Well, those guys at the WWL are finally catching up to me. After all, it was six weeks ago (3/24/08) when I wrote A closer look at the next Dice-K. Jim Caple has the honors here, and besides a requisite anti-Yanks quip or two, the expose is quite interesting.
Most observers feel he either is already as good as Matsuzaka or soon will be. "I think his numbers in Japan are going to be equally as phenomenal as he continues to move on, barring injury, as Dice-K's were in Japan," [former manager and current Royals manager Trey] Hillman says. "He's got a different type of frame. Dice-K's got a more powerful frame, but Darvish has looser levers and a taller frame with more whip, and I think that gives him an opportunity to have more powerful and more electric secondary pitches as well as a fastball."
Most everyone says if Darvish is posted, the bidding will easily top the $50 million the Seibu Lions received in exchange for the rights to Dice-K. After that, [Oakland Athletics scout Randy] Johnson says, "The sky is the limit as to where the big-money teams would go." Given the usual escalation in baseball contracts, it isn't crazy to think the negotiating fee could go to $75 million.
And is there any team for which [his father] Farsad would like Yu to pitch? "I love the New York and Boston area. If he ever makes it there, I don't know, it's up to him, anywhere in the States is good, but I personally love New England."
Theo Epstein, Brian Cashman: Consider that your wakeup call.