Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hypocrisy, Something to Talk About, or Something Else??? maybe this is a weird question, but I am always looking at sportswriters and listening to sports radio looking for gaps in their logic. And believe me, there are a ton of them.

With the arrival of Daisuke (I can't write Dice-K), everyone is saying that despite his great 5-6 pitches, all of which he has great command, he will struggle because he has never seen hitters like he will face. Fine, that kind of makes sense. He has to learn the American style of baseball. Right?


With Arroyo, he excelled because people hadn't seen him before. He didn't know the hitters. He switched leagues. The first time around (and as X will support...) with basically two pitches, he was untouchable. However, because of his limited pitches, the next time or two down the road, he had little to no success.


The question is...why shouldn't Sox fans feel that the number one pitcher in Japan, the World Classic MVP, and a guy who commands 6 pitches, working with (perhaps) the most knowledgable catcher in the game (Varitek) won't be fairly lights out?

Why would the assumption be that he would struggle? He's confident (you can see that in his interviews) and how he comes after hitters...He went through hitters from all over the world with no problem.

I know the AL East is tough...But the O's and Rays are in the East, too. There are breathing spots in those lineups.

How many starts would he have against the Yankees and Jays? 6? 7?

There is also the fact that he'll probably be slotted as the number 3, matching him up many times with a fairly weak pitcher from another team. (Let's face it, not many teams have a great 1, 2, 3)...

What are my predictions for him? 16 to 17 wins...6-7 losses...ERA about 3.6-3.7. I think that he'll keep many hitters off-balance and will remain unpredictable. As a result, I would say 180Ks or so...Rookie of the Year candidate...possible winner...

I just feel that this guy has proven himself more than he hasn't (as the sportswriters are saying). Rose-colored glasses? Maybe...but his numbers seem to give him the benefit of the doubt.


  1. worst case, train wreck, apocolyptic scenario is that matsuzaka ends up being a great #3 starter.

    everyone who has seen him pitch for any extent of time predicts he'll do better than that.

    what scares me is that i read he wanted to learn how to throw a knuckleball from wakefield. watch the youtube clips and tell me that anyone would be able to hit that kid if he mastered a knuckleball.


  2. Yeah, that would be cool...He throws a 98-mile an hour fastball by you...Then floats in a 60 mph pitch that goes all over the place.

    The only thing that worries me is that Japanese pitchers apparently don't believe in brushing back hitters. He is not primarily a power pitcher, which is good...but I think to succeed (like 20 wins succeed), he's going to have to throw some heat inside effectively.

  3. "With the arrival of Daisuke (I can't write Dice-K), everyone is saying that despite his great 5-6 pitches, all of which he has great command, he will struggle because he has never seen hitters like he will face."

    Who is saying he will struggle? For everyone one writer speculating that could happen, I think I have seen three praising the Sox for getting the best available pitcher. It think we have seen a bit of writers qualifying that with "he has not thrown a pitch..." but I can't recall a single article saying he will flat out struggle.

  4. Sean McAdams...ProJo

    The Big Show...although all they do is yap about problems they create.

    Buckley...another big mouth...never thrown a pitch can you know he'll be any good...

    Bob Ryan...basically says he is an unknown quantity...and remember Hideki Irabu, etc...

    There's a lot of guys out there spouting doubt.

    Of course, mostly Boston guys...and that is to be expected.

    But my point was that how can not knowing a league/hitters be a downside in one argument (Daisuke), and an upside in another (Arroyo)?

  5. daisuke not knowing the hitters is less of an issue, seeing as his catcher will know how to pitch to AL hitters.

  6. I think you are being a bit too snensitive. throw out the Big show, because they are bunch of idiots, who like you said, create problems. They intentionally say shit to rile people up. BNo EEI is the by far the number one aspect of living in CA.

    but I do read all the others you mention and watch a fair bit of NESN.

    McAdams: "But, if Matsuzaka’s body language and words are any indication, it doesn’t appear as if such pressure will faze him.

    While success isn’t guaranteed and while there are other adjustments Dice-K will have to make — strong offensive lineups from top to bottom; pitching in a five-man rotation instead of a six-man rotation; strike zones, and even the baseballs — his poise and good humor yesterday suggests that he is comfortable with his place in a Red Sox uniform."

    Buckley - I agree is a blowhard, but he has said nothing negative in print about Dice-K.

    And same for Ryan. I saw him on Sports Plus saying essentially what everyone is saying. He has a chance to be a special talent. His trzack record is great, but nothingis guaranteed.

    I wouldn't call it doubt, it is a legitimate question - how will he adapt. The original comment was "everyone is saying that despite his great 5-6 pitches, all of which he has great command, he will struggle because he has never seen hitters like he will face."

    that is a definitive statement. And I don't think there is one bit of truth to it. Find the quote where one person says definitively he will struggle. And anyone that says that would be just as foolish as the person that says he will be the ace - no one knows for sure.

  7. Okay, so the last comment sounded more harsh than it was meant to be. I misstook the comment about everyone saying he will struggle as in non-WEEI cirlces.

    I mentioned, I don’t listen to EEI (thankfully). And even if I did, I would discount 90% of what is on there – the shows are all see-saw reactions and everyone is looking for an argument. I misread your point about everyone saying he will struggle to think that it was actually being written - I think writers lose control in the radio environment - there is no time to edit a sentance or read it twice, etc. My point was I had not seen one article predicting him as struggling. I’ve seen all the disclaimers, more about adapting to the new environment, language, media attention, pressure, deeper lineups (as opposed to familiarity), etc., but I have taken them all as standard disclaimers. But your reference was (I believe) referring to radio, in which EVERYTHING is overblown In the context of EEI, I can understand how that may come across as a wet blanket as well – hell there are just as many idiots saying he could win Cy Young. And he might, who knows. That is the entire point.

    I definitely agree with your overall point. Not being familiar with the opponent is definitely an advantage for the pitcher.

    Sorry if that came across too harsh.

    And one other thing, now that dice-K is in town....and there are 100-200 JPY media....and will JPY advertising....and allthings JPY are in the forefront, how long is it before Dennis and Callahan or some other dumbasses do something totally ridiculous and get themselves in hot water for some non-PC Japanese joke/racial slur. Memorial Day? Patriots Day?

  8. there's an article about the gyroball, in case anyone hasn't done their homework yet, over at ...slideshow, diagrams...

    you can find it here, too:

  9. Yes, that was sort of my point about the writers/talk show hosts...they contradict themselves...

    But, topics...