Tonight, the dismal failure that is Diasuke Matsuzaka takes to the mound for the Boston Red Sox.
You will remember that Matsuzaka arrived on the scene in 2007 to enormous hoopla.
Management, fans and sports writers were convinced that Matsuzaka was worth every dime of the Red Sox $100 million dollar investment.
According to reports, Matsuzaka had not only the usual repertoire of pitches but he had two kinds of sliders, a fork ball and the never-before-seen gyro-ball that was, admirers claimed, certain to baffle every hitter in the league.
Matsuzaka madness included a CD titled “Music from the Mound” that included as the first cut, “Gyro Ball, Dice-K” If for some inexplicable reason you want to add the disc to your music collection, you’re out of luck. It was pulled from the shelves when batters started knocking Matsuzaka’s gyro ball all over the park.
Fast forward to today when Matsuzaka is coming off the disabled list where he was sent for the various reasons of being overweight, insubordinate, disliked by his teammates but mostly for being ineffective. The official cause, according to manager Terry Francona, is “shoulder weakness”
Matsuzaka, who faces the Los Angeles Angels tonight, is 1-5 with a 8.23 ERA. I doubt if that what the Red Sox want in their quest to secure the American League wild card spot. But that’s what they’ve got. (SABERmetricians see here.)
The truth about Dice-K is hard for many Sox fans both here and in Japan to come to grips with.
Here it is from ESPN announcer and Hall of Fame great Joe Morgan.
Two years ago while I was listening to the World Series, Morgan in a moment of unusual candor said this about Matsuzaka:
He’s not as good as the Red Sox thought he was.