Sunday, December 19, 2010

Let's Hope Tsuyoshi Nishioka isn't Japanese for Tommy Herr

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 15:  Tsuyoshi Nishioka #7 of Team Japan rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against Team Korea in the ninth inning during the Round 2, Pool 2 Game of the World Baseball Classic at Angel Stadium on March 15, 2006 in Anaheim, California. Korea defeated Japan 2-1.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The hot stove league is all abuzz about the Twins' recent acquisition of Tsuyoshi Nishioka.  The 26 year old infielder had and incredible last season, and looks to come into the Twin Cities to bolster the middle infield, which is good as Orlando Hudson just signed with the Padres. 

 A lot of Twins fans are giddy with this move, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind: 
  • This kid has basically been injured his entire career.  He has yet to play an injury-free season, and based on past performance, he'll be nicked with us sooner or later.   
  • Labeling him the next Ichiro before he's seen MLB pitch one is damn foolish.  Yes, the Japanese majors are competitive.  But this kid needs to get it done in a completely foreign, and a sometimes hostile environment, with the best in the world.   
  • As evidenced by Gardy's Manager of the Year award, the Twins don't win on talent alone.  They can't.  They win because they do the little things right, and they have a problem-free clubhouse.  If this new acquisition has any prima donna in him, things could all go pot.   
Don't get me wrong, I like the move, and feel there is upside on this ala the Delmon Young deal.  However, I've been having these really bad visions of Tommy Herr when considering this deal, and sure hope we don't see a repeat like that.

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