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Getting by with a little help from friends

Hey, Marts, I was just calling to offah my assistance as, you know, a coping partner to help you work through the steps your therapist recommended …


Yeah, whatever, Callaghan, like I'm worried about Matsu-sucka.


Now, see, there you go with denial …but doggone it that's…okay.


I know the quadruple-whammy of the Sox getting Matsuzaka, getting him at a bargain, getting him for six years, and humbling Bora$$ all at once has to sting.


$52 mill for 6 to join a third place organization!?!? And I thought the Japanese were supposed to be smart.


Again I'm here to tell you it's "OK" to feel that way, Mahty. You're good enough, you're smaht enough… Let me help. I feel your pain.


It's you who needs the help, Billy Boy. The Yanks have team full of givens. They know what they're going to get because they got it last year from now well-established players. Of the two new starters, one is proven, the other will be out of the six they have to choose from. The only true unknown is how the unknown 1B will do.


Thatta a boy, Mahty, release the anger. Let it go like a Bronx buttahfly.


The Sox by contrast have two pitchers that have never started a MLB game and three new position players. One of whom is a light-hitting rook. The other two will make Edgar Rentaria and Trot Nixon look good — and that's saying something. And you still don't have a closer!!!!


Oh, Mahty, puy-leeze, there's no need to shout is there?


What about unproven and never thrown a pitch in the Major Leagues don't you Sawx fans get?


Did you not see the WBC, Mahty? Matsuzaka looked rather daunting, if I do say so myself, pitching for Japan.


The WBC? Oh, fercrissakes, that's just Spring Training b.s. Pitchers are always ahead of the hitters in March.


Oh, right, of course, but wait a sec, Mahts, then how come the MLB pitching contingent didn't have the same success?


Look, even if this guy is the next Pedro. Even Pedro in '99 couldn't make up 10 games in the standings.


See, now there you go, Mahty. I wasn't going to bring up the past, being the forward looking soul that I am, but since you did … Let's just say that I'm surprised, given all that's happened [cough] '04 choke job[cough] that you continue to put so much faith in "games ahead." You know?


You still don't have a closer!!!!


Mahty, you sound really, really uptight. I think you could use a nice massage … perhaps an electric massage?


Hehhehheh …


Author's Notes
Almost every line from Marty today was taken word for word from various Yankees' message boards and blogs.


With all that shouting Marty appears to be loosing his cool. Next thing you know he will be tossing his rotary phone against the wall.

Let's just hope the hedge fund Marty's managing doesn't get investigated. He's on the verge of a heart attack.

I am very impressed with the way the Sox handled this negotiation. I was honestly expecting 6 guaranteed years in the range of $70-$80 million, which I would have thought reasonable. Theo and crew deserve a lot of credit. And how mealy-mouthed does Boras sound here: "It's an economic package that is reasonable and could end up being good. For his country, for him and the interests of baseball, I think this is really the right decision for everybody." What a tepid, pre-read load of nonsense.

And now, for the innapropriate: Welcome to Beantown, Fold-Failrane.


That was every bit as satisfying as I hoped it would be, h.b. AWESOME.

"Ain't that a kick in the head..."

Great strip! Nothing like seeing Marty lose his cool...

(And, who's Marty's second pitcher that's "never started a MLB game"? Because I saw Paps' debut as a starter in '05...)

Awesome. I was hoping for some marty payback as soon as I got the news. Then as I am cracking up reading marty's breakdown In my head I am like, he sounds just like a stupid skankees fan... and then the notes show me why. Classic dude, classic

hb i loved every frame !! hey and on a side note am i the only one that was checking the basement for pods after reading chb's column today?? it was really pretty good altho he did leave out the part about the backstabbing that comes from the media

Thank you, h.b. That was first rate.

See, this is what makes baseball the male soap opera (sorry Nat and Jen). Who woulda thunk just ten days ago that the phrase "Gil Meche money" would have any significance to RSN?

I am really looking forward to '07, Nancy D. notwithstanding. Come to think of it, all the pressure is off Nancy, since we will be diverted checking out 日本語はサイクロンを6投げる (the Japanese six-pitch cyclone).

For those of you scoring at home, and god bless you if you are, the reverse translation is "Japanese 6 throws cyclone ". It not even remotely funny. Just accurate.

Oh and Mahty, have you ever heard of a little feller I like to call Craig Hansen? Dude can wing it. He just needs to mature on the bump.

Mariano "Old Man" River-a ?

Good Luck, bro'



Mike- I totally agree! After the final paragraph I was convinced either someone else wrote it, or he's finally gotten a presciption for lithium.

