Tsuyoshi Nishioka Elected to Minnesota Twins’ Inaugural Hall of Shame
After nearly two weeks of voting—which saw readers vote via Twitter, Facebook and even some by word of mouth—the data is officially in and the inaugural Minnesota Twins’ Hall of Shame Class of 2013 is complete. Just as a reminder, in order to be nominated for the Twins’ Hall of Shame, my only requirement was that the player had to play/be on the team for a minimum of 40 games at the majors or be acquired via trade/signed at some point during the season. This would allow for a true enough sample size to be considered worthy of the Hall of Shame, but also would allow for a player who was acquired via trade or signed during the season and quickly released again a chance to make the list.
Once nominated, the candidate must have received a minimum of 75 percent of the votes in order to be selected. Voters were allowed to vote for no more than 3 players listed on the ballot, but some readers opted only to vote for one player. The list of nominees for 2013 included: Butch Huskey, Bret Boone, Jason Marquis, Pat Mahomes and Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Out of all of the nominees, only Nishioka received enough votes to meet the requirement and enter the Hall. In all, 44 readers ended up voting during the two week long period and the final vote count ended up as follows: Nishioka 36, Mahomes 24, Boone 11, Huskey 11 and Marquis 3.
If you look back at Nishioka’s tenure with the Twins, there is no doubt that the middle-infielder was a worthy first ballot Hall of Shamer. Not only did Nishioka’s play on the field earn him his place among the Twins’ worst of all time, but his simple presence on the roster—and more importantly, the correlating players that were lost in order to make room for Nishioka—was also a huge reason for his election.
Nishioka was supposed to be the solution to the Twins’ problems at shortstop when the team signed him from Japan and traded away J.J. Hardy, but he ended up being a huge bust for the Twins and cost them a valuable shortstop in the process. Hardy wound up having a few great seasons in Baltimore and Nishioka ended up appearing vastly overmatched by American baseball and seemed lost and overwhelmed at the most routine of plays and situations. Even some time in the minors couldn’t save Nishioka’s career in Minnseota. The Twins signed Nishioka to a three-year, 9.25 million dollar contract before the 2011 season after the team bid more than 5.3 million dollars to his Japanese team to gain negotiating rights; talk about money wasted. In his two years with the Twins, Nishioka would up hitting .215 with zero HR and 20 RBI over 71 games with a WAR of -2.4. If you watched the Twins during Nishioka’s two-year run with the team, you’ll understand why he is Hall of Shame worthy.
Thus concludes the inaugural Hall of Shame election for the Twins. I want to thank all the readers who voted and contributed to this endeavor and I look forward to revealing the next class of Hall of Sham candidates next June.