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Kaz Matsui
vs. the Mets
Kaz Matsui
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Game Log Memories of
Kaz Matsui
Kaz Matsui
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 86 of 1043 players
Kazuo Matsui
Born: October 23, 1975 at Osaka, Japan
Throws: Right Bats: Both
Height: 5.10 Weight: 183

Kaz Matsui has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 13 times, most recently on December 1, 2013.

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First Mets game: April 6, 2004
Last Mets game: June 7, 2006

Share your memories of Kaz Matsui


flushing flash
December 11, 2003
WELCOME KAZ-SAN!! We are looking forward to having your bat and speed at the top of our lineup, and having the best double play combo in baseball for years to come. May you help us all forget about Roberto Alomar.

Mr. Sparkle
December 19, 2003
If he lives up to what everyone is saying about him this is a real good move. I was worried about Reyes switching positions but he is 20 years old and can adjust. He's got a good attitude and should be fine with the move. Kaz is a gold glove with good speed and decent power although he has apparently traded speed for power and strikes out too much. Let's get him to go for line drives and be a gap hitter rather than going for the fences at Shea. Typically there is a drop off in production between Japan and the USA so hopefully he will be reasonably close to the batting average he had in Japan.

Phil Thiegou
April 10, 2004
Go figure, after a lousy Spring Training and much doubt on why we got him, he leads off the season on the first pitch with a monster shot. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come. Or will it be a sign that says Wrong Way?

Frank Grimes
August 8, 2004
Kaz Matsui 1973 baseball card
A disappointment for most of the first half his offense has been picking up lately and he may very well be the offensive player we thought we were getting. Had a great series at Shea against the Bronx Bumbers and his number of doubles at this point of the season is awesome. However his defense has been horrible. He can't throw and has no range. His defense helped in losing the game against the Marlins when Looper couldn't nail it down in the 9th. He has got to move to 2nd base NOW. Do we have to wait until 2005? All these errors are a joke. We're stuck with this guy because of his contract and having him on the roster necessitated the trade of Wiggy, a player I would have loved to keep. But maybe a move to second will make him a less objectionable player.

October 4, 2004
Very good hitter. One of the few Mets that actually takes pitches. Kaz was an awful shortstop. No range, zero arm. Thankfully he's being moved to second base. He actually looked good in his first game at second base against the Expos.

October 18, 2004
What in the hell were the scouts looking at when they saw Matsui play shortstop in Japan? He is truly one of the worst major league shortstops I've ever seen.

Besides the horrendously weak arm (how could any scout miss that?), Matsui absolutely cannot consistently field balls hit to either side of his body. He couldn't even get balls hit to his glove side, missing line drives and letting balls any other ML shorstop would have sucked up get by into centerfield. If he gets in front of it, he can pick it up, but so can high school kids. That's one of the reasons that I'm not so sure he will be any better at second base. Let's just hope Reyes gets to all those balls up the middle, because Mastui sure won't be able to field them.

May 21, 2005
This is proof of why Matsui is always booed. I was at the game last night against the Yankees and, even when fans question their hatred of this guy when he gets the big hit that ties the game at 1, the realize it two innings later when he gives up a huge error on an easy play that blows the game. Come on, Kaz! Glove to the ground, glove to the ground.

May 23, 2005
This guy is fast becoming one of the most hated Mets of all-time. He has NO plate discipline and can not make the routine plays. To think the Amazin's went all the way to Far East and pay millions of dollars to get this guy! The Mets should have pulled Bill "NY is gonna love" Pecota out of retirement and he would have done the same job for a lot cheaper.

May 24, 2005
No Japanese League infielder has ever played in the US prior to Kaz coming to Shea? Why? It is because the infield elements and style of play in Japan are completely different:
  • No grass. All turf fields.
  • Predominately covered stadiums. No sun
  • backhanding a baseball is considered a feminine trait in Japan. Infielders field around the ball as opposed to backhanding.
So that explains why this guy sux on the field. He can't see the ball nor can he field the position in the manner demanded for success in the US. Were the Mets scouts aware of these issues before handing this guy a plane ticket? Perhaps these were the same clowns that watched Mo Vaughn field ground balls for 30 minutes before handing him a pen and a size XXXL?

