Dice-K at Dawn

Who are the truest baseball junkies out there? The correct answer is those of you who will set your alarm clocks so you can watch Daisuke Matsuzaka face Korea at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday. This World Baseball Classic encounter from Tokyo will be televised on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and yes, MLB.TV.

Under tournament rules, Matsuzaka is permitted to throw 70 pitches in his first-round start.

Those of you who need a Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay fix can check out Team USA vs. Canada at 2 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN. And Big Papi David Ortiz will be representing the Domincan Republic in an 11 a.m. encounter (ESPN 2) against the Netherlands.

Things are much quieter here in Fort Myers, where a home game Spring Training lineup features Josh Reddick, Jeff Bailey, Zach Daeges, Chip Ambres and Ivan Ochoa.

Ace Josh Beckett is nearing the completion of a three-inning outing. Jed Lowrie and Jacoby Ellsbury will make the trip to Port Charlotte tomorrow — “You’ll see those guys on every trip,” quipped Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

With the Marlins in town today, Alex Speier of WEEI.com used the timing element to write a nice blog entry on how close Manny Ramirez came to being a Marlin. Imagine how that could have changed the course of events? Would Manny still have wound up with the Dodgers this year? Would Manny have even approved a trade to the Marlins?

By the way, how utterly perplexing was Manny’s comment at the presser yesterday: “Sometimes you’re better off to have a two-year deal in a place that
you’re going to be happy than have an eight-year deal in a place that
you’re going to, you know, suffer.”

Suffer? Really? Did Manny suffer while winning two World Series? Did he suffer while earning $160 million in Red Sox dollars? Did he suffer while getting the trophy as World Series MVP in 2004? Did he suffer as fans adored him unconditionally for eight years, many of them who would write e-mails to every sportswriter who had the audacity to dare criticize Manny for one of his indiscretions? Did he suffer while teaming with David Ortiz to form one of the most dynamic 3-4 punches of this generation?

Suffer?!? If Manny ever plays at Fenway again, he will probably be greeted with the loudest round of boos in Red Sox history.

I will say one thing though. I did not “suffer” covering Manny during his time in Boston. He is the best pure hitter I’ve ever seen, and was always amusing to observe and, even when he allowed, to interact with.

51 Comments

My sentiments EXACTLY Ian! I just posted a blog letting our least favorite left-fielder know what I think of him! Suffer indeed! Good riddance to him!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Wow!! I bet BosoxBrian!! He must be bogged down at the place where he shows up and gets paid!!
DAVE DAVE DAVE!!!! I have been very worried about you, and lost your email address when I had a mis=hap with the computer!! Glad that youre still here!!!!

REPEAT FROM PRIOR THREAD
Comforting to see a reading of “glee” is unjustified. At least from everyone except Arnie so far. If sensitive means I won’t always take the barbs lying down it fits. Otherwise, some level of precocious is expected!

Andy,
Your mention of Carter sufficing “until another big bat comes along” mislead me. Carter to me would make an excellent replacement for Ortiz when one is needed. I hope that won’t be the case for a long time. Otherwise Carter’s glove is hard to hide when you have defensive corners like Lowell and Youkilis.

I’ve got to confess I lied when I said I would not watch the WBC on another blog. I could not resist a peek at Yu Darvish in the first game at 4:30 AM yesterday. No, I did not wake up for it. Just used a DVR and I might save it for a while!

So how was it??

Zazu has been mentioned on here several times…Everyone knows my opinion about him.

Ellen,

You did beat me. I guess I should have stayed inside for lunch as opposed too going outside. High’s in the 70′s and no clouds! I love it! Tough too come inside.

The Marlins making the trip from Viera, not exaclty a fun trip too make. Viera too Fort Meyers, would take how long?

I had one reaction to Zazu and his press conference (after I yawned): the Red Sox FO will GLADLY take back those two WS rings and MVP award if they made you “suffer” so much. Oh, you want to keep them, after all? Then SHUT the piehole!

