Dice-K has a bad back

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So much for all that talk about Matsuzaka being healthy and in good shape and all of that:

According to translations, the Kyodo News and the Japanese sports web
site Sponichi Annex reported a few days ago that Matsuzaka, who was an
early arrival here, had skipped his throwing session at the end of last
week because of tightness in his back, and his no-show on the field
Tuesday would suggest that the condition had not improved sufficiently
to resume throwing. The Japanese media outlets had reported that the
Red Sox were aware of the condition, though Red Sox general manager
Theo Epstein did not mention it while discussing Matsuzaka with
reporters on Monday.

There was concern among some in Red Sox land that Tim Wakefield would become disgruntled as a result of not having a set spot in the rotation. If this is a harbinger of another injury-filled season for Dice-K, Wakefield may very well be quite gruntled this season. 

Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo arrested in drug, money laundering investigation

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Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.

That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.

Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.

Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.