Friday, April 04, 2008

WTF is a Guyner?

While browsing, I came across this note in the "releases" section: "Boston Red Sox sign free agent RHP Terumasa Matsuo from Shikoku Island League in Japan." It was right above a notice that Timlin just landed on the 15 Day DL, so I made the logical leap that Matsuo is a replacement reliever. Not so: he's a starter, and he's now on his way to Fort Myers to get stretched out. Reading between the lines, I'm thinking a cheap secondary rotation insurance policy to supplement the risky primary policy (Colon) and bulk up the list of available arms as the Sox prepare to enter a stretch of twenty straight games next week without a fifth starter.

I don't know about the relative quality of play in the Shikoku Island League, but Wikipedia notes the league has 132 players on six teams and started three years ago, so I'm guessing something equivalent to a Minor League team. I do know two things, though: first, Matsuo doesn't sound half bad; he pitched 5.1 innings a start last year, and he's been good for a strikeout an inning for the past two years. Second, the Shikoku Island League has some of the best team names and logos in all of baseball: besides the Guyners (and I've yet to find a good explanation of what a Guyner may be, although I'm really hoping - based on the logo - that it's some sort of giant green demon), there are the Mandarin Pirates, the Indigo Sox, and the Fighting Dogs, whose mascot seems to be sporting the sort of collar Michael Vick might approve of.