Listening to Zazu refer to his two-year deal (in contrast to a long-term deal which he supposedly wanted!) sounded exactly like sour grapes: you don’t want what you can’t have!

Kramer, I think Arnie doesn’t have to defend himself. He was voicing a note of caution that we not get carried away while having fun at the Yankees’ expense. I thought he spoke for himself just fine. I hope you do, also!

Ellen,

I think we have a new leadoff hitter on here…..Her name is Julia. She is quick with the fingers. Things that make me hmmmmmmmmm. LOL!

I’m glad I can make you hmmmmmmmmmmmm BosoxBrian!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Julia…

If I can’t leadoff, I do the team no good! I guess I could answer the phone in the bullpen, if and when it rings.

Okay – so did I break protocol? I’m new to this and King Gregory I didn’t give me the rules! Mea Culpa.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

hey all…..im gonna be an infrequent blogger as the season for building has started but ill try…..the saddest thing about zazu is hearing the chants from kids of manny,manny,manny….gone…..sufffer huh….what kind of a feeling would any normal person have to just once in your life have someone truly chant your name in love and admiration…..suffer….now we have to try and explain to our kids why manny suffered and why their beloved manny is no more…..im going with the bright side of it….a life lesson for an athletic kid….no matter what u never quit on your teamies or co workers…..u should have enough pride in yourself to do the best you can ……as for me….ive chanted his name as an adult many times and not ashamed to say it…he brought me many joys….the biggest joy came though when he was traded….i was brought up to plAy sports with all u have and nothing less….suffer?……i would love to have an ounce of his talent and suffer just one inning in fenway with a crowd chanting my name…..good bye manny…and good riddance…..thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach my son a very valuable life lesson…not to be like you!!!!!!……..judge

Julia..

No rules here. I need too step it up here. I need too put down my vodka and cranberry and focus! LOL!!

Hey Bri, If you have a v and c, I want your job!!! Grey Goose or Absolute-ly??

BTW I see we need to assess the fine to Ian for swearing on the blog. Another date with Roseann!!! Ian, I’m beginning to think you like her!

oh yeah one other comment….i wonder how long it will take for the stankees to try and deal for beltre…..imagine if the aging jeter goes down,posada is wearing down,matsui also, and all that money spent on 2 pitchers who im thinkin wont win 25 games combined….im sure glad im not a yank fan lol…..judge

Ellen,

You wouldn’t want my job. Living in a van down by the river is rough! Your glitzy lifestyle of Miami is the way you want too go! lol. It’s relaxed Friday at work, so that means drink up!

Ellen, make sure you have the paparazzi around on special assignment when Ian has that date with Roseanne. They likely will have to break in with special news coverage (“News”, ahem!) of that date…heck, they might even take a siesta from covering Zazu when that happens!! ;)
Julia, you will find as “King” around here, that I have about as much leverage as the Court Jester! ;)

The comment he made about Boston is just one of those things that probably floats into his head. Maybe akin to something like “choke artists” lol. At any rate, he also said when he first signed last season with the Dodgers that he loves Boston fans and they were the best to him.

It’s just one of those things.

Drats – does that mean I have to put my Manhattan down? It’s Friday!

greg1969 – it is noted. greg1969=court jester. Do you have the pointy shoes?

Ellen – notice – I said Drats! Don’t want a date with Lugo. My throwing is a little rusty.

On a happier note – zazu is getting beat up quite nicely on my blog. There appears to be very little love for him! So sad…okay….NOT!

Julia
http://www.santoro-law.com/Brownie

Kramer, you need to get your facts straight. Never did I express any glee, joy, happiness, elation or ecstasy over Arod’s injury. I merely made the dispassionate observation that he has brought bad karma to the Yankees. For that no apology is necessary, nor will one be forthcoming. In fact, it was me who expressed sympathy for YOU over the mild abuse you put up with here. Some thanks I get!!

