Thursday, April 20, 2006
Masato Yoshii Born
Masato Yoshii first came to America has a member of the New York Mets in 1998, after a number of seasons with the Yakult Swallows, going 13-6 with a 2.99 ERA his final season with the team. Yoshii turned down a number of big-money offers from Japanese teams (supposedly after being convinced to do so by Hideo Nomo) and instead signed a contract with the Mets for a base salary for $200,000 with a series of bonuses. Yoshii would pitch well in '98 (all said his bonuses raised the salary to over a million) and although he was less effective in 1999, Yoshii was beginning a run during which his ERA+ never went above 101 or fell below 97.
That would last until his left the Majors after the 2002 season, finishing with an underwhelming 32-47 record, but a decent 4.62 ERA, just better than the league and park average of 4.68 for his career. Yoshii returned to
On a less biographical note, I've always liked Yoshii, based on a couple of silly incidents. For one, Yoshii achieved minor celebrity in
Yoshii, perhaps not surprisingly, made the playoff roster.