Not to resurrect a well-traveled subject, but is there absolutely NO chance to put the brakes on this whole Dice-K thing??? Blech. Nothing like comparing your potential new Ace to a flash-in-the-pan no-talent who went the way of acid washed jeans...

No better time for a haiku...

Bad smell from afar
Bor-as'd, yet again, no...
Dice-K, you are here!

If you want to view the full range of suck toys that were included in the deal:

(Got this page off the Onion, no less...)

Yes, I know he's just a character, but it's so, so nice to see Marty lose his cool.

Now let's just wait for the inevitable BigBri appearance today, restating Marty's argument but with a liberal dose of stupidity mixed in.

Don't feel bad, BigBri, I understand the average Japanese apartment isn't much bigger than your mother's basement.

Not fer nuthin' but 6PC's (Six Pitch Cyclone) [see I'm trying Nat] wife is smokin'.


Big Bri- DA DA DAAAAH. Are you ready for some sushi?

D-Mat-K-Dice's wife is nicknamed "Rocket," right?


mikeya2K1 - I thought the same thing about the gingerman column. It wasn't horrible. But that dice-k nonsense is ridiculous. Aren't the nicknames we give our own players supposed to be somewhat flattering?

The deal is a pretty good one, though it's sickening to think of all that boras gets from this. His soul is likely comprised of nothing but sulphur and methane.

With apologies to those with taste, it looks like "Dice-K" is here to stay. And it is truly silly.

Lou...I was with you until you dissed Rivera. Old man? Huh?

Fun out-of-ass rotation projections:

Schilling 4.10, 28 starts
Beckett 4.30, 27 starts
Dice-K 3.80, 33 starts
Papelbon 3.65, 25 starts
Wakefield 4.70, 30 starts

That's pretty solid.

Mussina 3.90, 27 starts
Pettitte 4.10, 30 starts
Wang 3.85, 33 starts
Igawa 4.60, 28 starts
Johnson 4.90, 20 starts
Hughes 3.30, 6 starts

Not bad, either, but I'd give the edge to the Sox.

Not 'rocket', 'wok-it', Bob

Mrs. 6PC: Tomoyo Shibata

Paste the link: http://people.empas.com/people/info/to/mo/tomoyoshibata/

Did you ever feel really, really hungry for a big steak, then go to some nice steakhouse (not Outback, but an honest-to-God old line steak house), get the biggest Porterhouse on the menu and a beer to match, then just dig in for the best damn meal you've had in a long while? Totally filling, totally satisfying, topped by a really nice brandy and maybe (well, back in the day anyway) a nice Monte Cristo and relaxed conversation with a well-read friend?

That's the feeling I got reading today's strip. HB, that was just melt-in-your-mouth good. Thanks for dinner. I'd be honored to buy your next one.

Sighing contentedly from the comfy chair,


Surly But Lovable, don't you find that Rockets looks really good until she smiles?

Yikes. Freaky mouth think going on there.

(Mmmmm, freak mouth thing.)

So this is how the Soxaholix ends, with h.b. pandering to his masses who have been calling for this strip.

Marty's breakdown over this signing (GBY fan blog postings notwithstanding) is truly out of character. Oh well.

I think this is a great signing for the Sox. Hopefully it's not enough to make the Sox contenders.

Noce one h.b. As a habitual reader of your blog/strip who all to often agrees with that NY a-hole you unleash from your mind.........that felt great.

hb- i loved how part of Marty's arguments are those of a crazed yanks fan from yesterday VERBATIM! good show!

What, Billy? Skankee fans NEVER get upset or frustrated?

Marty wasn't out of character today. Just out of sorts.

I think Billy Mahty's point above has merit; however, I see Marty's "out of character" losing his cool with Bill as such:

1) Typically, what drives someone off the edge, even if it's just temporarily off the edge, isn't what you'd expect. Like in that movie Falling Down with Michael Douglas how the character went totally apeshit because the fast food joint stopped serving breakfast at 1030am and it was like 1031am and he could see they still had breakfast food. Or, looking at myself, I didn't actually expect to totally lose it (and pretty much shut down the site) when Theo resigned. I'd been through far, far worse Red Sox travails, but, I confess, I lost it on that one and didn't see it coming myself. I was out of character during that spell for sure.

2) Marty isn't so much losing his cool over the signing as he is Bill's smug attitude about it. Marty doesn't like that Bill refuses to consider Marty's quite valid argument about the lack of MLB experience as well as Boston's still gaping hole in the closer role.

