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Question of the Day, 17 January 2007.

So the Question of the Day today refers to the post I made immediately previous about the 2007 Rookie of the Year.

  • 1995. A Japanese pitcher named Hideo Nomo comes to the United states. Takes the world by storm and takes the RoY award as well. He was 26. The runner-up was a young third baseman named Chipper Jones.
  • 2000. A Japanese pitcher named Kazuhiro Sasaki, age 32, is named RoY. His main "competition" was an OF named Terrence Long, whom any Yankee lurkers might want to forget about.
  • 2001. A Japanese outfielder named Ichiro Suzuki, age 27, wins the RoY as well as the MVP award. His main competition for the RoY award is a pitcher named C.C. Sabathia.
  • 2003. A young, now oft-maligned shortstop named Angel Berroa is named RoY in a close race against Yankee outfielder Hideki Matsui, age 29.
  • 2007. Daisuke Matsuzaka, 26, is claimed by many journalists as one of, if not the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year.
I suppose the age is not as important as the experience. Nomo, Sasaki, Ichiro, Matsui, and Matsuzaka had all played for varying amounts of years in the Pacific or Central Leagues in Japan. To me, calling these players rookies is potentially underrating the professional leagues in Japan and the competition over there.

My question is this. Should players from Japan be eligible for RoY? Yes, they're rookies to baseball in America, but they've been playing professional baseball at an almost equivalent(wow, whole other can of worms, eh?) level for several years: Are they really rookies?