Wow, YF and I actually concur 100%! Mark the date! If a writer wants to downgrade his or her vote for a Japanese player because they have experience in a near-Major League caliber league, or a Martian because of years of play in the the Interplanetary Baseball League, then so be it. There is a difference between a player coming into the league at age 18 (a la Andruw Jones) after a year in A-ball and someone like Matsui. If a writer chooses to recognize that difference with the level of their vote, then fine. But both players deserve at least a vote, and to not have cast even a 10th place vote for Matsui is pretty shameful, not really a responsible move as a voting member of the BBWAA. At what point this year was Matsui NOT in his first year in the Majors? The issue as to whether the Japanese League is of the caliber of MLB is actually a red herring on my part, and it was a mistake for me to factor it in – this shouldn’t even matter. If the Japanese League was actually superior to MLB, Matsui still should have gotten a vote. He was a rookie. As for the two writers who left Berroa off, it’s gotta be two of Tyler Kepner, Bill Madden, or that horrid hometown shill, Murray Chass, who I can no longer stand. I would have said John Stirling, but I know he doesn’t vote for this one.