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MATSUZAKA ARRIVES IN CHICAGO

For Immediate Release
December 21st, 2006

Chicago — The Three yearlong hope that a mid-round draft pick with huge potential – Daisuke Matsuzaka finally complete, the Chicago Mobsters unveiled the Japanese right-hander at 5 p.m. ET press conference on Wednesday in what was one of the most crowded press conferences in Mobsters team history.
It was a joyous event for the Mobsters, who formally announced that they have signed a “National Treasure” to a long term contract. Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, it was said that Mr. Matsuzaka is now “Well Off”

“Today, what we’re really doing is announcing the signing of a “National Treasure, to our stable of pitchers” said Mobsters general manager Stray Corrado.”We’ve followed Daisuke since Koshien in 1998, throughout his entire professional career and all his accomplishments. We understand his importance in Japan. We know what he represents.”
The Mobsters drafted Matsuzaka in the 4th round of the 2005 Mid-West Baseball League Draft held on February 12th.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen, so I’m just going trying to do as well as possible,” said Matsuzaka. “I’m very happy and excited to be a member of the Chicago Mobsters.”
“Very many interesting things have happened in my life,” he added. “Besides getting married and having a baby, this is the most exciting thing. Playing the in the Mid-West Baseball League is a honor & something I will cherish and look forward to in 2008”
Matsuzaka has been the talk of Chicago — not to mention Japan — over the last month, and got his official coronation.
“This is definitely exciting,” said Mobsters third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. “It is a move that can possibly put our rotation at another level. I am sure the other Mid-West Baseball League Franchise’s will be putting together trade offers now that they know he’s going to pitch in the Mid-West Baseball League.
Once Matsuzaka passed pitches one game in Major League Baseball in 2007, his contract will be virtually finished.
“I would classify it as unique and challenging, and I would say that it has the potential to impact the franchise positively for several years,” Corrado said of the process to ink the Japanese right-hander.
Now, all of Mobsters fans brace for the arrival of a Japanese icon and wonders if his success will transfer to the hitting-heavy American League.
Matsuzaka is not just good, but he is also still young. The 26-year-old posted a 108-60 record with a 2.95 ERA during an eight-year career with the Seibu Lions.
The Mobsters hope that the depth and quality of their starting rotation will be their biggest strength in 2008. Matsuzaka joins a rotation that already has Josh Beckett, C.C. Sabathia, Barry Zito, and Felix Hernandez. Also, with left-hander Francisco Liriano out for 2008, he will enter the mix once again in 2009, too, though no timetable has been set for his return to the mound.
All the Mobsters are looking forward to watching Matsuzaka go to work.  “He’s got a lot of pitches that he commands,” Stray Corrado said last week at the Winter Meetings. “He’s got velocity on the fastball, he’s got two breaking balls, he can elevate the fastball, but I think the thing that I’ve noticed that I like the best is the ability to throw a changeup any time it counts. It is kind of an old-fashioned screwball, which you don’t see too much anymore. That pitch, to me, is legitimate.”
But before we congratulate the Mobsters for getting Matsuzaka he must first pitch in some games.   Is he up to the task? A pessimist will argue that the man has never thrown a pitch in a major League game. A pessimist will worry about a dramatic change in cultures. A pessimist will fret about Matsuzaka’s ability to retool his valuable right arm in order to pitch every fifth day, as is the norm for starters in the Mid-West Baseball League.
I am not a pessimist. I have seen him pitch. Twice. I’m no baseball scout, but there was plenty of buzz from the real scouts who saw this man pitch in the World Baseball Classic.

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