Friday, May 25, 2012

The Matsuzaka Mystery Continues

When reading stories about Daisuke Matsuzaka's health, I feel like I'm reading a mystery novel. Is he healthy? Is he in pain? Is he telling the truth about his injuries? He's a soap opera spoken i foreign language. It's very hard to figure out what's happening.

Daisuke was recently placed on the 60 day DL, and his rehabs in AAA Pawtucket were cancelled due to pain in his right trapezius. People were wondering if Matsuzaka would pitch again in 2012.

They got a quick, surprising answer. He'll be pitching for the PawSox against Toledo on Saturday night.

So what is the story with this guy? Is he still feeling pain and lying about it so he can return to the mound? He's told similar stories in the past. And while the desire to pitch is commendable, the lack of honesty is annoying.

I don't think the Red Sox properly understood what they were getting into with Daisuke. They thought they knew how to convert him from throwing 140 pitches once a week to throwing 100 every 5th day. They took a guy whose body was accustomed to one style of training, and instantaneously switched styles.

I think all the throwing Daisuke did in Japan was what kept his arm strong. Without that exercise, his health deteriorated. So then he'd get shut down. Which meant even less exercise. So the health problems would reoccur.

It reminds me of Formula 1 racing cars, actually. An F1 car must go fast to be safe. If it goes too slow, the tires don't heat up, so they don't grip the road, so you crash and die. A Formula 1 car is dangerous when driven slowly. And the less Matsuzaka throws, the weaker he gets. It seems counter-intuitive, until you understand how abnormal of a thing/person you're talking about.

Daisuke needed a heavy workload to maintain sufficient arm strength and health to avoid all these little problems that have nibbled away at his career.

I'm not a doctor though. I have no idea what the Sox should have done with him. But neither did the Sox. They were exploring uncharted waters without a compass, and acted as if they knew what the hell they were doing. They didn't experiment, they didn't test, they didn't research. They just put Daisuke on a 100 pitch count, severely limited his throwing between starts, and called it good medicine.

It hasn't been.

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