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Dr. Matsuzaka: Fatness Doesn't Make You a Bad Pitcher

     I was reading Ian Browne's Red Sox Spring Training preview this morning and came across this little tidbit of information:

Matsuzaka2     "Matsuzaka quickly fell out of favor with the Red Sox when he wasn't in good enough shape to pitch effectively. "

  

     [Right: Fat Daisuke cries as his flub prevents him from getting hitters out and gets booed off the field at Fenway, apparently.]

    

     Now, I kind of like Ian. He writes fair entries. Not often enough, in my opinion, but he's a good writer and a good reporter. But I have spent all winter watching him write articles about whether or not John Lackey is on par with Beckett and Lester (laughable) and whether he should get the Opening Day nod, or about how much we're going to miss Jason Bay, or our offense is 'questionable' (Article link).

     You're wrong Mr. Browne. Just wrong. Beckett will be pitching Opening Night, we're not going to miss Bay that much, and the Mets will regret that signing in three years like they did with Pedro.

     Anyways, this Dice-K thing really irked me. First of all, let's use common sense. How much do you think being out of shape matters? A little? Some? Let's ask David Wells, Curt Schilling, and every pitcher before WWII. Bob Feller wasn't jacked. Cy Young was shaped like a pear.

Tubbs
 
     [Left: Tubbs gets rocked by Atlanta's Gary Sheffield.]


    Do I think Daisuke wasn't ready for the regular season? Absolutely. Out of his usual shape? Yup. But I don't believe that contributed as much to his 8.23 ERA before he stepped back as did his injury.

     Yup, Daisuke has already admitted to injuring his hip and not telling Sox brass - "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." Apparently the guy didn't even tell his wife.

     From what I can gather, he hurt his hip before the WBC, and that caused his inneffectiveness, also probably hurt his workout regimen and contributed to his out-of-shape-ness.

     Now, this information is not new. In fact, the article I am referenceing here was published over a month ago, and there were whispers about this kind of thing before that. So I find it hilariously wrong that Browne and people of a similar mindset still consider his ineffectiveness to be due to a little chub.

   

      Ripped dice
[Above: New, ripped Dice-K dominates the Halos thanks to his suave-ity.]

      

      In fact, towards cretens like Browne, Daiskue said in this interview:

     "I think I got through to [the team] that shoulder strength and pitching stamina are two different things. They have generously agreed that I can have long bullpen sessions as long as I can pass the measurement for shoulder strength. The reason I was able to come back strong after my second DL stint was because my thigh was healed AND I was able train with the long bullpen session. It was not because I lost weight (laughs), if by losing weight you become a better pitcher, I’d lose much more. It is not that simple."

     See that, Ian? Even Dice-K is laughing at you.

     I actually have a lot of respect for Browne as a professional, but, seriously, just try to use your head a little, folks.

     Thanks for coming out,

    -Matt

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