GETTIN’ NICE WITH DICE
On the heels of rehab appearances by Mark Kotsay and Rocco Baldelli, Daisuke Matsuzaka made his McCoy Stadium debut on Tuesday night. The Japanese righthander who finished 4th in the American League Cy Young voting in 2008 worked 2 and 2 thirds innings before reaching his limit of 47 pitches. Dice struck out 5 batters, allowed 2 hits and 0 runs. Matsuzaka’s most impressive accomplishment was retiring 3 straight batters after he loaded the bases with no outs. Matsuzaka is recovering from arm fatigue, after throwing 249 pitches in 3 World Baseball Classic games. Dice-K was named MVP of the tournament. Well and good, but that’s not why the Red Sox shelled out more than 100 million bucks to obtain his services. When the WBC rolls around again in 2013, I think the Red Sox are going to think twice before letting any of their players take part. Besides Dice’s issues, both Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis left the tourney early after sustaining injuries. After going 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA with Boston last season, the righty almost seems to be an afterthought when fans talk about the Red Sox and their keys to success. When he returns to the rotation, will Justin Masterson return to the bullpen or will Brad Penny be lifted? Is Hunter Jones the likely candidate to come to Pawtucket? Matsuzaka is expected to make at least another start for the PawSox.
Both Dan and I were thrilled to learn that former PawSox standout Bobby Scales made his Major League debut on Tuesday with the Cubs. The long time minor leaguer had a base hit for Chicago, going 1-4. One of my favorite memories as a PawSox broadcaster was the day Bobby took us on a tour of his alma mater, the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. We had some time during a trip to Toledo so we rented a car and made the trek. We visited the “Big House”, I bought a Michigan sweatshirt and we dined at a well-known Wolverine “greasy spoon”. Perseverance, dedication and being a great guy sometimes pays off
As I watched the Red Sox Yankees game on Monday night, it was stunning to me to see all the empty seats at the new Yankee Stadium. Even with the Evil Empire reducing the prices from $2500 to $1250, there are tons of “no-shows”. The House that George Built, is, so far, a bust. PawSox manager Ron Johnson likes to say- “A pig gets fat, a hog gets slaughtered.”