Quick to respond to Daisuke Matsuzaka's claims that the Red Sox, not the World Baseball Classic, are responsible for his arm trouble, John Farrell appeared on WEEI Tuesday afternoon to clear the air.
A guest on The Dale and Holley Show, Farrell said that the Red Sox only made changes to Dice-K's throwing program after he showed fatigue in the 2007 season — his first in the U.S.
"We had to give him a breather at the time, in large part because of the differences in travel, differences in competition, differences in strike zone, a number of the on-field challenges that he faced," Farrell was quoted as saying in the Boston Globe. "So any of the adjustments that we've encountered have been in response to how he's adapted to the rigors of the schedule and the competition here."
Earlier, Matsuzaka had harsh words for the throwing program the Red Sox have put him on.
“If I’m forced to continue to train in this environment," he said, "I may no longer be able to pitch like I did in Japan. … Until now, many Japanese players have joined the majors, but they usually only lasted for two or three years. I realized from my own experience that this was not due to their individual abilities but because of the difference in training methods.”
Farrell pointed out that Matsuzaka entered spring training in 2008 "a little bit behind" other pitchers, possibly due to pitching through October in 2007. That issue, however, wasn't exclusive to Dice-K, as Josh Beckett also suffered some lingering effects.
"The challenges that Daisuke faced are no different than any other pitcher here, and we have to use our best judgment to put pitchers in a situation where they're not only going to be productive, but where we feel they're going to be healthy, not in the short run, but in the long run as well," the Globe quoted Farrell as saying.
Farrell specifically said that neither he nor the Red Sox organization blames the World Baseball Classic for wearing down Matsuzaka and that the team is hopeful for a September return.
"The opportunity to provide his feedback has always been allowed and welcomed," Farrell was quoted as saying in the Globe. "So for this to come out as it has — and we recognize there are differences [in language and culture], and we've worked diligently and thoroughly to try to bridge that gap … for them to come out as they have now is, in a word, disappointing."
The transcript can be read on the Boston Globe's Web site.