Will Dice-K make difference?
- As the Boston Red Sox get set for their weekend series against Tampa Bay, embattled starter Daisuke Matsuzaka gets prepared for a return to the Red Sox rotation.
Under any normal circumstances, the answer would be simple: bench him.
But these are not normal circumstances.
The dream of sending Daisuke to the pine, alive and kickin' since his horrifying yet successful 2008, is D.O.A. due to the size of his contract. Players who earn as much as Dice does will always get their playing time. That's just the way it is. The team has invested so much in him that they have to give him every opportunity to succeed.
2009 could have been the season where Walksuzaka stopped giving Boston fans coronaries - the additional rotation options could have pushed the free pass machine out the door.
Dice completed his rehab last night for Salem in A-ball, throwing 6.2 innings, with seven innings against just one walk in 89 pitches. He could return on the 15th, when the Sox open their series against the California Angles in Boston.
Here's to Dice-K "bringing it" like he did in '07, his best while tenured with the Sox. A league average starter would do wonders for the beleagured pitching staff.
Beckett-Lester-Wakefield-Buchholz-VINTAGE Dice through September? Quite the setup. Texas should be shaking in their boots.
Is that too harsh? Probably. There's some real potential here for a wonderful three weeks. But once you get past Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, it's a big bunch of question marks (and that's without considering the 14 home runs that Beckett's given up in his last six starts).
We've essentially handed the wild card to the Red Sox, and they probably are better than the Rangers. Their track record is certainly better, and they've got a better run differential while playing in the game's toughest division. Still ... maybe it's just because I live in the Pacific time zone, but I seem to have heard a lot more about the Rockies and the Giants than about the Red Sox and the Rangers.
Well, don't look now but the Rockies are four games ahead of the Giants while the Red Sox are only two games ahead of the Rangers. The shame is that while the Rockies and the Giants play each other (and the Dodgers) later this month, the Rangers and Red Sox won't face off again until 2010.