how Dice-K matter was won
Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:38 PM
By Michael Silverman
Boston Herald Sports Reporter
Saturday, December 16, 2006 - Updated: 03:25 AM EST
Has anyone been wondering about the $51.11 million bid the Red Sox [team stats] made - and now must pay - to the Seibu Lions to gain exclusive negotiating rights with Daisuke Matsuzaka?
Principal owner John Henry was asked if there was anything behind that specific amount. The answer, fascinating and totally unexpected, came in an e-mailed response:
“$51,111,111.11 actually,” Henry said. ( My note: apparently that figure at that time equalled exactly 6 billion yen)
“We assumed a few teams would try to blow all the other teams out of the water. We didn’t know if that would represent 30, 40 or 50 million. We also knew a couple of teams would have their eyes on luxury taxes as well (as) assuring themselves of six years of service. Therefore we estimated someone could potentially bid as much as $50,000,000 to assure success since they were doing so with no risk. And we thought that just to be sure they might decide to bid $51,000,000.
“We were not going to take any chances of losing Matsuzaka-san and were determined to top even that potential bid.And to ensure that our number could not be leaked, I was given the task of devising the final amount. I thought Larry (Lucchino, the team president and CEO) was going to pass out when I told him the number as we were delivering it to MLB.
“When we were attempting to purchase the Red Sox, I did not want my name thrown around in the media for quite some time. Therefore, all of the potential investors and bankers knew me only as ‘Investor 11.’ We had extraordinarily good fortune in bidding for the team. In fact, at one point, Mr. (Charles) Dolan had won the bidding before asking to purchase the entire club rather than the half that was originally for sale. We were lucky to win the bidding when the second bids were taken. So although I am decidedly not superstitious, I decided, for good luck, to throw in as many 11’s as I could.
“I also felt good about another set of numbers. Matsuzaka-san and I were both born on the 13th of September.
“That’s the story, John.”
Posted 16 December 2006 - 04:28 PM
Posted 16 December 2006 - 04:35 PM
Posted 19 December 2006 - 10:31 AM
Posted 19 December 2006 - 04:10 PM
"Let's bid $50M for the Japanese kid. Even the Yankees wouldn't go that high, would they?"
"I like it. That should be the high bid. I mean, the Mariners only paid $13.5M for negotiating rights with Ichiro. $50M it is."
"Wait, what if someone else is thinking $50M? Let's bump it up to $51M."
"Good idea, good idea," and other murmured approvals. Back-patting and cigar smoking ensue.
"Wait a second, wait a second. Hey guys, what if another team is as smart as we are? They'll probably think to bump their bid up to $51M also. We should bid $51,111,111.11."
"Here here! Great idea!" More back-patting and whiskey sipping while celebrating their brilliance.
The next closest bid was $42M.
Posted 21 December 2006 - 02:14 PM
Posted 21 December 2006 - 02:43 PM
That's a funny premise and most of it is correct, but I take a little umbrage with this:
Alfonso Soriano is a good player who is being paid as if he's a superstar.
I kinda think Soriano is a superstar. The only eyebrow I raise at the money he got from the Cubs is because of how old he'll be when the contract is up.
It's as if they're racing to see who can be the first to commit career suicide.
(My money is on Anaheim general manager Bill Stoneman, who looked at 32-year-old Gary Matthews Jr. and saw a .263 career hitter who has never hit 20 homers or driven in 80 runs and apparently thought, "Yup, that's a $50-million outfielder.")
Stoneman is probably the most fiscally responsible GM in the game (among large-market teams), maybe to a fault. The Matthews signing is definitely up for criticism, but I think it's also tough to crucify Stoneman after one seemingly bad contract.
Posted 22 December 2006 - 11:02 AM
What career record do you think a $10M/year pitcher should have? Maybe 50 games over .500? Something like 100-50, or 80-30 over a career? That seems about reasonable to me.
Lilly, a soft-tossing lefty, is 59-58 in his career. You pay $40M for that? And pile on top of it $21M for Jason Marquis and his 6.05 ERA? Jeeesz.