Well, here this is…
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) June 26, 2013
This doesn’t really come as a surprise, except that it kind of does. Given that everyone, fans and players alike, loves Munenori Kawasaki so much, there’s a good chance you’ll be sad to see Kawasaki go no matter where you stand on the issue of his demotion to AAA Buffalo. The debate over whether this is the correct baseball move is a lightly arguable talking point, but the impact of his popularity among members of the team is evident in the way that the news was apparently delivered to the team.
Gibbons called the team together after the game and, with Kawasaki at his side, told the players about the decision. — John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) June 26, 2013
In his final display of plucky stand-up guyishnesss during this stint, Muni gave his final quotes to the reporters and didn’t skimp on the realness.
He also went on to say (through the aid of a translator) that he had an incredible experience with the club and appreciates all the support and acceptance for “one strange Japanese guy”.
In terms of offensive numbers, even though the talent level argument always swings things out of Kawasaki’s favour, he has actually performed at a higher level (0.8 WAR, 86 wRC+ in 185 PA) than Bonifacio (-0.7 WAR, 45 wRC+ in 208 PA) and Izturis (-1.0 WAR, 62 wRC+ in 227 PA) in his 60 games of service filling in for Jose Reyes. At the end of the day, Kawasaki has minor league options and the service of filling in for Reyes is no longer needed.
Jose Reyes will be in the starting lineup for the Blue Jays tomorrow afternoon, and that’s a very good thing. As for Kawasaki…
Gibbons on Kawasaki: “He’ll be back, trust me on that one.” #BlueJays
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) June 26, 2013