Daisuke Matsuzaka spent seven years playing professional ball in Japan before inking a six-year, $52 million contract with the Red Sox in February of 2007. He owns a 4.00 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP and a 37-21 record over his first three major league seasons and is apparently loving every minute of his time in the states.
Dice-K told Rob Bradford of Boston-based WEEI.com Tuesday that he wants to stick around for another 10 MLB seasons.
“I think both personally and from a family standpoint we’re all enjoying
our lives over here in the U.S., and if at all possible I would like to
play over here as long as I can,” Matsuzaka said through translator Masa Hoshino. “I guess in the very least I hope that I can play for
at least another 10 years here in the U.S. Yeah, 10 years is a long
time and it’s tough to imagine what it’s going to be like that far out,
but at the same time when I’m 40, or older than 40, I want to still be
able to pitch.”
Matsuzaka will turn 30 later this season and has already struggled with multiple injuries, but it’s not all that uncommon for baseball careers to extend into age 40. He’s under Red Sox control for the next three seasons, so we can say for certain he’ll be state-side through at least 2012.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.