Fort Myers, Florida
Daisuke Matsuzaka was the most heralded off season acquisition between the 2006 and 2007 seasons.. The Red Sox hoped it would help lead them to another World series title.. Well, it did.. Now he's back and you can expect even more in 2008.
Dice K Mania hit Boston a year ago.. it continues this spring, but not at the level it was a year ago...Settling into his 2nd season as a Red Sox pitcher Dice K is looking to step up his production in year two. Especially considering Curt Schilling could be out for the entire season.
" Of course I'm not satisfied with my results for last season. ", Dice K said through an interpreter . "As you say Schill's absence is a big negative for our team. Those things considered I just want to do my best to outperform last year. "
His 32 starts lead the Red Sox last year.. 204 innings pitched with 201 strikeouts.. and 15 and 12 win/loss season.. far below his standards as a Seibu lion in Japan.. But overall ..Not too bad for first season in the United States and only twice in his pro career had he surpassed the 204 innings pitched.
"There are many points I want to make improvements on but I'd say some of the most important would be command of all my pitches and also reduce the number of losses."
The off season.. A much needed break .
"I felt I was able to rest well during the off season. I feel like I'm in very good condition going into practices for the games. "
H also showed his sense of humor after a long reporter question... about a more normal spring than last year.. He got to the answer quickly.
But Dice, K, no matter how you cut is at the center of attention.. if not with the Boston media, his homeland media.. a scaled down version of the Japanese media that was here a year ago.. but still pretty significant. It does take it's toll.
" Being watched all the time is a source of stress. So knowing the pairs of eyes that are on me all the time has been reduced, I'm a lot more comfortable. I basically don't like being watched in practice that much either. "
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