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Posts Tagged ‘Hideki Matsui’

Derek Jeter-HannahDavis

AP Photo/Kyodo News, Suo Takekuma

  • Not everyone in Japan knows who Derek Jeter is. Some think he’s a catcher. Others have no idea who he is. That must be refreshing for him.
  • John Sterling unfortunately lost everything in an apartment fire. He lost all of his World Series rings in the blaze, except for 2009 (which he was wearing). Alex Rodriguez even offered him a place to stay.
  • Hannaah Davis landed the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Swimsuit Issue. I met her at the “Swim City” event in Manhattan and I got a chance to meet her. She was absolutely beautiful. I even asked her to take a selfie with me and she gladly did. She’s got my approval (not that she needs it).
  • Joe Torre wants everyone to keep quiet about A-Rod and let him play. Mr. T stated, “Obviously, what Alex did was wrong. He admits that. There’s nothing left for him to do but play baseball.”
Hannah Davis - Derek Jeter's Girlfriend

Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Derek Jeter - Hideki Matsui

Source: Chris McGrath/Getty Images AsiaPac

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Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka

Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is the seventh Japanese player to be part of the New York Yankees.

Before signing him, the Yankees were in the ninth place in the odds lists for winning the 2014 World Series. The favorites to win this season are Los Angeles Dodgers. You can check your favorite team’s place in SportsBettingDime.com.

Tanaka signed a seven-year $ 155 million contract, becoming the fifth Asian pitcher to join New York. The Yankees will have two Japanese in the rotation for next season, with Tanaka and veteran Hiroki Kuroda. The 25-year-old ended last season with a 24-0 record playing for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, with a 1.27 ERA. In 175 games, the Japanese threw 53 complete games with 18 shutouts and 1,238 strikeouts.

The team led by Joe Girardi has had a good experience with Japanese players (Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui), but none has excelled on the mound. The first Japanese pitcher to reach the Yankees was Hideki Irabu in 1997, who won two World Series with the team but did not take part in any game. Irabu finished with 27 wins and 24 losses in two years in New York, with a 3.31 ERA. He allowed 396 hits and 165 runs while striking out 317 rivals.

Kei Igawa was signed in 2007 and stayed only two seasons with the team. The former Hanshin Tigers player started 13 games and finished with a 2-4 record with a 6.66 ERA. He allowed 89 hits, 54 runs and 15 home runs. Due to his low-level of play, the team sent him to AAA team and tried to trade him to another squad in Japan.

Ryota Igarashi, who arrived from the Toronto Blue Jays, was the third Japanese pitcher to try his luck with the Yankees. He joined the team in 2012, but had only two appearances, pitching three innings with four hits and four runs.

After four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kuroda signed a one-year contract with New York in January 2012 and achieved a 16-11 mark. Thanks to his good numbers he stayed for another season, but only got 11 wins and closed with seven losses in his last 10 appearances.

Next season, Tanaka will be the ninth Japanese active player in the MLB, but the Yankees expect him to become the biggest star of the Rising Sun country to return to the playoffs and aspire to another World Series title.

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Luis Castillo, the Yankees batboy from 1998-2005 has come out with a new memoir entitled “Clubhouse Confidential.” He shares some secrets and some of his favorite memories while holding the position. Here’s just a peak at what it’s all about:

It was before Game 7 of the 2004 American League Championship Series, a game  that we would lose. The series was tied 3-3 at that point, and it was  particularly disheartening since we had won the first three games. Unknown to  us, Boston’s comeback was not to be stopped.

At any rate, at the end of the meeting it was traditional for Joe Torre to  ask Jorge Posada what we were going to do. He would reply, “Grind it!” This time  — I guess to make Hideki Matsui feel more part of the team — Torre turned to him at the end of the  meeting.

“What are we going to do?”Hideki paused for just a second before replying. “Kick ass. Pop champagne. And get some ho’s.”

Yankee fans are on the rise in Queens. “Transit direction website HopStop.com sifted through its database of searches to Yankee Stadium and Citi Field since opening day and found that the city leans heavily toward the pinstripes. In fact, more than 68% of travelers who used HopStop were headed to the Stadium in the Bronx, based on more than 100,000 queries.”

Yanks need a starter for Tuesday  Since Phil Hughes entered tonight’s game in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Yankees will need to decide on who to start Tuesday’s game. According to Wallace Matthews, “A. J. Burnett will probably replace Hughes on Tuesday, and either Bartolo Colon or Ivan Nova would go on Wednesday.”

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I recently had a canvas commissioned at Easy Canvas Prints of my late grandparents. The quality of their work is exceptional, and it seriously blew me away when I first opened up the package. Their customer service was terrific and was delivered in a timely fashion. So, if you have any interest in getting a canvas done of a iconic sports moment, a family photo, or quote..you now know where to go. (more…)

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The AL West shapes up as a showdown of pitching vs. offense, with the team that used to set the standard now entrenched as an also-ran and a rebuilding effort in the Great Northwest. In what should be essentially a two-team race, the nod goes to the A’s and their young guns.

