Hideki Matsui was without a doubt one of the classiest players I’ve had the pleasure of covering, wonderfully balancing his graceful nature with a flair for the dramatic. His final game as a Yankee, the historic Game 6 of the 2009 World Series, could not have been a more perfect conclusion to his seven seasons in pinstripes.
Derek Jeter often called Matsui one of his favorite teammates, and that’s high praise — and well deserved. I was personally always amazed by Matsui’s pain tolerance; you’d see him 20 minutes after the end of a game in which he more often than not did something to help the Yankees’ cause, and he would be grimacing at his locker with huge ice bags strapped to both knees.
More than once, I can remember seeing Matsui before a game and thinking there was no way he’d be in that night’s lineup. Not only would he go through batting practice and wind up in the starting nine, but flash forward a few hours and I’d be scribbling a ‘HR’ in the scorecard next to his name.
Here is the press release from the Yankees announcing Matsui’s retirement, with statements included from Hal Steinbrenner, Jeter and Brian Cashman:
DECEMBER 27, 2012
NEW YORK YANKEES REACT TO THE RETIREMENT OF HIDEKI MATSUI
Earlier today, former Yankee Hideki Matsui announced his retirement from Major League Baseball.
Matsui – nicknamed ‘Godzilla’ – spent seven seasons with the New York Yankees (2003-09), combining to bat .292 (977-for-3,348) with 536 runs, 196 doubles, 140 home runs and 597RBI.
Originally signed by the Yankees as a free agent on January 14, 2003, following a 10-year career in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants, Matsui became first player in franchise history to hit a grand slam in his Yankee Stadium debut, doing so on April 8, 2003 vs. Minnesota.
The two-time All-Star (2003-04) did not miss a game over his first three years with the Yankees, playing 518 consecutive games – which remains the longest streak of consecutive games played to start a career in Major League Baseball. He also drove in at least 100 runs four times during his MLB career, including each of his first three seasons.
In his final game as a Yankee, Matsui went 3-for-4 with a home run and 6RBI in the Yankees’ World Series-clinching Game 6 win vs. Philadelphia on November 4, 2009. The 6RBI is tied the World Series record for a single game (also the Yankees’ Bobby Richardson in 1960 and Albert Pujols in 2011), and sealed Matsui’s unanimous selection as the World Series MVP.
STATEMENT FROM YANKEES MANAGING GENERAL PARTNER HAL STEINBRENNER
“Hideki Matsui, in many ways, embodied what this organization stands for. He was dedicated to his craft, embraced his responsibilities to his team and fans, and elevated his play when he was needed the most. He did all these things with a humility that was distinctly his own, which is why he was such a big part of our success and why he will always be a cherished member of the Yankees family.”
STATEMENT FROM YANKEES GENERAL MANAGER BRIAN CASHMAN
“Hideki is proof that baseball is an international attraction that brings people from all over the world together in their passion for the game. He was the type of player and person you want young fans of this game to emulate. He played with pride, discipline and of course talent, and flourished when the lights were at their brightest. People naturally gravitated towards him, and that’s a direct reflection of his character. He was a true professional in every sense of the word and it feels good knowing he was able to raise the championship trophy as a member of the Yankees.”
STATEMENT FROM YANKEES SHORTSTOP DEREK JETER (Matsui’s teammate from 2003-09)
“I’ve said it numerous times over the years, but it’s worth repeating now. I’ve had a lot of teammates over the years with the Yankees, but I will always consider Hideki one of my favorites. The way he went about his business day in and day out was impressive. Despite being shadowed by a large group of reporters, having the pressures of performing for his fans both in New York and Japan and becoming acclimated to the bright lights of New York City, he always remained focused and committed to his job and to those of us he shared the clubhouse with. I have a lot of respect for Hideki. He was someone we counted on a great deal and he’s a big reason why we became World Champions in 2009.”
NEW YORK – The Yankees announced on Friday that they have agreed with outfielder Brett Gardner on a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.
Financial terms of the agreement were not immediately available. Gardner, 29, was arbitration eligible for the second time and earned $2.8 million in 2012.
The Yankees have envisioned Gardner as either their starting left fielder or center fielder in 2013, with a chance that Curtis Granderson would move to a corner outfield spot.
Gardner was limited to just 16 games this year due to a right elbow strain suffered in April that later required arthroscopic surgery. He batted .323 (10-for-31) with two doubles and three RBIs at the big league level.
A career .266 hitter in 475 Major League games over five seasons, Gardner was a third-round selection of the Yankees in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.
Here’s the press release from the Yankees:
The New York Yankees announced today that 3B Alex Rodriguez will undergo a left hip arthroscopy to repair a torn labrum, bone impingement and the correction of a cyst.
The injury was discovered after the conclusion of the season during Rodriguez’s regularly scheduled annual November physical evaluation with Dr. Marc Philippon. The diagnosis was confirmed after the Yankees sought the second opinion of Dr. Bryan Kelly. Both doctors believe that there is a very strong possibility that Rodriguez’s hip condition may have had a negative effect on his performance during the latter stages of the season and the playoffs.
The procedure will be performed by Dr. Kelly at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York after Rodriguez completes a four-to-six week pre-habilitation regimen, as directed by Dr. Kelly.
The surgery—which will be similar but not identical to the one performed on Rodriguez’s right hip in 2009—is anticipated to require a four-to-six month recovery time.
Major League Baseball has announced game times for Game 3 of the American League Division Series, scheduled for Wednesday between the Yankees and Orioles in New York.
The game is set for 7:37 p.m. ET, but that could change if both the Reds-Giants NLDS and the Athletics-Tigers ALDS are over by then. If that’s the case, TBS would bump the Yankees and Orioles back an hour to 8:37 p.m. ET so they air in prime time.
Here’s the release from the Yankees, as the wind whips the flags here in the Bronx and the storm is on the way:
SEPTEMBER 18, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TONIGHT’S YANKEES-BLUE JAYS GAME POSTPONED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER;
WILL BE MADE UP AS FIRST GAME (1:05 P.M.) OF DAY-NIGHT SEPARATE-ADMISSION DOUBLEHEADER ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
The New York Yankees announced that tonight’s game between the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium has been postponed due to inclement weather. This marks the first game postponed at Yankee Stadium during the 2012 season.
Tonight’s postponed game will be made up as the first game (1:05 p.m.) of a day-night, separate admission doubleheader to be played tomorrow, Wednesday, September 19 at Yankee Stadium. The game originally scheduled for September 19 remains scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start.
***THE ONLY TICKETS VALID FOR WEDNESDAY’S 1:05 P.M. GAME ARE TICKETS DATED SEPTEMBER 18.***
Fans holding paid tickets for tonight’s game may use them for the rescheduled game or exchange their paid tickets for any regular season game at Yankee Stadium during the 2012 or 2013 season (subject to availability).
Fans holding Complimentary tickets (COMP) for tonight’s game must use them for the rescheduled game on Wednesday, September 19 at 1:05 p.m. Complimentary tickets (COMP) or equivalent tickets bear no cash value and do not have any additional benefits that may be offered to ticket(s) with a dollar value.
For complete information about the Yankees’ rainout policy, please visit http://www.yankees.com/rainout.
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