DAVE!!! Good to have you back!

Zazu suffering with Boston! Give me a break!!! I swear, sometimes I think the infield grass at Fenway is smarter than Zazu. The Pesky Pole has more inherent intelligence than Zazu.

Ewwwww, I wouldnt live in Miami if you paid me… Well maybe if it was good pay… I’m in Fort Lauderdale, THe Venice of America!! lol

Greg, in order for us to see it properly we will have to have a WIIIIDDE SCREEN TV!! LOL

Arnie,
I guess I read something in “we disrespect the Yankees” that you did not mean. Sorry there!

Ellen,
I watched the first three innings to see the first at bat of the Chinese catcher who is a Yankee prospect. He looked pretty lame! But Darvish looked pretty good. We’ll surely see him set a new “posting” record whenever he hits the market!

Kramer, no problem. I just wanted to set the record straight.

Ellen, as long as you are not getting paid in Miami w/ the Dolphins!! ;)
I think Ian needs to get the memo re-sent that “Zazu” is the appropriate name for Mr. Shall-Remain-Nameless! I think Phil’s drawing of his Zazu might help Ian with this reference!!
Interesting to have an Asian player named Darvish (sounds pretty American!) What’s his nickname? “Whirling Darvish”? Hmmm…

Arnie,
That makes me feel better. I know you said “no offense to me” and I appreciate that. Thanks.

Greg,
FYI the A-Rod as a “curse” was already floated last year on another blog. In fact I believe I’ve mentioned it twice here. The last time it was about something Ian said on the “roid” issue!!!

I’m not surprised, Kramer, all the more, I did not suspect you would take any offense to it whatsoever! It is strange to me that A-Rod has only seemed to make things worse for the Yankees, not better–and then the FO signs him to an EXTENSION! At the very least, I call that “gluttons for punishment”! :/

King Gringorio – gnarly dude! Hang 10! We gots sum rum down by the bonfire!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I see from the game that Oki Doki got knocked around a little. I hope he rebounds, or we’re likely to see more of the 08 Oki than the 07 version. :/

Okie last year made me really nervous every time he came into the game. Didn’t he say something about having trouble pitching when men were on base? Not a good thing!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Ellen,
I apologize, I hope you will forgive me for saying that you lived in Miami. Fort Lauderdale ( Also known as Fort Liquordale ) Very nice area. Los Olas is my kind of place, bars and more bars! lol. At least you have a nightlife in Broward County, unlike the West Coast of Florida. Always something brewing in your neck of the woods.

Greg The King…

I wouldn’t go on Oki’s performance today. I hope that marathon he ran in Hawaii doesn’t catch up too him. LOL!!Theo and the Red Sox weren’t too happy about when he decided too run 26.2 miles. I can’t run 26.2 yards, never mind 26.2 miles.

A-Rod curse….I think I have heard it all. What’s next? Hmmmmmmmm.

Brian, I’m not going to go on Oki’s performance today, alone, but it is something I am keeping an eye on throughout ST and into the regular season. We’ll see…

Brian, Funny that you mention Las Olas… Thats where I work. Very nice area. As for the night life, its pretty pricey to go out over here. I used to go out EVERY night when I was single and younger (about a HUNDRED years ago, least thats how it feels) but now to go out here you have to take out a loan… Pretty Pricey!!!
Okajima got the W today, thanks the the bats!!! He makes me nervous too.. But I think that this will be a better year for the pen… Hopefully the starters will be giving deep 6 plus inning starts… and the bats will keep us out in fornt alot.

the the = to the

Ellen,

Los Olas is very nice. I lived in Fort Lauderdale for about a year. Good nightlife. So much congestion in and around Broward County. Traffic galore. I love the beaches on the east coast of Florida. West coast beaches are o.k.

