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Daisuke Matsuzaka Was Not Always a Vessel of Pain

Thinking about Daisuke Matsuzaka in one’s own mind is generally an unpleasant experience. Not only has the Dice-K of recent years been decidedly mediocre, he has also been shockingly deliberate en route to mediocrity, requiring more time between pitches over the last three seasons than any other starter with 100-plus innings.

As the footage below demonstrates, however — of a 19-year-old Matsuzaka in his first-ever professional appearance — this was not always the case. There was a time when Matsuzaka was resplendent, like a diamond that’s resplendent — and also has arms, too.

Like here, throwing a 96 mph fastball by Atsushi Kataoka:

Dice K Fast

And here, throwing the same pitch in slow-motion somehow:

Dice K Slow

Just as one ought never to laugh as the hearse goes by, one ought also to check himself before casting aspersions upon Daisuke Matsuzaka — for that same one might be the very next to disappoint an entire fanbase, set himself at odds with management, and fade slowly into anonymity.

Credit to Patrick Newman for bringing author’s attention to video Matsuzaka debut.