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Berroa Was The Smart Choice

Should Kazuo Matsui Be Considered A Rookie?

Going into Monday's Rookie of the Year announcements, Hideki Matsui was considered the heavy favorite to take home the award despite the issue that he wasn't exactly anyone's definition of a rookie. Except for Major League Baseball that is. When the voters from the Baseball Writers Association made Angel Berroa their choice however, they opened a window of opportunity for MLB to change their policy on Japanese players.

Over the past few years, the MLB has become more active in integrating foreign players into the league. In 1995, Hideo Nomo became the first Japanese player to sign with an American team and he ended up winning the rookie of the year award. Since Nomo opened the door for Japanese players, several others have come to Major League teams. Players like Kazuhiro Sasaki, Hideki Irabu, Kazuhisa Ishii...

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