Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More Sutcliffe

The Red Baron also jumped on the bandwagon of the "Japanese players aren't rookies" crowd.

"These guys aren't rookies...Alex Gordon, that's a rookie. They won the World Baseball Classic, Team Japan. That's legit, that's big league baseball over there."

I love Japanese baseball and mean no disrespect, but let's get something straight. The Japanese major leagues are approximate to AAA baseball in the US, perhaps a bit higher. Because a Matsuzaka or an Ichiro Suzuki graduates from them to become an outstanding major league player does not mean that the Japanese leagues are equal in talent or depth to the American majors. Leon Lee was a star in Japan. So were Randy Bass, and Tuffy Rhodes. I could go on for a while listing guys who had very little impact in the majors who has solid careers in Japan. They were AAA or AAAA players, but marginal major leaguers.

There is a reason why Japanese stars come here, and Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter don't go there. The competition here is the best that there is.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will be playing in his first year in the major leagues. That makes him a rookie, just like Alex Gordon.


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