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Daisuke Matsuzaka wins NPB comeback player of the year award

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You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t thought much about Daisuke Matsuzaka lately, as the ex-Red Sox and Mets pitcher has not played in the majors since 2014. He made his return to Japan when he signed a contract with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks prior to the 2015 season, but that didn’t work out too well, with Dice-K making only one NPB appearance and a handful of minor league appearances over a three year period due to injuries.

Matsuzaka signed with the Chunichi Dragons before the 2018 season. Given that he was 37 at the time and had hardly pitched a lick in three seasons, not much was likely expected of the former All-Star apart from his services as a gate attraction. Yet, despite the odds, Matsuzaka put together a pretty spiffy season for the Dragons, going 6-4 with a 3.74 ERA in 11 starts. He made the NPB All-Star Game and, just this morning, was named the league’s Comeback Player of the Year.

Not too bad for an old guy.

 

 

Bryce Harper is pandering hard to Philly fans

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Bryce Harper hadn’t even addressed his new hometown fans before his Phillies jersey started selling like hotcakes. Since then, he’s said all the expected things. Talking about joining the Phillies, he said, “From day one, it felt right … I always talk about family and being a family, being one unit, and I get that from this team. Every guy has your back and vice versa. I’m very excited to go into battle with these guys.”

Harper is continuing to pander hard to Phillies fans. Behold his latest Instagram post:

Has anyone ever really longed to see the Liberty Bell?

Harper also famously recreated that Chase Utley scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with actor Rob McElhenney on Twitter:

In Harper’s next post, he will talk about alternating bottles of You-eng-ling beers with glasses of “wooder.” He’ll add that every so often he will treat himself to a steak sandwich with cheese on it, then go home to watch all of the movies in the Rocky series.