Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Daisuke Matsuzaka’s second trip to the disabled list this season is making some forget the Japanese pitcher’s heroics and wonder if he has been worth the investment of his Boston Red Sox team.
The “Dice-K” sweepstakes dominated Japanese baseball in late 2006, as the Boston Red Sox pursued the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka — who’s now sitting – by commiting over $51 million to his then team, the Seibu Lions, and another $52 million to the pitcher and agent Scott Boras to sign.
After winning the inaugural World Baseball Classic tournament MVP in 2006 with an arm that had dropped jaws since high school, Matsuzaka was more than just the best pitcher available in the country or arguably the world at that time.
He was Boston’s marketing passport to baseball-mad Japan and its talent pool, as well as a poke in the eye for the rival New York Yankees who were outbid and had to settle for pitcher Kei Igawa, who’s spent most of his career in the minors at a total cost of about $46 million in contract and posting fee.