Friday, December 29, 2006

The Punman Choketh

AP photo via Boston Globe. Or vice versa.

Ok, so I forgot to mention how I got a first hand scouting report last Saturday on Matsuzaka from a very good source...Bobby Valentine. My wife and I went into his restaurant in downtown Stamford to grab some lunch, and he was sitting there chatting at one of the tables. It was pretty empty, so my wife went up for an autograph for her brother, and I asked his opinion of the Dice-Man, who he's obviously seen quite a lot of.

In short, Bobby V. thinks Matsuzaka will be a very successful starting pitcher in the states. He thinks Dice-K has the talent, and the pitching ability, but also the poise and confidence, and doesn't think he'll have any transition problems in MLB. Definitely thinks the Sox made a wise investment.

As an aside, Bobby V carries these cool 3-D baseball cards of himself as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines for autographs.
When I saw you were writing about Bobby V, I was going to ask "Did he fly away in a spaceship after he talked to you?" And then you mentioned that he consistently works with the "3-D" medium, and that kind of answered my question.

So....I don't know if that's a good thing, since I tend to see Bobby V's thoughts as being the opposite of correct. But in this case, he's seen the guy when most people haven't, so I'll see this as a good thing.

I played against his kid when we played against whatever HS that Stamford school is called (weren't there, like, 3?). Over-rated!

Anyway, thanks for the inside tip. Much appreciated. That's cool that he was nice and talked with you.
Yeah, I guess I should have prefaced my comment with "FWIW", since I realize that a lot of people think that Bobby V. is a little bit whacky, and kinda arrogant and overbearing. And he probably is, at least some of the time. But he was very nice and gracious to my wife and I. Then again, we were spending around 25 bucks or so in his restaurant.

Most importantly, though, I do trust his ability to evaluate baseball talent, and I do believe he was being sincere in his praise for Matsuzaka. FWIW :)

And it was Rippowam High School, which is now a magnet school....they should have renamed it "Bobby V High" for the way he re-set the record book in baseball and football back in the 60's But I thought Bobby's kid went to high school in Texas, back when he was managing the Rangers?
Oh yeah, our stupid coach would always be saying "Rip." I didn't think that was his school, though. And maybe it was the nephew or something. In like '92.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States