The New York Times’ David Picker considers an attribute of newly acquired Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka that strangely, I’ve not heard discussed on WEEI.

In the eyes of the Japanese, Matsuzaka™s most revealing statistic might be his blood type, which is Type O. By Japanese standards, that makes Matsuzaka a warrior and thus someone quite capable of striking out Alex Rodriguez, or perhaps Derek Jeter, with the bases loaded next summer.

In Japan, using blood type to predict a person™s character is as common as going to McDonald™s and ordering a teriyaki burger. The association is akin to the equally unscientific use of astrological signs by Americans to predict behavior, only more popular. It is widely believed that more than 90 percent of Japanese know their blood type.

œIn everyday life in Japan, blood type is used as a kind of a social lubricant, a conversation starter, said Theodore Bestor, a professor of Japanese studies and anthropology at Harvard University. œIt™s a piece of information that supposedly gives you some idea of what that person is like as a human being.

œJapanese tend to have a fairly strong kind of inherent belief that genetics and biology really matter in terms of people™s behavior. So I think Japanese might be much more predisposed to thinking about a kind of genetic basis for personality than most Americans would.

Leave it to the Boston Herald’s Tony Massarotti to characterize Boston’s $103 million investment in a pitcher with no big league experience as a victory over Scott Boras Badenoff.

What a difference a year makes, eh? Epstein and Lucchino could not sit in the same room 12 months ago. Now they™re pounding fists on John Henry™s private jet and treating the great Boras as a carry-on. Epstein and Lucchino did a pretty good job beating each other up last offseason. Now, in the winter of 2006-07, the Red Sox collectively are kicking ass and taking names.

In the end, on this one, even the estimable Boras appears to have been no match for them.

If you™re keeping score at home, and if you are interested in such things, the tab now rests at roughly $215 million. That is what the Red Sox have spent this offseason on acquisitions and signings. The Sox still have no closer, which is a pretty big hole for a team with a payroll approaching $155 million, but that might only be because a good one was not available for purchase.

Are they nuts? Maybe a little. But who in the name of Benjamin Franklin cares? Since the 2004 World Series, the Red Sox have acted like a team fearful of making mistakes. The good news today is that the club is once again acting with conviction, which is precisely what the Sox did when they added Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke during the 2003 holiday months.

With the Daisuke Matsuzaka era only a press conference away, the Sox are behaving like victims no more. They are acting like bullies instead. It was only four months ago that Epstein stood on the Fenway Park lawn, as the Yankees swept a five-game series, and complained that the Sox could not compete. It was as if the Sox had taken down their championship pennant and raised a white flag.

Now, thankfully, the whining has stopped.
quotes Boras as claiming Matzusaka’s deal includes the following  : “a massage therapist, physical therapist, interpreter and personal assistant, and the Red Sox agreed to provide the pitcher with 80-90 flights over the course of the deal, along with special housing and transportation arrangements and accommodations for his wife.”

Not only does this slightly contradict Massrotti’s assertion that Boras took a beating, but at this very moment, Steve Phillips is preparing for a press conference in which he’ll play the part of a GM insisting such perks create a “24 and 1” scenario.