Dice K, the Japanese pitching phenomenon, has not been doing well lately. With an earned run average flirting with the curvaceous number 8, it looks like the Red Sox have been had. They paid fifty million dollars to the equivalent of a Japanese Little League team just to have the chance to talk to him. Then they paid a staggering amount of money to bring him to Bean town.
Everyone was excited to get the little guy; the press, the fans, even management who paid all that money were all agog. Boston was sure they had a world-beater, and the guy hadn't even thrown a pitch in the Majors!
So here he is when the Sox need him to be at the top of his game, heading towards giving up 8 runs per inning! The Yankees are now hoping in Dice K to give them wins as much as the Sox once did!
But hold on Red Sox Nation, there's still hope for Dice K! Red Sox fans live on hope; rational people call it denial. After years of experience, they can make the best out of any bad situation. Shilling hurting? Well, he writes an interesting blog! Latest closer acquisition closed out? We still got the best closer in the game!
The hope for Dice K is that he will bring out his greatest weapon soon. Early spring hype had it that Dice K had a "gyro-ball" that no one could touch. The funny thing is, the Diceman just smiled when asked about it, but never seemed to throw it. He doesn't talk much anyway, since there is language communication problem coupled with his fear that the Red Sox are going to want their check back. He doesn't know how to say, "No way!" These things tend to keep him quiet.
Rumor has it that he did complain about the American baseball, claiming it is bigger than the Japanese ball. This may be true and if so, would account for his struggles getting it over the plate, but not too over, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, I recently befriended the high-priced pitcher and found that he has actually been secretly practicing the famous unused "gyro-ball" pitch! I was excited and asked if I could watch. He nodded his head vigorously, happy for the company since no one else talks to him anymore.
The next day, on the way to a city park, he complained again about the size of the American baseball, making huge circular motions with his arm. I guess he was telling me that's how big the ball seemed to him. We got to the park and waited to meet the back-up catcher, Maribeli. He too was in on the "gyro-ball" secret.
After an hour, Marribeli was a no-show so I offered to get my soft-ball glove out of my car and catch my new friend. I was a pretty good catcher in college and welcomed the chance to catch a real pro, even if he was in a slump.
I guess Dice could see how anxious I was to be part of bringing out the "gyro-ball". I was excited and happy to help develop a secret weapon that was going to put the hated Yankees away once and for all!
I must admit, that getting behind that plate and preparing to catch a real live over-paid professional pitcher, suddenly threw me into a panic. A ball was going to be coming at me at perhaps a 100 mph! And not just any ball, but the "gyro-ball", rumored to disappear somewhere between the pitcher and the plate, only to mysteriously reappear in the catcher's mitt!
I was about to call it off, but Dice was in his wind up and it was too late! Now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go … but where? Suddenly I saw it coming at me faster than a bullet and looking almost as small … I put my glove up in self-defense as much as habit …. SMACK! A fiery pain shot through the palm of my hand all the way up my arm to my shoulder!
I opened my glove and looked at the gleaming white ball and read these words in red: Titleist One.