Matt Tuiasosopo got 210 plate appearances with the Seattle Mariners from 2008-10. He hit five home runs. Tuesday, in his 92 plate appearance of the season, he pulled a ball into the left-field seats. It was his fifth home run this season.
The Mariners spent seven years developing Tuiasosopo, only to give up on him once they saw what the lack of a monster they created. Last year, he signed a minor league contract with the Mets and the only way he would’ve gotten into the major league clubhouse is if he pulled some Mission Impossible stuff. He hit .242 in Triple-A, with an OPS under .700.
Now, he’s a legitimate major leaguer. Tuiasosopo may not be in the lineup every day and his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is just 0.8, but he’s here, hitting .342. He’s there in the outfield, greasy flow flopping while he canters around like a fat Magglio Ordonez.
Tuiasosopo’s career was dead. When he got to spring training he was The Other, Other Tuiasosopo. Now he has home runs in back-to-back games for a first-place team. Shouldn’t somebody be paying attention to this?
Sure, people resurrect careers all the time, but a Google search reveals articles about his play, but not about him. Google News tops out with some French and Chinese articles.
The closest thing we have is this short story about how the Tigers had tried to trade for him in the past but ended up acquiring him only because Tuiasosopo called them.
Seriously? We have nothing about a different training regimen, or a new outlook, or a scene where a coach came in and told him he wasn’t good enough? We don’t even have an accusation of steroids?
I’m disappointed in all of us, including this website. We should have been on this earlier.
Tuiasosopo is enjoyable to watch. He’s just fat pudgy enough to be entertaining but not fat enough to make you think genetics made him chubby his whole life. There’s a delightfully middle-aged plump filling out his uniform, despite him being only 26. He’s not particularly athletic (as evidenced by the plump) — his fielding and base running numbers are both negative — but he can still move around a bit.
Plus, he can hit and get on base. A 15-day DL stint has him no where close to having enough plate appearances to qualify for the official batting stats, but off the record, his on-base percentage (.462) is the highest on the team. His batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS are second.
That’s not bad for a guy who looks like he showed up for Tigers fantasy camp and through a hilarity of errors, found his way in left field, only to play so well that Jim Leyland refused to remove him from the lineup.
Actually, forget you read that. No stealing my idea. This is the one that’s going to get Telepictures to return my calls.
So here’s to you Matt Tuiasosopo. The man with the uncommon last name has become the common people’s idol.
Now pee in this cup.