Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Time to Examine the Fukudome Myths

While getting into my daily online fight with fellow Cub fans, the subject of Kosuke Fukudome came up once again. I obviously think he is a waste of space and time and should be put on the bench to rot. Others think he is the lost hope and will magically get better this season because of various excuses that they have for him which really amount to a whole lot of hope without any actual reason.

Excuse number 1- He was adjusting to a new culture, new country, new everything
That's fine, except that while he got more used to those things over the course of the season, he actually got worse as a hitter. Remember his batting average went down each month of the season. So maybe instead of adjusting to life in the United States, he should have adjusted to major league breaking balls.

Excuse number 2- His core wasn't strong last year and he got tired from the long season
This is actually a valid excuse at first look, but don't be fooled. He got most of September off, starting only 9 games because of his not being good. I find it almost unfathomable that a baseball in any country wouldn't have known to do core workouts to play baseball, since that is the most important part of a players body in baseball. A few sit-ups in Japan won't make anybody a better player, all the stories at the start of last season were about how great of shape this guy was in and how hard he worked out. Now a year later I'm not going to buy any crap about him not being in good enough shape from the same writers who 10 months ago were praising the guy for how good of shape he was in. 

Excuse number 3- His translator was fired, he has a new one now
That doesn't even have anything to do with baseball, but its a popular explanation for his struggles. I of course blame his inability to hit a low inside slider, but you can say whatever you want. 

Excuse number 4- His defense is so good that we can live with his offense
Tell that to Lou who moved his ass out of the position where he is good at defense and put him on the bench at the end of last season for not hitting. 

Excuse number 5- There isn't a better option in center so we have to play him there
WRONG! Reed Johnson (known as Reed Mantle around these parts) did a fine job as part of a platoon last season and if needed he could take over full time as Lou Pinella has already hinted at. Johnson doesn't hit very much against rightys, but he has better numbers than Fukudome and Johnson doesn't misplay half the balls hit to him in center.

Excuse number 6- Evil Milton Bradley moved him out of his position of most value
This one is all on Fukudome. He couldn't be the left handed bat that the Cubs needed so they brought in another one who can hit. Blame your savior Fukudome lovers.

Seriously this guy has gone from one of my early 2008 favorites to nearly my least favorite player. People make excuses for him like he is their brother and no matter how much he sucks, they refuse to hate him. Keep hoping suckers, but I know that Lou will have him sitting on the bench very quickly if he doesn't hit. Lou isn't one to sit around and watch a wet noodle in his 135 million dollar machine he showed last season that he would replace crap hitting early in the season when he sent Felix Pie to the bench, and he will do it again despite the price tag if Fukudome doesn't start hitting.

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