And Lance Berkman feels kind of bad about what happened with Matsui.
"I feel like if I'm playing how I feel like I'm capable and the team is doing better, maybe something like that doesn't happen. I'm not saying that's the reality of the situation, but you certainly feel that way. The thing that stinks about the business of sports and just from a personal standpoint when the team doesn't do well and when you don't do well personally you feel responsible, not just for yourself, but for other people. It seems that kind of thing is certainly more prevalent when things aren't going the way everyone thinks they should. We all have a feeling of affection for Kaz, and I certainly feel bad and feel partly to blame for his release."
I'd say that's a valid feeling. But let's look at this a little more closely, because Matsui wasn't playing well, and got released. J.R. Towles was actually doing alright (offensively), and got sent down to Double-A. Towles had four extra-base hits in his 51 plate appearances, more than four Astros who have more PAs.