasses and whether he would ever wear them during an actual game. on the basepaths, he seemed very speedy but just didn't attempt stolen bases. defensively, this gold glove shortstop in japan was ridiculously flawed. finally, to top it all off, this japanese ironman fell to a back injury and basically missed the 2nd half of the season.

that was 2004.

this is 2005. this is the "new" mets. this will be a "new" kazuo matsui, right?

well, kaz is having a shitty spring training again. he looks like he's made the switch to 2B without a hitch, but he can't hit his weight (maybe he can in kilograms, but not in pounds). he's also having brand new back problems. the new york times wants to dump him into the 8th spot in the lineup. should he be buried down there?

maybe. gotta admit EVERY other everyday starter has been a ton more impressive with the bat this spring, fwiw. then again, i don't really think it's that important who's batting where on opening day. call me crazy, but i'm sure manager willie will wind up having tons of different lineups this year. maybe kaz bats 8th in some of them, maybe not. hopefully it all sorts itself out for the best with everyone healthy and productive. more likely, though, and what i'm fully anticipating is that certain players will fall to injuries (probably kaz himself) and the bench will be shuffled in and out and all around as the lineup changes infinitely. that's the same movie we've seen for a long time now.

nothing "new" about that, except this is 2005. so, we'll see.

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