Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Fukudome bothered by benching in '08

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MESA, Ariz. -- Outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who earned an All-Star start based on his sizzling first two months in the majors before spiraling the rest of the season, made his first stop in the Cubs' clubhouse this morning before Japan played an exhibition game at HoHoKam Park.

Fukudome said that for the first time in his professional career, he began the offseason with a hitting program.

Fukudome also said he plans to speak up more about his situation during Year 2 in America. As for being benched down the stretch and in the playoffs, it's clear the former Japanese star is still stinging.

''It didn't feel good at all,'' Fukudome said.

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6 Comments

One of the worst acquisitons ever made in Cubs history. Once pitchers realized he was easily intimidated when knocked off the plate, they made him look ridiculous as he corkscrewed himself into the ground flailing at breaking balls away (his heart was in it but his rear-end wasn't). I have never seen a major, minor or little leaguer with an uglier or more discombobulated swing. And as for being benched, if it wasn't for the politics and guaranteed playing time that come with a huge contract, Fooky should have been elated that Lou did not bench him in June! On a positive note, he would make an adequate "Designated Fielder".

I don't know; his OBP wasn't too bad. But... where was he benched in the playoffs? He started games 1 and 2 and went 0-for-8. He didn't start Game 3, but came in the sixth inning and went 1-for-2. That's 10 ABs in three games. Doesn't look like Lou shut him down. If anything, you could criticize Piniella for putting Fukudome in the No. 2 hole in Game 1.

Imagine how bothered Fukudome is going to be when he gets benched this year as well. Go Reed Johnson!!!

Hey,bloggers, give the man a break.He did great the first half of the season last year,so perhaps this year he can work out his hitting problems and get some consistency.The hitting coach should help, and the way Fukudome trains, he'll listen and learn. I was at a Brewer game last year at Miller Park and heard all kinds of negative racial comments focussed on him, so he had to try to cope with that last year as well. This year he knows what to expect from both pitchers and "fans." I would wager that he's going to bat oer three hundred, have a great on-base percentage, and find his power stroke, as will D. Lee.

His hitting style is very typical of Japanese players. I believe we will see a very good Kosuke this year. Japanese work ethic is very strong as well as pride. And everyone is forgetting that his defense is impeccable, no one can deny how great he was in right field. His arm is amazing and accurate. He can definitely throw a strike to the plate to get the runner at home..no doubt.

I'M GLAD HE IS BOTHERED, THAT MEANS HE CARES, HE IS A GOOD BALL
PLAYER, HE JUST HAS TO UNDERSTAND THAT PRODUCTION IS THE NAME OF
THE GAME, HE IS A HIGH PRICE ATHLETE, AND IN THIS COUNTRY YOU EITHER
PUT UP OR YOU SIT DOWN!
HE SHOULD DO SOME READING ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS TO GO FROM THE MINORS
TO PLAY IN THE BIG LEAGUES, HE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS, HE
WAS A SUCCESSFUL JAPANESE BALLPLAYER, AND NOW HE IS IN THE GREATEST
LEAGUE ALIVE, EITHER HE PUTS UP NUMBERS OR HE WILL END UP LIKE FELIX
PIE, CAN YOU SAY HE GONE!
I WISH HIM WELL, DON'T DWELL ON THE PAST, LOOK TO THE FUTURE AND PLAY
GOOD BALL OR IT'S SAYANARA, AND I MEAN NO DISRESPECT, THE CUBS TOOK
A BIG CHANCE ON YOU, SO FULFILL THE OBLIGATION AND SHOOT FOR THE
STARS! DELIVER KOSUKE DELIVER!

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This page contains a single entry by Chris De Luca published on March 12, 2009 12:18 PM.

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