Saturday, February 6

Is Japan Following Boston's Tone on Dice-K?...Or Were We Duped From the Start?

It's been a while since the last ITM post...partly because I've been in Asia traveling on business, and partly because the other two writers are on some kind of long term sabbatical.

Anyways, I'm posting from the Tokyo airport with one interesting takeaway from this leg of the trip to Asia....a severe lack of Dice-K support.

I've made stops in Tokyo and Kyoto so far on this trip....clearly sticking out everywhere I go since I'm a Westerner and stand taller than 5'5". Surprisingly however, when asked where I'm from, my answer of Boston didn't get the response of fireworks, cartwheels and random animation cartoons about Dice-K that I expected. In most cases, I had to bring up the topic myself, and the majority of people didn't seem too excited about it.....even the people that I was sure spoke English well enough to understand what I was saying.

I never got a good answer as to what the problem was....maybe they didn't like me for speaking slowly and irrationally louder when talking to them in English.....maybe they think Dice-K is a traitor for leaving the far East....maybe, like us, they are frustrated with his performance and attitude last year.

But then it came to me, maybe we were duped. Maybe, MLB, Scott Boras, and eventually the Red Sox themselves fed into the media engine that was Dice-K's arrival to America. Sure, he had some great numbers in Japan and led them to a World Baseball Title.....but the other stories of fan's "complete and udder obsession"..."Micheal Jordon times 100"...."An entire generation of people called the Dice-K generation"....I didn't see it. I only spent 8 or 9 days here, but I tried like hell to find the Dice-K support and obsession we've been told about, and I struck out swinging. I only saw one Red Sox hat the entire time I was here....and believe me, I saw parts of the city and country others wouldn't have even if they stayed for 8 months.

So there you have it, ITM, live on the ground and reporting from Dice-K's homeland....where green tea, warm Saki, and Ichrio rain supreme. Now, I'm off for Seoul to try not to eat dog and dodge bullets from the North.

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