By Scoring Positions Contributor, Shawn.
Toronto fans know it when they see it. There is a defining moment in every immortal Toronto athlete’s life when you watch it and you know that person will never have to pay for another drink in the City of Toronto again.
Joe Carter’s is obvious, Roberto Alomar’s is iconic and Doug Gilmour? Well, he’s just Doug Gilmour.
For Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki, that moment came after Sunday’s win when he drove in two runs and was greeted by the entire Blue Jays roster in between second and third base.
Well, actually, that moment came a little late when underused utility man Mark DeRosa called Kawasaki out onto the field after the dramatic win and he did this.
So other than giving us the word Japaneeeeeeeeeese, what did Kawasaki’s interview give Blue Jays fans? It gave us hope.
Hope for what, exactly? Well, hope that the Blue Jays will have the sense to shift some dead weight when shortstop Jose Reyes comes back from his ankle injury.
It has given me, at least, hope that Jays management will do the right thing and consider shifting Kawasaki to second base, or keep him on as a utility bench player, although I would vastly prefer the former.
We get to kill two birds with one stone here. It’s a shame that we can’t kill three (I’ll explain in a second), but two will have to do.
With this move, the Jays get Munenori into the everyday line-up, starting a player who sees more pitches per at-bat than anyone else on the team and it can get rid of Emilio Bonifacio or (and, in a perfect world) Maicer Izturis.
The Jays have been rotating the dueling error machines at second base since the season started and it seems the two of them have a side-bet going on who can finish the season with the greater number of errors.
Now I know that on the surface they don’t seem so bad. Someone looking at the statistics on the internet, as I am right now, would look at Bonifacio’s four errors and think, “Hey, Kawasaki has four errors too.” But anyone who has watched the games knows the real story behind the story on Bonifacio.
The guy has literally not met a position on the baseball field that he can’t fuck up. He will find a way. Just have faith in him.
I guess the thing that gets me about that whole situation is that Bonifacio, right after the Marlins trade was made, had been sold as the diamond in the rough of that trade. There were people saying he was just as good, if not better, than Reyes. I really want to see the games these people were watching, because Bonifacio has to be in the running for one of the worst defensive players the Blue Jays have ever had. And they have had some great ones, and by great ones, I mean terrible fielders.
What doesn’t appear in the box score, however, is his decision making. He makes some of the dumbest decisions at the plate, on the bases and in the field that I have ever seen someone who gets paid to play baseball make.
Which brings me to the third bird… Izturis. He boasts six errors so far this season. However, with an average of .214 and three home runs, he looks like Miguel Cabrera next to Bonifacio.
So what’s the answer? I don’t know, but even Sportsnet’s toothless analyst Gregg Zaun said the other night that Kawasaki has earned a spot on the Blue Jays roster when Reyes comes back. He said that management will just have to make room for Kawasaki.
Well, there’s plenty of room being taken up by those two lugs, because I’m hoping that after Sunday, the Blue Jays have found their starting second baseman. And as the title states, and Kawasaki would say, Sayonara (Japanese for goodbye, just in case you’re new) Bonifacio (and hopefully Izturis too). Don’t let the door hit your incompetent asses on the way out.