A roundup of reaction from Japanese newspapers (translated to English) the day after news of the Red Sox' $51 million bid for Daisuke Matsusaka.
Q&A with Matsuzaka:
Q. What do you know about the Red Sox?
A. It is a team with history, with the oldest stadium. Babe Ruth, Cy Young, and Ted Williams played there, to name a few.
Q. How would you react to Red Sox fans "booing"?
A. If you can't perform, you deserve it. I want to get good numbers and hope to get booed at away games.
Q What is your impression of Boston?
A. Never been there, but it has famous universities, museums and hospitals. I'll like it.
While the price tag, 6 billion yen, is the talk of the country, some worry that other Japanese teams could turn to the business of "selling" baseball talent and could help fuel the decline in popularity of Japanese baseball.
Matsuzaka: Boston is a prestigious team and has produced many great players in the past. The price is higher than expected, and was surprising, but I am glad that they value me that much. I also feel some pressure. I am most looking forward to facing Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners.
$51,111,111.11 was the bidding price ... Seibu Lions president Hidekazu Ohta: "It was [Matsuzaka's] dream since he was 10 years old to play in the major leagues. I am glad to help make his dream come true."
Matsuzaka left from Narita Airport to visit agent Scott Boras this afternoon, and said: ``Honestly, I am relieved, for I couldn't sleep well last few days without knowing which team I would be playing for."