Sun Spots: Matsui Woes

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Sun Spots is back. Apologies for the long delay in posts, well, for those who actually check this blog in the first place. Have some interesting posts today, so read up! Click on the links for the full stories.

Randall Mell, Senior Writer of GolfChannel.com writes: “The Sybase Match Play Championship begins Thursday with intriguing possibilities for the Sunday finals. Here are some of the more compelling. Jiyai Shin vs. Ai Miyazato – A battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 with the top world ranking up for grabs. This final would assure Asia goes 7-0 in LPGA events this season.”

Michael Street writes a column called Pacific Perspectives for Baseball Daily Digest that focuses on the Asian ball players in the MLB. He’s always got interesting stuff to write about. Here, he talks about Kaz Matsui:

What do you do with a 34-year-old second baseman hitting .149/.208/.164 in the middle of May for the lowest-scoring team in baseball, a team with the worst record in the NL, and second-worst in MLB? Does it change anything to know that he’s a guy with 2,000 professional hits, World Series experience, a .304/.347/.500 postseason line, and is also making $5M this season? Or that he’s Kazuo Matsui, the third NPB position player to come across the ocean to MLB, right after Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui? Probably not.

Alex Espinoza of MLB.com writes about Kurt Suzuki’s walk off hit in his first game back from the DL: “Tie game. Two outs. Bottom of the 10th. With runners on second and third, Kurt Suzuki was exactly where he wanted to be: in the batter’s box. The fact the Mariners intentionally walked Ryan Sweeney to get to him made it extra special. Perhaps it comes as little surprise that Suzuki, like he had done seven times before in his career, came through in the clutch with a walk-off RBI single to lift the A’s to a 6-5 win over Seattle on Tuesday. ‘To me, this is the reason you play the game — to be in these situations and come up big for your team,’ Suzuki said. ‘You try to live up to the moment and I just try to have fun with it. I cherish these opportunities to come out here and help the team out.’

The San Jose Sharks being down 0-2 in the NHL Western Conference Finals, here’s a nice piece on forward Devin Setoguchi written a few days ago by the San Jose Sharks staff: “Devin Setoguchi is in just his third NHL season, and still just 23 years old, but when it comes to the expectations on him as a top six forward for San Jose, there is no slack compared the names like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski. The bar is set high and Setoguchi is grasping it. Setoguchi’s regular season numbers were down a little bit this season compared to his sophomore campaign as he registered 20 goals and 36 points in 70 games in 2009-10. Since the playoffs began though, Setoguchi seems to be right back on track with his second professional year as he has posted eight points in 11 games. Having scored five goals in those 11 games, he is a big part of the success of the Joe Pavelski line.”

Haruki Nakamura, a safety for the Baltimore Ravens, talks about the team’s draft: “The NFL Draft is the pinnacle for college football players. It is what every player dreams about when they first put on a uniform and strap on the helmet. Fans also love the draft because it gives them a chance to celebrate – or boo – after their team makes their selection. Our fans shouldn’t boo any of the seven new players the Baltimore Ravens selected in the draft this past weekend. Our general manager, Ozzie Newsome, wheeled and dealed this weekend and helped us on both sides of the football. The prizes of our draft class on defense are outside linebacker Sergio Kindle of Texas and defensive tackle Terrence Cody of Alabama.”

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