When Jose Reyes severely sprained his ankle last week, Toronto Blue Jays fans wondered how the team would bounce back. Fortunately, they did not have to ponder for very long. Reyes's replacement, Munenori Kawasaki, has been a welcome addition to the team and not only for what he brings to the plate, but also his energy.
“We told our scouting department we needed someone who had style, who could move around, flow and be a fan favorite,” Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said in a video with Toronto’s City TV. “It wasn’t just focused on performance. […] Sure, you want to have talent, but good people help the club too.”
The Japanese player is seen bowing to the stands after any applause and bowing to his teammates after nice plays or runs scored, quickly becoming a fan favorite.
“This guy is infectious. He brings a bunch of energy to this team,” said Jays manager John Gibbons. “The guys love him. The fans love him. His teammates love him.”
The love Kawasaki has received is not unusual for him as he was also known for his antics with the Seattle Mariners, where a video showcasing his incredible dance moves was popular with teammates and fans alike. When Gibbons was shown the video, he replied: “There’s no chance I can dance that good!” He then added, “Kawasaki has agility, body control and does a great job playing shortstop.”
There’s not much more that the Blue Jays could want! What are your thoughts on Kawasaki thus far? Comment below.