November 15, 2006

Matsuzaka Departs For US

This JapanBall article puts the Red Sox bid at exactly $51,111,111.11.

Matsuzaka, at the Narita Airport:
First of all, I was very relieved. I haven't been able to sleep soundly for the past four or five days. I feel like I've just crossed the starting line. It has been difficult waiting. ...

I was shocked at first to hear the amount of the accepted offer. I never thought that the amount would be over $30 million. I'm happy that I've been valued so highly, but I also feel pressure to perform now. ...

I want to perform well in the majors, so I can be booed by our opponents' home field fans.

The batter I really look forward to facing is Ichiro-san.
Shemp who?

We Love Daisuke. ... Will Fenway have the Dice-K Men?


Kevin said...

I love the dice idea.

Can you imagine how many Matsuzaka shirtzees are going to get sold the first day they're out?

L-girl said...

This is really exciting.

Edward Lee said...

Anybody know Matsuzaka's career stats against Matsui, Ichiro, etc. in Japan?

Jack Marshall said...

This is for you, L-girl...

Every Fan in Sox Nation Liked Dice-man a lot...

But the Grinch, who lived in Virginia
Did NOT!

For the Grinch hated Yankees
The whole baseball season!
That they used cash like bullies was much of the reason.

It could be that his IQ just wasn’t too keen
Since he thought 50 mil just to talk was obscene.
But of all of his reasons, perhaps Number One
Was his feeling that “win at all costs” was no fun.

"The Sox fans will realize they’ve bartered their souls!
"They’ll finally wake up! They’ll resume their old roles!
"Their eyes will grow wide as they face the abyss
"And they’ll shout, “We’re not Yankees! We’re better than this!!"

"That's a noise," grinned the Grinch,
"That I simply must hear!"
So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising out of Sox Nation!
It moved from Toronto to Arlington Station.
But the sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn't be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Boston,
And the Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Fan in Sox Nation, the tall and the small,
Was applauding, though the millions bought nothing at all!

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet stuck right in his maw,
Stood puzzling and puzzling to see what he saw....

It was wrong; it was tragic; it couldn’t be loonier!
Red Sox Nation was now Evil Empire, Junior!

L-girl said...


Jack, you have my vote for Best Comment of the Season from Joy Nation.

You're a mean one, Mr. Emm...

No, I'll need several more cups of coffee before I can tackle that.

Devine said...

That was excellent, Jack.

Woti-woti said...

As the gang in 'Deadwood' would say Jack: "Huzzah"!

Jackie said...

Jack - I love the poem, but come on. The Sox have been the MFY Jr. for a while now. The sole reason that their payroll is so much higher than ours is that Henry cares about going over the luxury tax mark (which the $51m will have nothing to do with) and Steinbrenner does not. It has nothing to do with the Sox not having the cash. Anyone boohooing about the Sox' money situation prior to this was either clueless or being disingenous.

That said: We're STILL not the MFYs and we never will be. We're still more cautious with our actual payroll - we'll make a few big signings, sure, but it's still true that the Sox can't keep payroll under the luxury tax limit AND outbid the Yankees at every turn. I'm not whining about this; I know every other MLB team would kill to be in that position. I'm just trying to say that assembling a lineup within the luxury tax limit does require a different strategy than the MFYs currently employ.

Anyway, I really hope this move pays off. Even if you write off the posting fee as an investment in a developing market, his contract is not going to be cheap. And there are horror scenarios involving him being unable to adjust to the 5 day rotation and having his arm fall off in July. It could go horribly awry. But it could also work out beyond our wildest dreams (those pitches are fucking NASTY). So, I'll cross my fingers for the latter.

L-girl said...

Just to be clear, I love the poem, but I disagree with the sentiment (and I do mean sentiment) behind it in every way.

The Red Sox are playing by the rules. And like it or not, so are the Yankees. Whether or not you like the rules is another question.

I'd much rather see my FO reinvest their profits into building a better team than sit around whining about how Steinbrenner spends too much money.

But it's not every day a member of Joy Nation writes a poem and dedicates it to me. What fun.

9casey said...


Jesus, Jack....

I don't know what's worse the fact you took the time to write or I took the time to read it...

For all you poem lover's I'm Sorry...

Jack Marshall said...

