Thursday, November 09, 2006

Agent Sad as Rangers Lose Bid for SP Matsuzaka

Agent Scott Boras -- breathlessly awaiting the chance to win a multimillion-dollar-a-year contract for Japanese free agent SP Daisuke Matsuzaka -- was put on a suicide watch early Thursday as word leaked out in Tokyo that Rangers owner Tom Hicks would be unsuccessful in his bid to win negotiating rights to the star Japanese hurler. Boras financed a 20,000-foot wing of his home in 2002 after tricking Hicks into paying $250 million to acquire slugger Alex Rodriguez, for whom Hicks currently pays $9 million a year to play for the Yankees. Boras was also able to buy a 32-foot yacht last year after negotiating a $60 million Rangers contract for SP Kevin Millwood. After looking on as Hicks signed Millwood's papers at Hicks' northern Metroplex mansion, Boras even sneaked off with a set of Hicks' Waterford Turkish towels, his monogrammed satin smoking jacket and a 30-piece antique Sterling silver tea service that Hicks had tried to hide beneath his wet bar. "I'm unspeakably disappointed," Boras conceded. "The A-Rod and Millwood deals were nothing. I was just getting started." Matsuzaka, 26, being made available by the Seibu Lions, was 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in the WBC last spring. He strikes out more than a batter an inning with a fastball clocked as high as 97 mph. He augments the heat with a wicked slider, a breakneck forkball and a unique, fall-away spinning curve that hitters upon first seeing it have described as the biggest surprise since the bombing of Pearl Harbor.