With yesterdays "dueling press conferences", it is clear that the negotiations between Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Boston Red Sox will come down to the wire. While I think we all can agree that Scott Boras is a pompous jerk, the fact remains that he's not completely in the wrong with regards to how he is handling this situation.
Lets look at the facts:
Matsuzaka was dominant in the World Baseball Classic with a 3-0 record, 1.38 ERA, and nearly 9 strikeouts per 9 innings against the best the world had to offer.
The Boston Red Sox obviously were interested in him more than any other available starter this off season as they bid $51 million, which dwarfed any competing bids by as much as 40%, while at the same time remained virtually unmentioned in any rumors surrounding any other starting pitcher for the entire off season. After they won the bid, Theo Epstein had this to say:
"Clearly we believe Mr. Matsuzaka is a real talent," Epstein said. "We're
excited to move on to the next step of the process."
Well here you are Theo. I find it difficult for the Red Sox to argue with Scott Boras when Boras is asking for as much money as he is asking for. Gil Meche just signed with the Kansas City Royals for $11 million per year, 5 year deal. How can the Red Sox claim that Meche is worth more than Matsuzaka? They have acted as if they view him as the 2nd coming of Roger Clemens, which makes it extremely difficult to argue that he shouldn't be paid as a top pitcher.
They've put Matsuzaka on a pedestal throughout this entire process, but now they're going to try to knock him down a couple rungs of the ladder in order to get a contract that suits them?
This is another opportunity for the Red Sox to deliver a mega-talent to its fans, and to the card carrying members of Red Sox Nation. Make it happen Theo.