9casey: For definition purposes, Dr. Seuss is in the respectable category of poetry known as "light verse' (See: Gilbert, WS; Nash, Ogden; Lear, Edward; Parker, Dorothy;, and this was the sub-category known as "parody"(see Magazine, Mad.)Took me all of 10 minutes. I write a lot of this stuff. And I'll take Shel Silverstein over Robert Frost any day.

Laura: Lots of bad things are done constantly by people in government, business, and other professions while remaining "within the rules."

Edward: I dispute that the Red Sox have been "the Evil Empire, Jr." for along time. While the Sox, since the beginning of free agency, periodically paid big money to nail down a key part (Bill Campbell, Mike Torrez, Manny, Frank Viola, Damon, Foulke, Schilling) they never were a team that just kept spending and spending until they had locked up the pennant. In the 70's it was especially inevitable: the Yankees lacked power in July, and suddenly George went out and paid obscene amounts to purchase Dave Kingman and Cliff Johnson. The huge free agent deals: Unit, Don Gullett, Contreras, Cone, Kevin Brown, Pavano, Wright, John Wetteland, Matsui, Sheffield, and on and on have always been the Yankee MO, not the Sox.Pedro was a trade, and not a garbage one, either. The Sox paid dearly for Beckett. In 1986, the rotation was home grown, as were the key members of the bull pen. Ditto '75.

While the Sox have lost star players like Vaughn, Clemens, Pedro, Damon,Lowe, and Hurst to free agency, how often have the Yankees lost anyone who was really in demand, a major loss? They simply spend like there's a bottomless pit, and you can't fight eternity.
Now, the verse notwithstanding, I find the Diceman move more dumb than offensive, but you gotta admit, the days of the Sox getting anything but laughs by bitching about Yankee open-wallet spending are over for good.

Jack Marshall said...

Sorry: I meant Jackie, not Edward...

Woti-woti said...

Jack Marshall said: "the days of the Sox getting anything but laughs by bitching about Yankee open-wallet spending are over for good."

Good. Maybe now we can all cheer for the Sox for what they are, rather than who they're not.

redsock said...

the days of the Sox getting anything but laughs by bitching about Yankee open-wallet spending are over for good

Bull. The Red Sox crank the vault wide open once* -- and they are the Yankees? I say "no way".

Once I see the Sox pull Diceman-esque financial stunts for the next 20 years, assume numerous bad contracts for a rent-a-players, barely bat an eye as high-contract prospect after high-contract prospect goes belly up, skim along at a $180-200 million payroll for many consecutive years ... then I'll say the two clubs are on a level-playing field.

Until then, I reserve the right to bitch.


* Maybe more than once (Manny, Pedro), but Dice-K is really the only eye-popper.

(Bernie was set to sign with us after 1998, but when the MFY matched our offer (if i recall), he went back. The Yankees believed he was gone and were set to ink Albert Belle.)

(P.S. It should be noted that George's moneybags didn't do shit for a decade after 1982.)

Jack Marshall said...

Good theory, Redsock, and I wish you were right, but you're dreaming. Let me take you to August 1, 2007. The Red Sox, desperately in need of a closer to hold onto their 2 game lead over New York, have just learned that the Yankees acquired Billy Wagner from the collapsing Mets for a couple AA players and a ton of money, since Mario Rivera has finally broken down. "We just don't have the cash to compete with the Yankees in a situation like this," Theo says. "Wagner is a big risk, and the Mets just wanted too much money, plus there's that huge contract of his. We're not going to overpay...that's our policy, and we'll stick to it."

Q: Which is the more likely response?

a) "Thanks, Theo, and thanks for maintaining fiscal sanity in the face of NY's "spend any amount to lock up the pennant" approach."
b) "We understand, Theo. As long as the team is consistent, who can complain?"
c) WHAT??? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

redsock said...

You're using a made-up example from the future. We should stick to actual events.

And I'm confident in saying that the Mets would not trade Wagner to the MFY. There is a rivalry there -- a mild version of why there have not been similar trades between the Sox and Yanks.

Plus ... Wagner? And we have a two-game lead? I ain't sweatin'.

We have Clement -- who has been lights-out as our closer. (Hey, as long as we're writing fiction ...)

Jack Marshall said...

But Redsock, I thought you knew..I'm FROM the future! I just make stupid predictions to throw people off the track.