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Daisuke Matsuzaka

Yes, Opening Day at Fenway Park officially took place yesterday and what a game it was! Boston takes advantage of a rusty Seattle ball club that had not played since the previous Thursday due to snow in Cleveland and lays down the hammer, building a big lead early and eventually winning, 14-3. Josh Beckett went seven strong, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out eight and J.D. Drew hits a two-run home run to dead center to give Fenway fanatics reason to cheer from the opening ceremony until the last out lands in Wily Mo Pena‘s glove in deep right in front of the bullpen.

But now, tonight, we witness the next coming of the legendary Pedro Martinez, who by coincidence also made his Fenway Park debut in Boston’s second home game of the 1998 season. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who dazzled in his debut last Thursday in Kansas City, is expected to draw the attention of not only the American baseball community but the entire world. While we here on the Eastern seaboard will be tuning in at 7:05 PM this evening, the eyes of Japanese baseball fans will simultaneously be turning on their sets at 8:05AM local time. The Japanese media have been camped outside Fenway Park since Monday and they, along with 35,000 strong in the stands, will light the diamond with flashbulbs as Matsuzaka throws his first pitch to Ichiro Suzuki, a former Japanese star in his own right who made a splash himself with the Mariners in 2001, when he won Rookie of the Year and MVP honors with a .350 batting average.

Break out the Asahi Super Dry tonight, the show officially begins.

3 replies on “Kaibutsu!”

Hi, Jim:

His first name is Daisuke, which is pronounced “Dice-K,” hence all the reference to dice and the K. The K also refers to a swinging strikeout on a stats sheet and he is known to often strike out opposing batters – he struck out ten in his debut last week in Kansas City.

Matsuzaka actually has proven himself – if you check out his player page at, you would see that he pitched previously in the Japanese Central League for the Seibu Lions. To put it in perspective, he was to baseball in Japan what Michael Jordan was to basketball here in the US.

Of course, the consumer “schlock,” as you have noted, reflects the fact that anyone and everyone is trying to make a buck off his name; already, Massachusetts estimates that his presense with the Red Sox will bring over $50 million in revenue during the six years he is under contract with Boston. Yay, capitalism!

As part of my new effort to really get to know sports, I went to a sports bar last night to watch the game, with the unfortunate ending of the Sox losing. I got to see Dice-K pitch, and wonder why he is named Dice-K and why there is so much consumer schlock out there that you can buy in this guy’s name even though he hasn’t proven himself yet.


Well, why did it cost $50M just to talk to him? I mean, that is ridiculous and so it seems to me something else must be there. I mean really, did they have to pay $50M and then Dice suke could have just walked away and said forget it?

How old is this guy, anyway. He looks like he’s a teenager. Or, at least a college student.

What I mean by proving himself is not in previous competition, but here in Boston to earn his $50M plus 6 year contract.

I am just broiled about this. But, I do think anyone who can throw 5 kinds of pitches is pretty cool. I like when they talk about throwing sliders.

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