3) If anything, from my perspective, Bill is perhaps more out of character than Marty, i.e, Bill never calls Marty. This is a first.

I HAVE been waiting for that strip for some time. I think it's not TOO far out of line for Marty. A lot of Yanks fans (no offense to the intelligent ones) kinda went off the deep end and started hurling insults all over the intronet for no reason yesterday afternoon (our bullpen as of this moment DOES pretty much suck, I'll give them that one). After a few minutes it stopped being annoying and started being funny.

Even if we get a closer, we haven't got any middle relief that's proven effective recently.

But I'm still super-psyched to see the Sox land this guy for an almost-reasonable price when the posting fee is considered. Should be really fun to see him test his stuff (though it will probably stop being fun in May if he sucks).


/me loves it. Anybody else here too excited to sleep last night? We have more arms than Shiva and sluggers to boot.


Fair enough, h.b. Good points.

Let's review, shall we?

Load the posting fee over the life of the contract and it's 17+ million per.

If he's traded before year 6, then the posting fee is loaded over a shorter term. For example if he's traded after 3 years it's 51/3 + 8.5 = 25.5m/year.

Or, you could account as follows: 59+m in year one + 8.5m per year.

Everything is relative...if that's your definition of "a bargain," then nice work.

When the season starts, and we have Roger Clemens on board and still no closer, Papelbon will know that he goes where he is needed most and will end up back in the bullpen to the cheers of the masses. Next year, young Jonathan, next year.

Still dancing in the streets, Jason O. How much is Gil Meche getting paid again?

Jason, the old "add in the posting fee" gag has been debunked more than's Brit's "parts" have been bunked.

I won't repeat it here, since some people have paid attention, but here's an interesting fact: According to published reports, there were more Japanese media AT HANSCOM FIELD for shitssake, than fans. RSN has just annexed an entire culture. $$, dude, $$.

Take a look at the Globe today in which Mike Pagliarulo, an acknowledged expert on Japan and value says he pegged the posting fee at 50 mil long before the figure came out.

In summary, MYF (and that includes Mahty, even though he is a mere fictional character), Theo got over. This is not unlike the wooing of Schill, against all odds.

lc (SBL)

ps: Mrs. 6PC's mouth is just fine, thanks.

Oh, I've been waiting for this one...

"Everything is relative...if that's your definition of "a bargain," then nice work."

If thsat's how you want to see things, JO, how about this:

Slappy McBluelips? Yeah- with your outrageous luxury tax, he's taking approx $35 mil next year. (granted that georgie isn't paying all of this, but whatevs).

Your new-old "ace" Pettitte? He'll be accounting $23 mil in '07 and '08 ('cause who walks away from guranteed money? cough*nancydrew*cough)

Glass houses and so forth...

So one of Yankees fan friends is taken aback that I lifted one of his lines without proper attribution.

Lest he pull an A-Rod and brings out "the dropping the shoulder move," I better make this right ASAP: http://bronxbanter.baseballtoaster.com/archives/569389.html#comments

He wants his own character, too. :)

Load the posting fee over the life of the contract and it's 17+ million per.
I'm not sure why we should care about how John Henry spends his money if it doesn't hurt the team.

1. Matsuzaka's salary for luxury tax purposes is $8.67 million dollars.

2. In the event that the Sox decide to trade Matsuzaka the contract they would be moving is $8.67 million dollars. (ok ok, 6,8,8,8,10,10)

3. The FO clearly stated that the posting fee would have no influence on the money they spend on other players. The Lugo and Drew signings bear that out.

So why exactly should I care if that $50 million is in John Henry's pockets or the Seibu Lions' pockets?

i have to disagree with the bullpen sucking part ya know theres still two pitchers we have that have to pitch somewhere and they are lester and "gasp" clement. who at the very least will be a long relief man if he's still here and he may just do well... i think the bullpen this season will be much better than expected and will be the big story this year. now as for the closer argument well we'll just hafta see i guess

and to jason o. if you dont think that one time posting fee was cut in half at the signing yesterday your not living in the real world. those redsox caps, shirts and jackets dont go for free ya know. as boras said d mat is a national treasure and red sox nation just expanded to the land of the rising sun BIG TIME!!

The closer situation is not nearly as dire as Marty would dearly like to believe. With Matsuzaka signed, the starting rotation is full. If a closer can't be found, Papelbon can be switched back, and we go with Schilling/Beckett/Matsuzaka/Wakefield as the 1-4 starters, and fill in the 5 spot with Lester, or hell, even Tavarez. He was a far more effective starter than reliever anyway, why not just keep him there?

