Paul Sullivan wrote a column the other day on the nine things the Cubs need to worry about. Most of the things are things about which one could fairly worry, although none of them strikes me, alone, as a season-killer.
But one of those things is “Fukudome’s head.” What about it? Sullivan seems to be talking about how Fukudome got worse as the season went on, but why does that have anything to do with his head? The guy was an excellent player in Japan, but MLB is a harder league than NPB, and isn’t it possible that once the league adjusted to Fukudome, he wasn’t good enough to catch up? That he got a little lucky early in the season and it made him look better than he was?
If there’s one thing that drives me nuts about baseball writers – and there’s more than one – it’s the need to assign character faults to bad on-field performances. Why does it have to be anything more with Fukudome than that he’s just not as talented as we’d hoped? Isn’t it enough that he’s just not a great baseball player, does it have to mean there’s something actually wrong with him, too?
Apparently, for Paul Sullivan, yes.