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Matsuzaka, Igawa, Japan updates
2006-11-28 20:35
by Bob Timmermann

The Yankees won the negotiating rights for Hanshin Tigers pitcher Kei Igawa with a bid of $26,000,194.

The Red Sox were told that they cannot reduce their $51.1 million bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka in order to sign him even if the Seibu Lions think it's OK. Maury Brown had speculated on what sort of creative accounting the Red Sox had in mind. Meanwhile, a U.S. State Department official described Matsuzaka as possibly "the best pitcher in the world."

The Japan Series champion Nippon Ham Fighters are planning to sign former Diamondback infielder Andy Green. It is doubtful that Green will make up the offensive slack caused by the departure of first baseman Michihiro "Guts" Ogasawara to the Yomiuri Giants.

2006-11-28 21:32:30
1.   das411
$...194? Hmm we can only speculate as to how they came up with that number...
2006-11-28 21:48:44
2.   Cliff Corcoran
It was his strikeout total from 2006.
2006-11-28 21:57:24
3.   Bob Timmermann
In yen, by today's exchange rate, it comes out to 3,011,212,531.59
2006-11-28 22:34:24
4.   Cliff Corcoran
3 That must be his phone number.
2006-11-28 22:46:44
5.   EricGagnesGoggles
I saw Ogasawara in the WBC. I was very impressed by his last name. And I'm too lazy to look up any stats but I'm pretty sure he hit a few home runs. Maybe not...
2006-11-28 22:52:28
6.   Bob Timmermann
Ogasawara was 6 for 26 in the WBC with no home runs.

He did lead the Pacific League in home runs. Ogasawara's nickname is "Guts".

2006-11-28 22:58:19
7.   Voxter
Whatever the final total of the Red Sox / Matzusaka thing ends up being, I have only one thing to say about the Yankees blowing that much in Igawa:


2006-11-29 05:25:57
8.   jakewoods
If a US State Dept official says hes the best, than thats all I need!

Hes the greatest since Koufax!

2006-11-29 06:15:26
9.   Chyll Will
8 Even better than Mark The Bird and the Mad Hungarian? Better than Fernandomania???
2006-11-29 06:16:29
10.   Chyll Will
or... dare I say it... Bugs Bunny???
2006-11-29 07:03:10
11.   monkeyball
I think it's a good move by the Yankees not so much because Igawa is such a gem, but because it keeps them on the back pages in Japan. Boston's winning bid in the Matsuzaka sweepstakes was probably an eyeopener for players and gms in Japan. The Yankees want to maintain their image as the top dollar player in the Japanese transfer market.
2006-11-29 07:46:37
12.   Chyll Will
11 I doubt the Yankees need to stoop to conquer at this point, considering that their brand is already associated with the top-branded team in Japan and they have one of the top Japanese players of all time starring already. The bidding for Matsuzaka figures to be of the greatest interest because of the money involved and the precedent it could possibly establish if the deal is consummated (as well as the backlash it will create if not), but it could have just as easily been the Dodgers or White Sox who put in such a bid and the opinion is hardly going to change, whether he lives up to the top billing or not.

Nobody was scared of the Yankees when Irabu bombed in pinstripes, and even Matsuzaka said before the bidding that he preferred the Yanks. What matters most, I suspect, is which team will win or provide the best chance to win most consistently.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to have the back pages on the prevailing front for a little while, so I agree with you that much.

2006-11-29 11:23:13
13.   scareduck
Of course, U.S. government intelligence also gave us those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I wouldn't take any of this too seriously until he's pitching in Fenway.
2006-11-29 13:39:47
14.   Deanna
This really is going to just add to the "nobody cares about teams besides Yomiuri, Hanshin, Yankees, and Red Sox" fire, though. I was thinking that next year the MLB coverage on Japanese TV would basically end up being YANKS SOX YANKS SOX YANKS SOX (devil rays) YANKS SOX YANKS SOX YANKS SOX YANKS SOX YANKS (mariners) SOX YANKS SOX YANKS SOX etc... hmm, I suppose it won't be that different from ESPN.

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