I arrived in Boston late this morning and was instantly met by Dice-K Mania. For the non-baseball fan, Dice-K is the nickname of the overwhelmingly talented newest Boston Red Sox pitcher -- Daisuke Matsuzaka -- who today made his major league debut.
No, the Boston Globe did not splash Dice-K all over the headlines. However, the regional sports network NESN was rolling the Dice-K anyway it could. Interestingly, one of the network's announcers, who was in Kansas City, tried his best to downplay what was taking place. But no matter how hard he tried, it was still... Dice-K this, Dice-K that, Dice-K, Dice-K, Dice-K.
No, don't misunderstand me, I love baseball. And I watched Matsuzaka destroy some of the world's best hitters during the 2007 World Baseball Championship. I actually thought it was cool to be here today and to have the chance to watch a mid-afternoon baseball game, and, yes to see him pitch. (One of my unfulfilled wishes in life was to have been a major league pitcher -- when I have the chance to see the great ones, I relish the chance.) But let's also remember that he is 28 years old and established himself in Japan as the best pitcher in his home country. Did anyone doubt that he would do well today? (For the record, 7 innings pitched...10 strikeouts...and a win.)
I have discussed in other postings my periodic disgust with the talking heads and the pontification that takes place on sports talk radio and cable sports television. Sadly today NESN went over the top. Yes, I know, Red Sox Nation won't appreciate reading this.
Perhaps they will like to read this -- NESN's broadcast is really strong. Solid announcing. Strong analysis. Wish I could see more.