Remember That Time I Was Talking About Matt Murton?

Somebody make sure Barry Pepper is available.

You’ll rue the day you turned your back on Matt Murton. Teams in Chicago, Oakland and Colorado already are ruing so super hard. I mean, you’re going to tell me that Oakland doesn’t have a spot on their roster for Matt Murton? He might not be as marketable to the brahhs in California as wave-shredding Travis Buck but at least he doesn’t injure himself every time he steps between the chalk.

But Travis Buck and the Oakland A’s aren’t the reason for this post. Frankly, it’s already a disservice to Murton to have his name within such close proximity to Buck’s. Here is the real reason for all of this. Via ESPN the Magazine:

Matt Murton spent five years in the majors without making an impact. But just a few months into his career in Jampan he’s making history. The 28-year-old leftfielder, who signed a two-year, $1.78 million deal with the Hanshin Tigers last winter, is on pace for 213 hits, which would break Ichiro Suzuki’s 1994 single-season record of 210 (though Japan’s season is now 14 games longer).

There’s a bit more to the article but above is the meat and potatoes.  Murton was hitting .343 at the time the magazine hit the presses and it’s possible that Japanese managers may pitch around Murton (eat your heart out Barry Bonds) in order to keep a Westerner out of the record books.

You may have noticed that the Japanese season is now 14 games longer than when Ichiro set the record yet I doubt the discrepancy will cause as much outrage as when Maris was chasing Babe Ruth’s home run mark. If it does I’m sure Billy Crystal is on speed dial.

And in the spirit of being irrational; if Murton breaks Ichiro’s hits record does that make him better than Ichiro?

A: Absolutely

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