Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Major Leaguer Pitching for Salem in Playoffs
As one who's been complaining for many, many years about the way minor league baseball pushes its players around from league to league and team, never considering whether the fans like it or not, we have a new wrinkle for the Salem Red Sox. A major league star will start the first game of Salem's quest for a Carolina League title Wednesday in Winston-Salem.
Is that legal? Is it fair? Just what is it?
I have no idea, but Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the start and one must assume Winston-Salem (the unfortunately re-named "Dash," dropping back from the wonderful "Warthogs" of yore) is royally pissed. The game--which I'd say will be a sellout--starts at 7 p.m. at Wake Forest Baseball Stadium.
"This is a great way to kick off the 2009 post season for the Salem Sox," understated Salem General Manager John Katz, who will be watching his last series in Salem. He's leaving the organization at the end of this season. "It's always exciting to have a major-leaguer on the field, and to have a pitcher the caliber of Daisuke Matsuzaka on the bump in game one is really something special."
The Red Sox pitcher--commonly referred to as something similar to Dice-Kay by Sox fans--was signed in 2006 and has started 69 major league games. He has a 34-20 record with a 4.11 ERA and a fat salary. He is ranked third among major league pitchers in most strikeouts and most wins in his first two years of play. He is 28.
He injured his throwing shoulder earlier this season and had a 1-5 record before being put on the disabled list. He started for Pawtucket (the Sox AAA club) Sunday and, in 67 pitches, allowed four hits and two earned runs in a little over four innings.