|Dice-K has been thinking deep thoughts. (US Presswire)|
Say what you will about Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, but he's not short on self-awareness.
"I believe it's exactly that. I really haven't done much over the past three years. I'm really disappointed in myself that I wasn't able to do much to contribute to the team."
Matsuzaka goes on to say ...
"From the very beginning, I've felt the responsibility that came with the posting fee that the organization spent in signing me. At that time, I felt like I could perform to the level that came with that amount of money. But having expectations placed on you as a player is something I'm very grateful for. At this point, I'm really sorry that I wasn't able to perform to those expectations."
Perhaps he's being a little hard on himself. He's under no obligation to live up to his "posting fee" (it was $51.1 million) because that's a contrivance on the part of his rights-holding team in Japan and because he didn't personally benefit from it. More to the point, though, while Dice-K was not the heaven-sent ace some presumed he would be, he gave the Red Sox a near-great season in 2008 and a quality year in 2007. His ERA+ while in Boston was a couple of ticks better than the league-average, so he was hardly a disaster.
With all that said, it's good to see Matsuzaka own up to his limitations. As with any bad contract, though, you can usually place more blame on the front office for improperly valuating a player.