As for hitting: Kaz has no plate discipline, no ability to bunt, doesn't move runners, and cannot hit the low inside breaking ball or high outside heater. These are death warrants in MLB and it is amazing how he is able to bat above .260.

Not to harp on a guy when he is down, because I realize Kaz is alone on an island right now surrounded by boos. I am just fed up with watching him average one major screw up every 2 games. All the while Miguel Cairo, who does the essential intangibles that Kaz fails at, sits the bench.

You cannot teach an old dog new tricks, and Matsui is damaged goods. The Matsui opportunity cost of keeping a Victor Diaz in the minors, hurting Reyes' development by fielding him next to walking incompetency, and continually jeopardizing the outcome of close ball games is just to high.

June 3, 2005
I was at Shea on May 20th to watch the Mets play the Yankees and Zambrano gets an easy double play ground ball hit at Matsui with the bases loaded. The ball actually bounced waist high to Matsui for what should have been the end of the inning. But this is "Iron Hands" Matsui, where there is no such thing as an easy play. The ball clanged off Matsui's glove, allowing a run to score, prolonging the inning, and, most of all, completely turning the game around.

I hope that his stint as the every day second baseman for the Mets are over.

Ky Kano
October 13, 2005
Please note that this year (2005), Kazuo Matsui hit for a higher batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage than Miguel Cairo. In 70 fewer at bats than Cairo, Matsui had more home runs, more triples, the same number of runs scored, and more runs batted in. Matsui had a higher stolen base percentage and a better groundout-flyout ratio than Cairo. No plate discipline? Matsui saw more pitches per at bat, and grounded into fewer than half as many doubles plays as Cairo. Not that I'm defending Matsui and his bad defense (and habit of getting injured for a long time), just letting you know. Check it out at the Mets Official Website; click on the Stats heading.

Dale K. Cha
November 6, 2005
I have been a Kazuo Matsui fan since he decided on November 8, 2003 to sign with the New York Mets and bring a spark to the Big Apple with his all around game experience from Japan.

For the 2005 season I would have to say one of the most memorable moments for all Kazuo Matsui fans had to be on May 14, 2005 when the Mets were behind the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 and the bases were loaded for Matsui with no outs and Mark Mulder pitching. On an 0- 1 Count, Matsui shot a line drive triple down the rightfield line to clear the bases and help the Mets tie the game. After all the turmoil Matsui was facing early in the season with the press, the fans, and even from members of the Mets Organization. Matsui went out to prove what he did in Japan is no fluke and he can contribute big for the New York Mets and show he can do what an All Star player can do when the game is on the line. Even though the Mets lost that game 7 - 6 to the Cardinals. Matsui began showing signs of playing like the All Star he was in Japan. I feel this broke the ice for Matsui in the 2005 season to prove to Mets Fans he can contribute big for the team he signed with when he left Japan in 2003.

Mr. Sparkle
December 23, 2005
I had a lot of patience with this guy this year, thinking he would come around and be the player we signed out of Japan. I think he was just about to kick it in when he got hurt, of course that could just be me looking at the glass half full. He showed flashes of potential but like so many other Japanese players the Mets have had he was just a good AAAA player. I know most people wanted to bury him in April and were screaming for Cairo but I thought that Kaz should have been better every day than Cairo. Now Cairo sucked, but so did Kaz. He let me down and has really been a total bust. So, eat his salary for 2006 if you have to but can we not see him in Flushing next year? We have to move on.

April 12, 2006
Since following Kaz's career when he was a 19-20 year old with the Seibu Lions in Japan as a pure hitter with a pop, speed on the bases, wide range and a gun for an arm on SS, and most of all, durable but plays even when hurt, I was fully convinced that if there is any Japanese player that will not fail, it would be Kaz, when he signed with the Mets in 2003. Well, shows what I know about life. After a couple of years later, he had never been a player he ever was with the Lions.

I gave a thought for awhile, and I said to myself that it may be a curse on high-profile players signing with the Mets that is preventing Kaz from playing to a level that he should be playing. Prolific players like Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Tom Glavine, etc etc were never the player that they were before becoming a Met. Could it be that the same "curse" may be playing some tricks on Kaz ? While I will never know what that may be, but I truly think he is better off playing with a change of scenery - I mean, he was (hopefully "is") too good to end his career like this, especially after seeing Tadahito Iguchi, who never played as well as Kaz in the same league, played so well with the ChiSox last year. We will see.

