Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cubs Get Skullfucked

"That's Mr. Skullfuck to you"

The Cubs acquired Kosuke Fukudome (or at least agreed to pay him $12 million a year). Can we just take a second to analyze this like a responsible sports fan, and not like a drunk fan who makes a career out of saying “Woo” at Cubs games?

Thank you.

Here is a quick list of Japanese batters that have come over from Japan in recent years, and the age they were when they did it (and I’ve bolded the players that flopped):

Ichiro Suzuki (27 years old)
Hideki Matsui (29 years old)
Tadahito Iguchi (30 years old)
Kenji Johjima (30 years old)
Takashi Saito (36 years old)
So Taguchi (34 years old)
Kaz Sasaki (28 years old)
Kazuo Matsui (28 years old)
Tsuyoshi Shinjo (29 years old)

Do you notice an interesting trend here? All of these guys are either past their prime, or passing it quickly, and that’s just in their first year (Ichiro is the exception to the rule, as he decided to be Japanese because he knew that the slanted eyes decrease wind resistance). You also have to add in time to adjust, especially considering the use of the curveball in America – it still gives Iguchi and the Matsuis trouble. Not only that, but the crop that is anywhere close to Fukudome (in age or position) has been extremely iffy. Kazuo Matsui was touted as Jesus in a Kimono, but we can all see how that turned out. Even Hideki Matsui is clearly on the decline. I’m excited to see what Skullfuck can do, but I’m a little wary considering his age (30) and injuries.

Fukudome had his best season in 2006, hitting an absurd .351 and essentially destroying opposing pitching. Hell, he’s a career .294 hitter with a .400 on-base percentage – you can’t really knock that. However, last year, he played only 81 games with a .294 average (I know, still great, but way down) and a few injuries – most notably, that he’s coming off of a right elbow surgery to remove bone chips.

I’m not saying he’s a bad acquisition, but if the elbow saps power from his swing, you’re looking at 10-15 HR MAX on the year. Last I checked, simply hitting for average was not allowed from a corner outfielder on the Cubs (see: Jacque Jones). So, basically, you're paying $12 million a year for a #6 hitter?
Bring on the Skullfuck era.


Joseph said...

look at the bright side this move makes the cubs an even more marketable club overseas and can now sell cubs games in japan like the Yankees red sox and mariners have with all of their Japanese imports all making the asking price for the team go up. this is a financial move on top of a baseball move

Gepetto said...

And yet, they're selling the team along with Fukudome's inflated contract. You really think the Japanese viewership will account for his salary?

Actually, probably. Damn it.

Keggers said...

I actually disagree with your analysis.

Even if the guy bats .275 and hits 25 HR's (which would be CAREER lows for him) the Cubs just got a solid lefty power hitter who can play the field. These are not easy to find.

Also, who cares if he sucks in 4 years when he's past his prime? The Cubs are looking to win NOW and I respect that in the same way I respect the long contract they gave Soriano.

I'm actually glad the Cubs got him and the Sox (who were in the bidding) did not. We are approaching the dreaded rebuilding phase and having a 30+ year old fat contract to deal with isn't going to help.

Honestly, good luck Cubs. Another good move following the Lilly buy last year (which was pretty smart). I only advise caution: don't get too excited, beacuse Wood, Prior, Bartman, SOMETHING will happen to ruin your season. What's the phrase, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...

Gepetto said...

First off, winning now is all well and good, but you've gotta figure Skullfuck will need a year to adjust to the majors. Almost every import has needed about a year to adjust.

The question is, is it worth it for the Cubs (who are making a push to win in the 100th year) to start a guy like Skullfuck who mught not even be able to hit this year and not really have a backup option. Matt Murton is the next best bet (and a pretty damn good player), and the Cubs seem hellbent to deal him. A lot is riding on Fukudome, and I could easily see him being run out of town faster than Juan Pierre.

Brad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad said...

Am I missing something? Why is he "Skullfuck" ?

Geppy, you are bitter. This guy is not a savior, and he is indeed 30 years old. But so what? The cubs have been through Burnitz, Matt Lawton, Todd Hollandsworth, Jason DuBois, Jacque Jones, Murton, Floyd, Pagan and DeRosa in right field - JUST FROM 2004 when Sosa left.

Even if they only get two solid years out of him in left, that's all they're realistically looking for, some consistency. You cannot argue with that. Whatever his numbers are will be a significant upgrade over any of the other guys I mentioned.

Now they have no fielding holes (with the exception of who to trot out in center) and can concentrate solely on pitching. It will be interested if the Cubs cut ties with Prior today, since the deadline's at 3 PM.

Gepetto said...


Fuck - You - Dome


Also, I never said he was a bad acquisition -- just a risky one. As for Prior, you're welcome to cover it.

gabe said...

I believe fukudome means a large bukake on the rest of the rest of the National League.
This is a huge upgrade for a team with little to no left hand hitting and will hopefully help come playoff time when our bats tend to go as limp as gepetto's dingy when he sees a hot girl.
This reeks of sox envy and we all know desperation is a stinky cologne.

bloomerang said...

I believe Matsui hit a grand slamma-lamma against the Phillies in the playoffs. I'm just sayin....