NOTE: most of the following may not make very much sense.
Art 47. Mercenaries
- A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.
- A mercenary is any person who:
In the "armed conflict" of professional baseball, particularly as it pertains to the Boston/New York rivalry, Matsuzaka was very much specially recruited abroad to participate in a battle.
(b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities;
Although Matsuzaka has yet to throw a Major League pitch, past quotations and this entire posting process would be enough to prove intent in most courts of law.
(c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party;
It doesn't get much more self-oriented than putting yourself up for auction and going to the highest bidder. It's the second part of this clause, however, that separates Matsuzaka from any other free agent - the Red Sox paid significantly more to talk to him than they would any other player on the market who performs a similar task, by a wide margin. $51.1 million? That's unheard of. Okay, so Matsuzaka himself doesn't get to pocket the money, but still. You get the point. (Bear with me, I'm reaching here.)
(d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;
Matsuzaka isn't from Boston or New York. You could make the argument that, due to major media outlet bias, the Red Sox and Yankees control all of North America, but that still doesn't include his place or birth or residence. He's coming from a wholly neutral territory.
(e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and
If the "conflict," in this case, is taken to mean the pursuit of a World Championship, then Matsuzaka's coming from an impartial organization. He was party to the conflict in the WBC, but those were special circumstances, and no longer apply to the situation at hand.
(f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.
I don't know what this means.
If you haven't figured it out by now, yeah, I'm a little bitter. It's not that the Mariners missed out on the best pitcher available; I was prepared for that weeks ago. It's not even that he went to Boston; better there than a division rival. It's how much the Red Sox spent just to talk to him. In a way, Daisuke Matsuzaka is like the most expensive prostitute of all time, only you have to pay up front (this may be standard practice but if someone wants to correct me I'm all ears) and there's only a 70-80% guarantee that you'll get what you want. I know it's hypocritical of me as a fan of a big-market team to complain about other organizations spending as much as they can to win, but the last thing this league needs is another limitless payroll. Instead of seeing logic and reason take over and having zero teams like the New York Yankees, now we have two. That pisses me off.
I suppose Boston's sitting on a gold mine with their expensive sellouts and popular merchandise, so they can afford to pay this much for what they consider to be the prize of the market, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. And while I understand that posting fee money isn't the same as actually committing part of your payroll to a free agent, I can't help but think back to the deal Kris Benson signed with the Mets a few years ago and how that set the market. With so little available talent, prices were already going to be crazy; now they might end up even worse than that as teams try to keep up. I didn't want the Mariners to be involved in the running for any of the popular names before, and now I'm even more steadfast against it. It just isn't the smart thing to do (regardless of whether or not Matsuzaka's price actually has an impact).
Anyway, I can't think of a fan base that deserves Matsuzaka less than Red Sox Nation. If they were pompously obnoxious before, now they get to gloat over how they landed the best player of the offseason. I already know this is going to suck - at this point it's just a question of how much, and how often. Odds are good that Matsuzaka's one of the five best pitchers in the AL, and he's going to be a thorn in our paws for years as he only turned 26 two months ago. I swear to you, my only solace is that being a mercenary carries a penalty of death, and once Matsuzaka's identified as what he is, it's only a matter of time before the government steps in and informs him of his punishment. I'm sorry it has to be this way, Daisuke, but you made your bed. Now you and Bill Simmons get to sleep in it.