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Dice-K update

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  January 31, 2007 07:25 PM

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Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka spoke today in Orange County, Calif., where he met with about 50 to 60 media people.

Wearing a red Nike T-shirt and Nike sneakers, Matsuzaka appeared relaxed, funny, and thoughtful during his 45-minute press conference.

There was great news for those who attended the press conference. His personal interpreter Masa Hoshino, a 2002 Harvard graduate, was exceptional in handling today's event. He is expected to conduct similar events throughout this season.

He revealed at the gathering that he will report to Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 12, four days earlier than the spring training reporting date.

He threw his first bullpen sessions yesterday. He threw about 60 pitches and said he felt good about his work.

He acknowledged that he has to adapt to the five-man rotation as opposed to the six-man rotation he had experienced in Japan.

He noted that he is not too worried about it and is working on his lower body and shoulder to prepare for the change.

Matsuzaka hinted the possibility of working on a new pitch, though perhaps he is showing some gamesmanship with his future opponents.

Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell has been working with him during his trip in California.

Until yesterday, Matsuzaka had been long tossing for 200 to 220 feet. He says he has spoken with Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek.

Following the press conference he was introduced to three Boston reporters.

When CBS 4 reporter Dan Roche said good luck to Matsuzaka, the new Red Sox player responded in English, "Thank You" and then smiled.

Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka of
Japan laughs as he answers a question at a news conference in Newport
Beach, California January 31, 2007.

(Reuters Photo)

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