Okie Signs...Matsuzaka Hid Injury
I have two Boston Red Sox matters of interest for you today. You probably saw them in today's Boston papers but the Red Sox have inked left handed reliever Hideki Okajima, the Darkman, to a one year contract worth $2.75 million. There will be no arbitration hearings. Last year, Okie was flat out great, going 6-0 with a ERA of 3.39, fine numbers by anyone's standards. He appeared in a personal high 68 games and was superb in most of them. Go get 'em in 2010, Okie!
Daisuke Matsuzaka was lost for most of the 2009 season with what was then known as a shoulder ailment. What we, Red Sox Nation, did not know was that he hurt himself while getting ready for that accursed World Baseball Classic. Here's part of an interview with a Japanese newspaper that explains just about everything...
"Early on in January 2009, I hurt my right inner thigh. I consider movement around my hip joint a crucial part of my pitching motion. It happened during my exercise to strengthen my hip joint that I incorporated into training since 2008. I may have pushed myself just a little too hard. It wasn't the pain that killed me, but it was the regrets and guilt that filled my mind. It was the time to start building up for the season, but I hurt myself because of my own doing.
I had to make a decision whether this injury was serious enough to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic. But my body was functioning well, and by taking anti-inflammatory medicine I could tolerate the pain. So I continued training, but actually it was even hard just to jog. My plan after the WBC was to heal myself while keeping my turn in rotation. But the condition didn't get better as the season went on."
No, it did not, far, far from it. His entire mechanics were off and he was shut down for most of the season. He's had the whole off season to heal himself and get into the kind of shape that's required for a full season of major league baseball. It looks like he's done it and Daisuke's just about ready for spring training. He'll be the number five starter in the Red Sox super-strong rotation, a rotation six deep. Headed by Beckett, Lester and Lackey, followed by the ever-improving Buchholz and the aforementioned Matsuzaka (Timmy Wakefield will be a spot sixth starter, probably pitching once every ten days), great things could happen with an average or just above average amount of runs scored. The new and improved Boston defense will do its part in denying enemy runs and the bullpen, headed by Bard and Papelbon, will be able to take care of the late innings and nail down games. Now the players and coaches must MAKE it happen. The pinstripers are super strong so the 2010 season will be a battle to gain a playoff spot. I'm pretty sure, barring any devastating injuries (God forbid), that the Red Sox will be in the thick of it in October. Faith. Red Sox Faith. The only kind.
That's a wrap for this soon-to-be warm Friday. Temperatures in the mid-forties will be a real treat here in north central Connecticut. A mini January thaw? Maybe.
Make the most of your Friday, click on this post's title for more on our Sox and as always, BE WELL. I thank you for stopping by once again. You make my day.