Sitting This One OutSo it appears as though Matsuzaka will be sitting out the MLB/NPB All Star Series at the start of November. Who didn't see this one coming? I was kind of hoping to see him pitch against the Big Leaguers, but it makes too much sense to skip the thing. It means nothing.
If you think about it for a second, why should he pitch? If he wins and looks great, people will say it's one game against half-hearted Major Leaguers on vacation. If he loses, people start the Irabu chatter. If he gets hurt, he costs himself an enormous payday. As it stands now, he's going to get around $10 million a year over 3 or 4 years. That's not going to change if he pitches, but if anything negative happens, the bidding price may go down.
I'm not in the habit of chasing the latest nonsense about where Matsuzaka is going to end up next year, as it will inevitably take us all on a roller coaster ride over the next 3 weeks or so. You'll get every answer from the Yankees to the Royals at one time or another. It is worth noting that during the ESPN Live Game Chat for the 1st game of the WS, Rob Neyer answered the following question:
Anthony (Japan): Who do you see Matsuzaka going to? The latest reports here are saying he is going to the Mets.
Rob Neyer: (9:13 PM ET ) I would say the Mets are No. 1 candidate, because I suspect they'd love to have a Japanese star of their own. And they can afford him.
Whatever. It may or may not be a good guess, but it is only a guess. I will say this until I pass out from lack of oxygen....No one will know where he's going until the bids are all in. Anyone who says otherwise is lying, or trying to make headlines. See you soon, when I have more news, or another feature cooked up.