Monday may have seemed like just a normal off day for Daisake Matsuzaka in the minds of Red Sox fans, but it may well have been a turning point for Boston's prized import. Dice-K has struggled throughout the season, but was able to meet Monday with a familiar face: his former Seibu Lions manager Osamu Higashio. In addition to being Dice-K's manager for three seasons Higashio was also a pitcher, and according to the Boston Herald he evidently had some helpful advice for Dice-K on improving his performance. As for what that advice was...well...
“The point he advised me (yesterday) is difficult to explain to you guys, but his suggestion is so great,” Matsuzaka told Japanese reporters. “If I change something Higashio pointed to (yesterday), hopefully I can fix it and get better automatically.”
Well, that was informative...as for any tangible advice, Dice-K did divulge this sterling tid bit:
Matsuzaka is licking his fingers more off the mound between pitches, an indication that the baseball in the United States is slicker than in Japan.
Now Red Sox fans can sleep soundly, safe in the knowledge that Dice-K is going to lick his fingers less, and do some other sort of difficult and secret thing in order to improve his pitching performance. Here's hoping that it works, if only so Dice-K does not continue looking like Vicente Padilla.