Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Chalk up a big, fat "L" for Kazuo Matsui. His three misplays, only one of which was charged an error, cost the Mets the game in their 2 to 1 loss to the Twins. I watched in disbelief as the 9th inning unfolded. How could he not turn that double play?!?! As the winning run crossed home plate thanks to another defensive blunder, this time courtesy of Ty Wigginton, I was hot. I wanted the names and numbers of whoever said Matsui is a "defensive whiz." I wanted Art Howe's head on a platter for proclaiming before the season started that the Mets would have the best "up the middle" defense in baseball. I was already thinking of all the ways to let out my frustration and slam him in the blog. Then something weird happened. Usually right after a game MLB Extra Innings turns the coverage off and you are greeted with a curt "good night" message and bad 70's porn music. But last night the game ended, MSG cut to a commercial and MLB Extra Innings kept the signal. I thought "great, now I have to sit and watch a post-game re-hash of this car-wreck of a game." I was about to turn it off and bang my head against a blunt object when the commercials ended and the brief post game coverage began. Maybe this is a sign from above? Someone wants me to see this. The camera panned into the Mets dugout where Matsui sat by himself looking like someone just shot his dog. He looked devastated. The Smokin' Hot Corner turns to me, voice cracking, and says, "Please don't make fun of him in that stupid blog of yours!" Matsui's staring into space (or that ugly white dome in Minnesota) and I'm staring at him. None of his teammates or coaches are even looking at him. Blue and orange uniforms pass the entranced Japanese rookie, who seems cemented into the bench, without so much as a pat or nod . . . nothing. You can see that he is crushed. The wife turns to me again, "Oh my God, why are they showing this . . . this is awful . . . I'm going to cry!" Then again, my wife sobbed uncontrollably during The Nutty Professor when the stand up comic dug into Prof. Klump so I paid her no mind. Matsui eventually got up, walked slowly to the rack, gathered up his glove and bats and disappeared into the clubhouse, still no one even acknowledging his existence. Matsui had an awful game. Perhaps his worst as a Met. When I show up at Shea though, you won't hear a boo out of me directed toward Kaz. The guy is trying his best. No one can say he's dogging it out there. He obviously cares. Perhaps too much. I'll re-join the chorus of beating drums to switch Matsui to second base when/if Jose Reyes ever gets back. I might even join those that think Matsui should simply be a bench player. Hell, maybe I'll agree with those that propose we box Matsui up and send him back to Japan. But not today. As bad as last night's victory was for me, it seems clear it was even more crushing to Matsui.