By Bill Maher
In 2010, Japanese baseball phenom Tsuyoshi Nishioka was the Nippon League batting champion, hitting .346. The guy could really drive the ball… despite what you've heard about Asian drivers. He also won the Japanese equivalent of a Golden Glove for his defensive play as an infielder. In 2011, Tsuyoshi was signed by the Minnesota Twins to a three-year $9.25 million deal. Six games into his rookie season, Tsuyoshi had a collision at second base with Nick Swisher of the Yankees, breaking Tsuyoshi’s leg. And he’s never played up to his potential since.
After his injury, Tsuyoshi batted only .226 and committed 12 errors in 68 games… or what the Chicago Cubs call "a career season." This season, the Twins sent Tsuyoshi down to Rochester, their AAA team, where he hit .258 with only two homeruns and 34 RBI’s in 392 at-bats. So, with $3.25 million left to pay on his contract, the Twins are kind of stuck with Tsuyoshi, right? Well, they would be if he were an American player. But Tsuyoshi isn’t American. He doesn’t come from a greed culture. He issued this statement:
"I would like to thank the Twins organization for helping me fulfill my dream of playing in Major League Baseball. I take full responsibility for my performance, which was below my own expectations. At this time, I have made the decision that it is time to part ways. I have no regrets and know that only through struggle can a person grow stronger. I appreciate all the support the team and the fans in Minnesota and Rochester have shown me."
And then Tsuyoshi Nishioka did something amazing. He voluntarily forfeited his right to the $3 million-plus still owed him and entered the free agent market. He couldn't bring himself to take money he felt he hadn't earned.
Could you imagine an American player doing this? And wouldn't it have been nice to see a little of this attitude from our greedy Wall Street execs after they dropped the ball and nearly bankrupted our country?