Frank Grimes
May 31, 2006
Enough already. Can we say sayonara now to Kazuo? He stinks, everbody knows it, enough! Cut him. Let Jose Valentin play every day. He's been OK lately. Matsui is overmatched in America.

Also, did you ever notice Matsui breathing? He takes these weird breaths with his mouth open like he's gasping for air. I've seen it while he's on the bench and in a game. In the words of Cliff Claven, What's up with that?

Dave in CT
June 5, 2006
I have had enough of him. I have had patience with this guy and always saw him as a liability because management feels they have to play him to justify his huge salary. If I were Randolph right now, I would continue with Valentin because he is actually hitting and playing as well as Matsui at 2B.

Let's cut our losses and look for another starting pitcher we so sorely need but I can't think of any team that will take Kaz straight up for a capable starter.

June 14, 2006
And so ends Kazuo's run as a Met, traded to the Rockies for utility dude Eli Marrero.

It's an unceremonious end to a disappointing era. However, I wish Kaz the best in Colorado, as he deserves better. The man has been nothing if not classy. He just couldn't produce on the field.

June 14, 2006
I was one of the people who wanted to sign him in the first place. Looking back now, it was for all the wrong reasons! Long suffering Met fans were at the point where anything that topped the Yankees was good enough! We outbid them and everyone else to get him. All of baseball wanted this guy! Could it be all the scouting reports were wrong? I didn't think so! I knew he wasn't going to hit 30 homers a year, but I thought his numbers and play would be a lot better! To his credit, he never complained or made excuses for his poor play. I never heard any Met player say anything bad about him, and he always hustled on the field! That's more than a lot of other guys can say! In the end, he'll be remembered like Ed Whitson is... He wasn't cut out for N.Y. Good luck in Colorado, I get the feeling you're going back to Japan when this contract runs out.

ray from HARLEM
June 28, 2006
Worst hitter I ever saw Tried to karate chop the ball with the bat and run before he hit it. Good ridance.

October 12, 2006
Quote: "Also, did you ever notice Matsui breathing? He takes these weird breaths with his mouth open like he's gasping for air. I've seen it while he's on the bench and in a game."

That's called anxiety. Kaz knew he was making a lot of money and it had to be eating him up inside when he didn't live up to expectations, especially in New York. To the Japanese that's justification for Hari- Kari - bellyslitting due to loss of face. I definitely didn't dislike the guy and felt he gave it his best shot under adverse conditions. Still, I fault the scouts who go over to Japan and evaluate these guys as if the numbers they put up over there are comparable to the Major Leagues, when they're more along the lines of AAA. Why do you think so many major league also-rans and just plain washed up players go over there and hit for Rod Carew averages and Babe Ruth home run numbers? It's not an even playing field and hopefully American scouts in Japan are finally realizing that.

Kevin C. Delahanty, MD
October 18, 2007
He's going to the World Series...

He's going to the World Series...

He's going to the World Series...

Somebody out there splash some water over my face & wake me from this Twilight Zone nightmare!

Kevin C. Delahanty, MD
November 30, 2007

$15 million for 3 years from the Astros....

And one wonders why there is craziness in the world???

Jonathan Stern
December 17, 2007
I'll never forget the press conference announcing Kaz's signing. The Mets went on and on, introducing one front office person after another, as if Matsui were the Japanese Willie Mays, while Mike and the Mad Dog were screaming, "He isn't that good!" Finally, Kaz stood before the microphone and said, "I... Love... New... York." You can't make this up.

puddin head
August 4, 2008
Who is that guy who is batting .284 for the Astros and just contributed to a sweep of the Mets? Could it be the much maligned Kaz Matsui? Last winter, on another Mets'fan site, I saw a post from a moron who said the Mets should not sign Fukudome because he's Japanese! How good would Fukudome look in the Mets'outfield right about now? Xenophobia rules in Metland.

Gets by Buckner
December 29, 2008
In my opinion, one of the biggest busts in Mets history (with Juan Samuel being a close second). Every time the ball was hit to him when he played 2nd base or short I would cringe in fear. Oh the pain!!!

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