Yankees are in the HouseSo I took the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) home from Tokyo today, and found some fresh newsprint waiting upon my arrival at the home station. The Sanspo News is a popular sports tabloid that comes out daily. Today's afternoon edition features a large picture of Daisuke Matsuzaka, and the headline "Yankees Team Explicitly States, 'We'll Pursue Matsuzaka'". That's the paper on my tatami.
The gist of the article is that the Yankees are having internal discussions about the money they want to spend on this venture. There's some internal conflict about whether they're going to break the bank. The paper seems to hedge it's sexy headline near the end of the article by saying that the Yankees are considering the bid to be below $20 million, and that may not be enough. The article also has a firsthand comment from Matsuzaka that he wants the Yankees. It's the first time the Yanks have expressed open interest in Daisuke, and to my knowledge, the first time Matsuzaka has openly admitted that he wants the Yankees as his "honmei", which means preference or favorite. The notion, however, that the bidding can be won at less than $20 million is a surefire way to see Daisuke as a Met next season. They will outbid the Yankees if this is at all true.
The other news beyond the withdrawl of the Mariners is the apparent withdrawl of the Orioles, Angels, Padres, and Dodgers from the bidding. More teams may follow. If I were a betting man, I'd say the real competition is now a competition for the back pages of the New York tabloids. Will the Mets steal Matsuzaka from under the Yankees nose, and claim the crown of most aggressive and pertinent team in New York, or will the Yankees teach their little brothers in Queens a lesson in who's the boss? I might be leaning Mets at this point, but I hope I'm wrong.
We'll know soon enough, won't we?