DICE-K, THE MONSTER, GODZUKI or whatever ya call him is coming to America. The baby-faced, somewhat pampered $100 million man (plus perks) isn’t exactly Jesus, but he’ll be wearing #18, and he brings passion for the hometown team back from the dead as far as the faithful are concerned. Gordon Edes covers the drama in this play-by-play of hardball negotiations (essential reading), which at one point bordered on the absurd (police escort for a physical?).
But if the fear is that Japan’s national treasure won’t relocate so easily to his new nation (marketing ick-fest), especially amid the outsized expectations for a 26-year-old who’s never pitched in the Majors before, we have this tidbit to give us hope that this kid is ready for the madness that is the American League East, even if J.D. Drew is not:
Asked about his expectations for next season, according to Sankei Sport [Matsuzaka] said: “I think getting a good start on the season will be a key to succeed. At this time, I feel Boston fans are welcoming to me, but I heard their character.
“When I’m not playing well, I am sure to have a tough time in Boston. I am going to do my best in order to make Boston fans be more excited.”
Matsuzaka spoke with his new catcher, Jason Varitek, in a conference call the day after signing, Boras said.
When the agent visited in Japan this summer, Matsuzaka’s wife asked for a favor. “She wanted to know if I could get Daisuke the jersey of his favorite player,” Boras said. “I thought it might be Ichiro, or [Hideki] Matsui. No – it was Jason Varitek.”
Right on, my yellow brother. Right on.