(Yes, I am aware that this time last year, people were making the "We Have Too Many Starting Pitchers" argument, and we all know how that turned out. I'm assuming for the sake of argument that we don't have another Perfect Storm of Pitching Injuries...)

Here's an excerpt from the aforementioned Yankees fan:

That will do - but it's equivalent to a one line correction in the herald. It belongs in the strip where the lines we're lifted verbatim. Unlike old media, you have the option of correcting the original error. And since you're just stealing thoughts because you lack the creativity to generate your own, that's just sad.

Cost of web hosting: $10/mo
Microsoft Word with ClipArt: $140
Pushing Yankees fan buttons: PRICELESS


"it's equivalent to a one line correction in the herald"

and less deserving.

Moreover, there is this little thing called fair use in copyright law, which, it strikes me, hb can take advantage of.

Now for the translation: "tell him to go shit in his hat".


I thought using real thought of real Yankee fans was brilliantly creative.

Someone's bitching like you just plagiarized his novel, because of some blog comments?

My, the Yankees fans are touchy this morning. Can't imagine why...

Lou, Jack, it's easy to forget the reality of $103m with giddy December excitement. Clearly, the Red Sox have a lower aversion to risk given recent seasons.

Here's hoping (for your sake) that DM can effect a transition to MLB that defies the established trend of Japanese transplant SP, and therefore comes close to justifying that expenditure.

Nice addition to your team. It should get you the wildcard if everything else falls your way! Congrats.

J.O., keep ringing the town bell, but I don't think anyone's going to listen any more:

http://matsuzaka.blogspot.com/2006/08/mlb-projections.html - Sabermetric scaling of Matsuzaka's Japanese performance to AL numbers...still a Cy Young winner...2 years younger than Zito and the post was written by a Yankee fan looking forward to signing DM back in late August (teehee).

Oh, I also have to give the guy at Matsuzaka Watch credit...he is a lot more reasonable than Jason in understanding how we just got a hell of a deal for DM..and he didn't even have to go to the "Japanese good will established" argument.

Matsuzaka Watch front page...most recently article talks about how he wanted DM over here, but he's a Yankees fan and has to swallow the bitter pill of seeing DM go to the arch rival.

Forgot to add this to the last post.

"And since you're just stealing thoughts because you lack the creativity to generate your own, that's just sad."

Is there anything more absurd than someone accusing h.b. of lacking creativity? What next? David Ortiz lacks the ability to deliver in key game situations?

Kaz, as much as I appreciate sabermetrics (and scaling thereof) recall that Tony fucking LaRussa's team just won it all.

Also related: If Aunt Jane had balls she'd be Uncle Jim.

Well, Ortiz does keep getting passed over for MVP. :)

My email friend also calls the rest of you out too: "the fact that said strip has only a few regular commenters, and hasn't added to them, tells me I'm not alone [in thinking it sucks]."

FWIW I do think I peaked creatively in 2004 but, as Jason says, Tony Fucking LaRussa's team just won it all, so I'll keep going despite being not very good.

You never know what'll happen if you just keep showing up.

In keeping with the frequent use of literary references here, that Yankee fan emailer "doth protest too much, methinks."

Man, if the situation were reversed, Jason would be using so many Latin quotes right now to show us how much we were screwed by the Yanks' acquisition of (what many consider to be) the best starting pitcher available on the market. Also, my guess is he'd be pretty happy if the Yanks got DM at the price tag which the Sox apparently just did. To be fair, many Sox fans would also be saying "Look, the Yankees bought another one" and talking about the poor transition of past Japanese SPs if the situation were reversed.

I don't think I could have taken the phone call Marty would have given Bill if the Yanks had gotten Matsuzaka...

I don't know if you peaked in 2004, h.b., but you sure did have a lot of material to work with.

And H.B., your email friend obviously keeps coming back to the site again and again, adding to your hits and increasing what you can charge for advertising.

I think we owe the moron a big thank you.

And don't forget my comment of a couple weeks ago. Soxaholix is only going to get bigger and bigger with the addition of a Japanese fan base.

Tell the BigBri sound-a-like to put that in his basement AeroBed and smoke it.

Tony LaRussa's team won the WS because the other team didn't show up.

It seems the pitching staff was too busy ruining their arms playing Guitar Hero...hahaha, stupid ass Detroit.

I'm not even keeping track of this criticism of hb, but, like Alex Rodriguez, the very fact that A receives criticism de facto indicates that A matters at some level.

