Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays Send Popular Fan and Team Favorite Munenori Kawasaki to Minors

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 23: Munenori Kawasaki #66 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to the dugout in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles during MLB action at the Rogers Centre June 23, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images
Doug MeadCorrespondent IJune 26, 2013

The good news for the Toronto Blue Jays is that shortstop Jose Reyes will be back in the lineup on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The bad news—for both fans and teammates—is that Munenori Kawasaki became the sacrificial lamb.

In order to make room for Reyes on the roster, Kawasaki received word after the game on Tuesday that he was being sent to the minors in order to make room for Reyes.

The news was indeed received with sadness, especially by the players.

In fact, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called a brief team meeting to inform the players of the news.

That is an indication of the impact that Kawasaki had on his teammates, never mind the city of Toronto.

Kawasaki quickly endeared himself to the city with his exuberance. After delivering a walk-off hit last month, Kawasaki gave an interview that captivated the entire city.

His wacky ways and demeanor quickly rubbed off on his teammates as well. Witness his dance on the plane ride home after the Blue Jays won their 11th straight game.

He hit .225 with one home run and 17 RBI in 60 games, hitting his first-ever home run last Friday against the Baltimore Orioles.

When Kawasaki was asked about his thoughts on demotion, something got lost in translation.

The Twitter universe weighed in on Kawasaki's demotion as well.

As for Gibbons, he had one simple message.

So take heart, Blue Jays fans—your favorite player will be back.

 

Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

Feel free to talk baseball with Doug anytime on Twitter.

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