Welcome to AmericaMatsuzaka is official. Red Sox Nation rejoice!!
For those of you that have been coming to Matsuzaka Watch for a long time, and for those just checking in, I'd like to share my feelings with you about the addition of Daisuke to the Red Sox roster for the forseeable future. I'm not going to get into my feelings about his performance. You can read about how highly I think of him in my various pieces of writing here. I want to write about some feelings I have as a person.
I'm a Yankees fan. For some people in Red Sox Nation, that means there's a license to go around the internet trolling and generally casting dispersions about my mental health, personal character, and intellect. So be it. I live in Japan and I love the respect that people have for one another, that seems to be sadly absent from US culture at the moment. I'm a big boy, and I can take it. On the other hand, there are a lot of intelligent, well-mannered, and decent fans in Red Sox Nation that have exchanged ideas and thoughts on Japanese baseball, Matsuzaka, and the Yanks/Sox rivalry. I enjoy those conversations. Thank you for raising the rivalry out of the gutter for a minute.
As a Yankee fan, and an absolute Daisuke fanatic, I've walked a very tough road personally over this turn of events. I think it's great that American fans will get to see the real top flight talent that exists among the Japanese pitching ranks, and maybe put to rest the Irabu comparisons for good. I also think it's a wonderful thing that the bridge between two cultures that understand so very little about one another will be extended to another American city. I hope people in New England will learn something about Japan. What you think you know about this mysterious country is probably not 100% accurate. I'd like to continue to bring you some pieces of writing about Japan via Baseball Japan, my comprehensive blog on the whole of the game over here. I will be working more and more on content over there, and I hope you drop by.
As much as I wish it was Brian Cashman putting a Yankee hat on Daisuke, I was extremely proud as an American to observe the first class treatment that the Red Sox organization has given to Matsuzaka. If anyone from the organization happens to read this blog, I want to thank you personally as an American living abroad in Japan. I work very hard to be a good ambassador to my country every day I'm here, and the work you've done to make Matsuzaka feel welcome hasn't been lost on the Japanese people. The smile on Daisuke's face told a million stories, and I think you've probably won a lot of fans through your show of courtesy.
I'm in the difficult position of wanting Matsuzaka to win every start he makes, but not at the expense of the Yankees winning the division. That won't win me any fans here, but I promise to keep writing as objectively as I can. I am too big a fan of this player to let any team allegiance spoil it for me. I've spent too many hours and days working on this blog to piss it all away on pettiness. If you will accept me as a mouthpiece for the great chronicle of Daisuke Matsuzaka in America, I promise that I will never treat the Red Sox with disrespect here, and I will always do my best to present as unbiased an account of things as is humanly possible. I believe in that very much.
Last word today. Please extend Daisuke the courtesy of a little wiggle room should he struggle to start the season. For all I know, he'll come out guns blazing, but there is a very real cultural adjustment between the East and the West, and the transition between Japan and the US, and vice versa, is a trying and confusing one. We are the same in some fundamental ways, but in most respects we are almost opposites culturally. Thanks for reading. Go Daisuke!! Give 'em hell.