{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Dodgers' Saito will avoid Dice-K crowd

Dodgers' Saito will avoid Dice-K crowd

|
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to pitch for the Boston Red Sox Friday at Dodgertown, where Japanese countryman Takashi Saito is expected to avoid the crush of Asian media that follows Matsuzaka by pitching in a Minor League game on a back field.

"That day it might be better for me to pitch in the Minor League game," said Saito, who will probably be extended to two innings for the first time this spring.

Saito, 37, is a four-time All-Star in Japan, yet after his impressive rookie season in the Major Leagues last year, he re-signed with the Dodgers for $1 million. The 26-year-old Matsuzaka, who hasn't thrown a regular-season pitch in the Major Leagues, signed a six-year contract for $52 million after his club posted a $51 million transfer fee.

Is the 37-year-old Saito slighted with the apparent financial inequity?

"It's not unfair at all," he said. "He's a very accomplished pitcher. He will bring a lot to the Boston Red Sox, and they must feel he has that value."

Saito straddled the fence on whether the excitement over Matsuzaka's arrival in the Major Leagues will be good for Japanese baseball.

"It's difficult to say if it's good or bad for Japanese baseball," he said. "I don't follow Japanese baseball the way I used to."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español