Questions about Fukudome
So I’m going over the story on our site about Japanese outfielder — well, I guess I can finally quit calling him that — Kosuke Fukudome, who officially threw on a Cubs uniform in a press conference Wednesday.
A couple of things Fukudome said in the press conference stood out as a little strange to me and, I’m guessing, Padres fans.
First: Is that what a $48 million smile looks like?
Back to business, how about this quote:
"After I declared my free agency, the Cubs were one of the only teams
that wanted to get me from the beginning to the end in this whole
process," Fukudome said.
I’m not privy to how hotly the Padres were on Fukudome only that I know they’ve been on him for a while. Randy Smith in scouting sat on this guy all year and Kevin Towers first scouted Fukudome as a high school player.
Given the Padres offered Fukudome a four-year, $40 million, I have to think their offer was sincere and that they were as much on Fukudome as the Cubs were.
OK. Now to my second point. What about this quote:
"I felt they really, really wanted me, and they promised me I could play my position in right field," Fukudome said.
The Padres, I’m sure, never made such a promise, nor was it ever disclosed by the Padres through the media — which, of course, they don’t have to do — or anywhere I read elsewhere that his wish was to play right field.
The Padres talked about playing him in center field, a position he played here in the World Baseball Classic. I’m sure Brian Giles would have been willing to move to, say, left field, if it meant signing Fukudome.
Just thought that was a little weird.
Listen, I have no idea what kind of player this guy is going to be. I think he would have fit in well here in San Diego, regardless of where he play or where he hit in the lineup.
Given that there is a lot of talent in Japan and the Asian market and that more players figure to make the leap to the Major Leagues in the coming years, I think it would have been an important signing for reasons other than what this guy does between the lines.
Anyway, good to be back.
On the Ipod: New Kid in Town, the Eagles. Still the best concert I’ve ever seen. Rose Garden, 2002.