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Boston's bid is the talk of Japan

Originally Published: November 15, 2006
By Jim Allen | Special to ESPN.com

TOKYO -- This went well beyond a sports story.

The news that a major league team would pay $51.1 million to acquire the negotiating rights to a Japanese player shook the nation on Wednesday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, his team and the Japanese public at large were stunned by the fee put up by the Boston Red Sox to talk to the 26-year-old Seibu Lions ace.

"When I heard the figure, I couldn't believe it," Matsuzaka told reporters at Narita Airport before boarding a flight bound for Los Angeles. ...

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