Devine, in this case that's not correct. In all honesty I would have felt like I did with Matsui, only much more. That is, worry that his game translates.

Don't really post here a lot but thought you boys might like this.

http://withleather.com/index.phtml?t=DAISUKE+MATSUZAKA [I'm adding a big NSFW!! on that one -- h.b.]

I myself have to go clean the drewl off my face


"My email friend also calls the rest of you out too: "the fact that said strip has only a few regular commenters, and hasn't added to them, tells me I'm not alone [in thinking it sucks]."

every time i try to refute that guy he calls me a troll. he's pretty absurd. some people you just can't reach...

Fair enough, Jason...but at least you would have used Latin quotes to express your uncertainty. (I'm not knocking them or anything, just pointing out a proclivity for "comic" effect.)

The ballpark estimate for incremental revenue generated by a Japanese star of Dice-K's quality for the single franchise that signs him is about $3 million per year. So, say it's worth $20 million over the course of the contract. The posting fee is then about $31 million, say $36 million because the dollars are up front. So that's $6 million a year, say, with the $8.5 million they're giving him. $14.5 million is a very reasonable price to pay for a guy who projects to be at worst a 3 starter, and at best, a true Number 1.

The Sox did a great job here, especially in the face of Boras' Great Eye, lidless and ringed with fire. And yet Jason makes the excellent point that Dice-K hasn't done anything in MLB, and nothing's certain. I seem to remember Kaz Matsui translating wonderfully to MLB. Same as Hideki Irabu. Dice-K just might blow them all away. But there is a real alternative there, and it has precedent.

I think the worry Jason speaks of is very valid. I do have worry.


I'd rather be worried from this vantage point, i.e, he's pitching for the Boston but may not be worth the hype, then the converse, i.e., to have him signed with the Yankees and be worrying that his game is going to translate and then some.

Know what I mean?

"Those redsox caps, shirts and jackets dont go for free ya know. as boras said d mat is a national treasure and red sox nation just expanded to the land of the rising sun BIG TIME!!"

FYI, All revenues from merchandise sales are shared across all MLB teams. The Yankees benefit from the sales of hats with Bs on them as much as the sox benefit from the interlocking NY.

"The ballpark estimate for incremental revenue generated by a Japanese star of Dice-K's quality for the single franchise that signs him is about $3 million per year."

That makes no sense. Fenway is already near capacity almost every game. Where are you going to put those extra fans? are you talking about TV deals through NESN in Japan?

Totally, HB. I myself see this as a big-time for the Red Sox. I'm just really impressed and even psyched to see Boras blubbering because he couldn't screw someone, even if said someone is the Red Sox.

Nick, despite that, the incremental stadium ad-revenue and few other elements associated with a presence in the Japanese market accounts for incremental revenues of roughly $3 million per annum for said specific team, according to the various financial reports I've seen.

"Everything is relative."

Not so much: Pi, e, 0, and i.

... and here I thought the off season was going to be dull. Silly me :)

FYI: When looking for safe pics of DM's wife, do not google image search for DM's wife's first or last name separately ("Tomoyo" OR "Shibata") unless you have your SafeSearch set on. Together is okay, there's only 1 result and it's her. Apart...not so much, but plenty of messed-up Japanese porn to go around.

NESN just HAS do do an anime ad campaign for the Sox next year.

The possibilities of heroes, villians, and hot animated picther's wives are endless.

Roger Clemmens could be Astro Boy.

your email friend neglects to factor in that there are plenty of people that read the strip and the comments but can't always keep up (in terms of speed or wit) with you all. but i suppose any forum has plenty of those.

here's an interesting take on our new star from the (mf)nyt:

FYI, All revenues from merchandise sales are shared across all MLB teams. The Yankees benefit from the sales of hats with Bs on them as much as the sox benefit from the interlocking NY.
while that may be true im sure that larry was there doing some other deals that would be of a benifit to the sox only and of course my point still remains its all money that works to lessen the posting fee

I read & love it every day. I just dont get to read it till later in the day being on the left coast. Most of the stuff I think of while reading the strip comes out in the comments so I dont want to be redundant. (Im guessing no one will read this, but go on to Fridays strip.)
Im excited over the new guys we got. I do not expect to run away w/the east this year. But we sure got a good chance to win it and wont make it easy on the MFY.
I also find it funny that JO always makes some sort of "oh yeah, well..." comment whenever there is an anti MFY strip...but he always cracks me up.
Oh and the MFY blogger is just jealous he didnt think of it first.

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