Friday, June 3, 2011

Some Thoughts on Dice-K


Everyone by now has heard the news, Dice K is off to the land of Dr. Yocum where he will have the magical Tommy John surgery that could effectively end his time with the Red Sox. For many, myself included this seemed like welcome news. Without a doubt the Dice-K years have been some of the most frustrating, irritating years of my Red Sox life. Here is a guy who came in after a huge transfer fee, and was expected to become our Asian Pedro Martinez. The Red Sox were desperate for a front of the line starter, and after watching Dice tear up in the World Baseball Classic, he seemed like a slam dunk. And he had the mysterious gyroball, a pitch no one in the majors had ever thrown before. How mysterious! And America waited to see if his wife's chest lived up to her nickname "Rockets". They didn't. He came here with a translator, and at first he seemed like he struggled with the bright spot light Boston sports reporters shined on him as he tried to adjust to American culture. Yet on the field his first two seasons here seemed like a dream, he won 15 and 18 games respectively, but his other stats predicted a downward turn. And oh god did that happen. Since he won 18 games in 2006, he has won 16 in the three seasons since. If you look back to the '08 season it was pretty clear that Dice K was the luckiest pitcher in the history of baseball. Every game he seemed to be working out of bases loaded jams, something he hasn't been able to do since.

Every year it has been the same story. Red Sox fans watch Dice and think to themselves "JESUS THAT GUY HAS THE STUFF TO GET EVERYONE OUT, STOP NIT PICKING THE CORNERS AND JUST GO AFTER THE DAMN GUY", but he never would. How many games did he have like 120 pitches by the middle of the 5th inning? Full counts to everyone! And his situation just continued to get worse. Instead of translating his style more to the American way, Dice K's 2010 and '11 seasons were nothing short of a disaster. Injuries basically derailed almost all of 2010. He showed up to Spring Training this year looking out of shape, and came out of the gates pitching like Hideki Irabu. Rumors swirled that Tito was getting fed up of his difficult personality and stubbornness. Fans booed him off the Fenway mound on more than one occasion, which he rightfully deserved, because he was pitching horribly. And just to tease the fans more, he would throw in two starts where he looked absolutely unhittable.

A gigantic waste of money, Dice K leaves the Sox with a hole in their rotation that might be difficult to fill. No matter what Sox fans say, Tim Wakefield is not going to be the answer. He is even more inconsistent than Dice, and his proneness to injuries will happen again soon. Mark my word, Wakefield has another 1-2 month DL stint in his future.. Aceves? Maybe, he has shown flashes of being a solid back end starter, but his last start scared the crap out of me. Andrew Miller? God no, pitchers who can't find the strike zone have no business being in the Majors. What will the Sox do? Whatever it is, Dice K isn't going to be the answer, or our problem anymore.

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