Dice-K workout attracts crowd

Updated: February 13, 2007, 5:14 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It may have been the most photographed hamstring stretch in history.

Daisuke Matsuzaka worked out for the first time at the Red Sox spring training complex Tuesday with about two-dozen still cameras and a dozen television cameras focused on his simplest moves.

Bend at the waist? Click. Stretch his hamstrings? Click. Click. Smile? Click. Click. Click.

Photographers, most from Japanese organizations, kept busy for the 20 minutes they were allowed to watch the Japanese pitching star who signed a $52 million contract with Boston in December and arrived in Florida on Monday night. Some waited four hours outside the facility before Matsuzaka arrived behind the wheel of a black Cadillac Escalade just after noon.

A half-hour later, wearing a red Red Sox T-shirt, he walked out of the clubhouse for a brief tour of the grounds before starting his short workout.

At 12:35 p.m., he began stretching. At 12:40, he started jogging. At 12:46, he put on his glove. At 12:47, he made his first throw to catcher George Kottaras, a top prospect obtained last September from San Diego for pitcher David Wells.

Kottaras had been working out in the clubhouse when he volunteered for the assignment. That gave the catcher who has yet to play in the majors plenty of attention.

"It's my first time experiencing this for a long-toss session," said Kottaras, a member of Greece's 2004 Olympic team. "I don't think I'm the story."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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