Might as well enjoy the Munenori Kawasaki era for as long as it lasts.
Which may not be long. But it should be fun.
The Blue Jays, word on the street says, are looking for a better replacement for the injured Joses Reyes at shortstop. Kawasaki, at 31, probably isn’t a short- or long-term solution for anything based on his career so far.
But he’s sure interesting to watch. His new teammates seem to be getting a kick out of the fidgety, unbridled joy with which he approaches the game based on the pictures that filtered out of Rogers Centre on Monday night after a 4-3 win over the White Sox.
There are the constant deep knee bends, whether at bat or in the field, and an overall impression this is a fellow who abides by the dance-like-nobody’s-watching school of life. Sometimes he’ll just lie on the field to get the necessary stretch.
When Maicer Izturis hit a home run against the Pale Hose, there was Kawasaki awaiting with an appreciative Japanese-style bow at home plate.
Perhaps that should be the approach of Jose Bautista the next time he gets a pitch call he doesn’t appreciate.
Kawasaki tripled off Chicago starter Gavin Floyd in the fourth, benefitting from a missed cutoff man by the visitors, and scored what turned out to be the winning run on Emilio Bonifacio’s sac fly. He and Izturis turned a double play in a game that, given the erratic nature of the Jays season to date, might have been the cleanest and most balanced team performance of the season thus far.
Kawasaki, who spent the bulk of his career in the Japanese leagues before joining Seattle a year ago, is no Reyes. But he can sure run the bases and likes to steal a few, seems to be more than capable in the field and has over a few days been a band-aid over the wound left by the injury to Reyes.