Gordon Edes takes Daisuke Matsuzaka to task for his disappointing tenure with the Red Sox. Do you agree?
posted at 4/15/2011 9:15 AM EDT
by Gordon Edes/ESPN
Matsuzaka can't blame injuries. He can't hide behind being out of shape. Or the ball being different in Japan. Or America being different from Japan.
The Red Sox have been beyond patient with him and afforded him every advantage, from masseur to chef to interpreter, plane tickets and town car and housing allowance. He has an agent whose menu of services, from physical conditioning to psychological counseling, is without rival, and if he has not availed himself of those services, that's on him.
He can't accuse the Sox of trying to Americanize him because then we should accuse them of doing the same with every Latin kid who has ever come here to play ball, too. The difference in pitching in Japan, where you pitch once a week, and in the big leagues, where you take the mound once every five days, is like the difference between college ball and the big leagues.
He had a pitching coach who studied Japanese before he got here so that he could talk to him, and a catcher who put in countless hours of study so that he could do for him what he tries to do for every pitcher on the staff: make him better. And when Jason Varitek
sat down with him, the message was not, "This is how you do it" but "What do you want to do?''
The next time he walks by a mirror, Matsuzaka should remember that and ask himself what has he tried to do in the past five years to signal to his teammates a desire to fit in, to talk with them, to at least be accessible enough that his manager, Terry Francona, no longer laments he can't even have a casual conversation with him without the use of an interpreter.
Do you think the blame for Dice-K’s struggles falls squarely on his shoulders, or should the Red Sox be more accommodating and just let Dice-K be Dice-K?