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In The Globalism Major League Baseball Opener, Dice-K Pitches O-K (Sort of)
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March 26, 2008, 07:32 PM
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To the huge disappointment of Japanese fans and the Beantowners who paid $5,000 for a VIP package to fly to Tokyo, the Oakland Athletics bounced back this morning to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-1 in the second game of the two-game Globalism Opening Day Series.

This is sweet revenge for the A’s whose brass is irked that its second home game of the season, April 2nd against the same Red Sox, was moved from a night game to a day game at the request of the insufferable Sox players.The Red Sox claim it needs the extra travel time to readjust to eastern daylight time. But this is more nonsense from the pampered players since after returning home, the team has a full day off before playing a night game—essentially forty-eight hours—to rest up.

The switch from a night start to day eliminated a television date from the cash-poor A’s and angered the many local fans that bought tickets. But who in the �Red Sox Nation� would care about that?

Carping about travel is one more reason to laugh at the players. To hear them tell it, the experience is like taking a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Miami with a plane change in Houston instead of the charter airline comfort it really is. Someone packs their bags, the airport bus is waiting for them at their luxury hotel, the food is first class, etc.

Although Daisuke Matsuzaka was the focus of all the fan and media attention, what his start yesterday proved is that he can’t get much past the fifth inning even with a considerable hometown advantage.

In fact, Dice-K was out-pitched by both A’s starters, the comparatively obscure Joe Blanton and Rich Harden.

The truth about Dice-K is hard for many Sox fans—both here and in Japan— to come to grips with.

Here it is from ESPN announcer and Hall of Fame great Joe Morgan.

Last year, while I was listening to the World Series, Morgan in a moment of unusual candor said this about Matsuzaka:

�He’s not as good as the Red Sox thought he was.�
Matsuzaka isn’t responsible for the media frenzy that continues unabated despite his mediocre pitching. But it would be refreshing if sports reporters could tone down their enthusiasm to face the facts about Matsuzaka—he’s just another run-of-the-mill pitcher.