If it wasn't the $51 million posting bid that the Red Sox gave to the Seibu Lions, Matsuzaka's Japanese team until 2006, just to have the opportunity to negotiate a contract, it was the rumors of the dynamic stuff that Daisuke possessed.
Reports even surfaced regarding his ability to throw a legendary pitch known as the gyroball.
Fast forward almost three and a half years, and the general perception of Matsuzaka is very different.
Matsuzaka's time in Boston has been anything but consistent.
Matsuzaka followed a somewhat lackluster 2007 "rookie" campaign with a much better 2008 season, in which he finished 18-3 (fifth overall in wins) with a 2.90 ERA (third), and finished in fourth place in AL cy young voting.
Yet critics accused Matsuzaka of being too complacent on the mound.