Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dice-K vs Okie Dokie by David Lawton

First Nomo had burst on the scene
With his corkscrewed forkball for the Dodgers
Then Ichiro became a star in Seattle
As a high flying five tool leadoff hitter
And suddenly the race was on
To find the next bankable Japanese player

It wasn’t just a search for a difference maker in the playoffs
It was that burgeoning Japanese market
The press coverage and corporate tie-ins

That led to a bidding war for the services
Of the next top-of-the-rotation ace from the Land of the Rising Sun,
Daisuke Matsusaka, shrewdly nicknamed Dice-K

Four teams submitted offers through a posting system
With the Red Sox coming out on top with a 51 million dollar figure
Winning them the right to negotiate a contract on the team’s private jet
With a blowhard agent intent on a shakedown
Which would get them a lot of unnecessarily deep counts, walks,
And an injury from the World Baseball Classic Dice-K hid from the team
Which would squander much of his tenure

But during the same time
The Bosox also brought in another Japanese player
Who had some success as a lefty reliever
With an unorthodox delivery copied from a manga character
Many fans figured he was brought in to be Dice-K’s caddy
To make him feel more at home

When the writers asked him how it felt to go unrecognized
With all the Dice-K hype
Hideki Okajima said:

            I’m willing to be a hero in the dark

Okie Dokie made the All-Star Team that year as a set-up guy
That’s value for the dollar.

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