Oki has proven himself in the last 2 years. If he slips up in Spring Training, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. He has been a realiable arm in the Sox pen the last 2 years. As long as he doesn’t pitch in Baltimore, he seemed too get killed there last year. He had a very good second-half of the season in 2008. I am expecting Oki too be solid this year!

Brian, do not misunderstand. I like Oki Doki A LOT! I really liked him in 07, especially. He was MONEY! Even when he gave up HRs, including in the WS 07, he would shut down the opponent thereafter. His stats, if CRS has not hit me again, were similar in 08 to 07. He did have continued problems in 08 with inherited runners–he was prone to giving up HRs and XBHs with runners on, more so than in 07. I simply am hoping he does not repeat that this year. But I remember how steady Oki was in 07, and I want him to repeat that, including if he inherits runners! GO SOX!

Arnie, you certainly are right, the grass at Fenway certainly has WAY more smarts than Zazu! We do have one smart pole, though, to be associated with Johnny Pesky!!

Note to Ian: Waking up in 08 to watch the Opening game of the season from Japan, YES… Waking up at **5 am on a Saturday** to watch Dice-K whip up on Korea??? A DEFINITE NOT!!!!!

Nice piece on Dave Roberts on Chris Haft’s SF Giants blog. Check it out.

Okay – I’m up at 5am watching Dice-K pitch why? I need a life! lol! I’ll check out the Dave Roberts piece.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I got up this early to see Dice-K give up a 2 run homer in the first?? Greg – it is a great piece on Dave Roberts! Let’s bring him back!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Well I was here and awake too, but my computer wasnt… (said in slow motion voice) It was REALLY REALLY SLOWWW. I had to restart 2 times. I just cant get interested in too much in the WBC. They took baseball and softball out of the Olympics and this is the answer from Bud Selig. Its played at the wrong time of the year, even though I think Spring Training is too long, this is the time to be working out the kinks with your team. I know that it is an honor and all but the need to work out another time when it can be played. Just my li’l ol’ humble opinion.

moanin all….nice job on brownies brigade buddy……i have one major problem with it though….ive just notic`ed that ellen is my ex wife by the picture she posted…..lawdy help me lol……have a wonderful day all im off to work…..go soxxxxxxxxxxx……judge

one more lil quib on zazu and his myriad of misguided comments….when he said ” i couldnt control it”, talking about the checks getting signed and his contract not being kicked in by the sox…..he must know that it was bornazz telling him he could get much more as a free agent….what he should really understand is that even if he doesnt like the people issuing the checks(who compiled a team after 80 yrs of losing WS ) arent the owners…..no matter what anyone thinks…..we…yes we…..sign the plrs checks everytime we purchase a ticket,hat,shirt or fenway frank….so zazu u big pile of donkey dung…..the ppl who chanted your name ….also signed your checks……judge

ellen….i agree with u on the timing of the wbc….it should be pld durung the winter in warm climates or indoor parks…i say we vote ellen in as director of operations for wbc…..judge

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a good time to play the WBC at all. If it is played during the winter, you are subtracting time from when our players (if no one else!) are working on rehab, trades, contract negotiations, etc.. The workload in the winter can be just as hazardous in the winter as it is in the spring (if not more!), because they are, in effect, playing the equivalent of 1-2 playoff series, when they would otherwise be concentrating on getting rest before resuming their off-season regimen. (Not unlike the way our trip to Japan got us off to a slow start!) I wish it were more a forum for up-and-coming prospects and future draft hopefuls, like the Futures All-Star Game–kind of like the way the Olympics were SUPPOSED to be for amateurs! (That is, IF they are going to do so at all!) Hmmm…

NEW THREAD

Ian,
I was one of those fans who wrote to a sports writer for the Miami Herald when they said that Manny was “lazy”. I gave him a piece of my mind. His comment really hurt me though, I don’t think I’ll ever defend him like that again. He is really ungrateful for the years that Boston gave him. I’m loving the young guys in Spring Training!
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

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