Oakland surprised many by posting the best rotation ERA in the league last season. Despite trading Vin Mazzaro to Kansas City this offseason, the A’s still look to have easily the best rotation in their division, while adding Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes to what was an already impressive bullpen may give the team the best top-to-bottom staff in the league. Given their ages, one can only expect the rotation, led by Brett Anderson and strike-out machine Gio Gonzalez to continue to improve. While the offense is still underwhelming, adding Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham and David DeJesus to the under-rated Daric Barton and Kurt Suzuki should provide enough punch to lead the A’s to their first division title since 2006.

The defending league champions will miss the departed Vladimir Guerrero‘s bat, but that’s not the piece that looks to derail the Texas Rangers bid to repeat. Losing Cliff Lee and not replacing him with anyone has led them to scramble to find starters from their relief corps and a few reclamation projects, such as Brandon Webb. The Rangers will still hit – any team that includes Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Michael Young and Ian Kinsler will score runs. Adding Mike Napoli should help, but the Adrian Beltre signing is one of those “buyer beware” type deals: Beltre’s bat has a history of coming alive only in contract years, although his glove work remains impeccable. Expect Texas to be involved in a lot of 10-8 type games.

The Angels once were considered the standard of excellence in the division, making the playoffs 6 times in an 8 year span from 2002 – 2009. Last year, the team finished below .500 and they’ll struggle to reach that mark again this year. Provided Scott Kazmir can recapture some lost magic and Joel Piniero can continue to wiggle out of jams, the rotation looks to be better than average. But the once-feared bullpen is no longer a sure thing, now led by the erratic Fernando Rodney as the closer. The line-up is ill-suited to playing manager Mike Scioscia‘s style, featuring aging players now playing out of position – with the curious addition of Vernon Wells joining former stars Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu, as well as rookie Peter Bourjos in the outfield rotation. The Angels will be further hampered by 1B Kendry Morales uncertain status; reports suggest he may not return until May from last season’s freakish broken leg.

Finally, there’s the Mariners. Last year’s pre-season Cinderella pick collapsed by April 30th and went downhill from there. At least, this season doesn’t bring those types of expectations to Seattle – which is a good thing. If Erik Bedard is healthy again, he could prove a nice one-two pairing with reigning Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez. CF Franklin Gutierrez seemed to regress last year, but the talent is still there and he may have experienced the dreaded “sophomore slump.” Seattle fans will also be able to root for Ichiro Suzuki to make it 11 consecutive seasons with 200+ hits and 25+ steals, a feat never before accomplished in major league baseball.

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Yankees (5-2) vs. Angels (2-6)

Pitching Matchup: 

RHP Javier Vazquez (0-1, 12.71) vs RHP Joel Piniero (0-1, 4.50)

Yankees Lineup

Jeter SS
Johnson DH
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Posada C
Granderson CF
Swisher RF
Gardner LF (more…)

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  Athletic Trainer Gene Monahan Of The New York Yankees Acknowledges The Fans

Gene Monahan showed up at the game yesterday, and got a rousing ovation from the Yankees faithful, and all the players on the Yankees ball club. It was a very emotional moment for Gene, and it just showed everyone how much this guy really means to the organization.

“The toughest part of this has been missing my family here,” said the 65-year-old Monahan, who has worked in the Yankees organization for 48 years and was making his 38th consecutive Opening Day appearance with the big club.

“This particular group is very special because it looks out for each other, and they certainly looked out for me. Everybody stayed in touch, they sent me videos, and they told me to stay strong.

“I didn’t want to come. I didn’t want to be a distraction. I didn’t want to be in the way, but I got convinced by everybody it was important to stop by and say hello and let the guys know I’m here to help out in any way I can until I get back.”

Tears were brought to the eyes of Joe Girardi when he spoke about Gene. He said, “The toughest ring I gave out was probably the first one to Geno.” Mr. Monahan is staying optimistic about his prognosis, and hopes to return to the club some time this summer.

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George M. Steinbrenner III was also in the house yesterday, as expected. He was shown on the big video board in centerfield, and got a nice ovation from the crowd. Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi personally met with Mr. Steinbrenner in his box prior to the ceremony, and hand delivered his World Series ring. From the Yankees Official Website:

“It was fun,” Jeter said about giving the Boss his ring. “None of us would be here. The Stadium wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. To get the opportunity to present him with the ring was probably the thing I’ll take most out of today.”

Hal Steinbrenner said that his father sat in stunned silence as Jeter gave him the ring, and he put it on his hand to replace the one representing the 2000 World Series, which the Yankees won in five games over the Mets for their third in a row and fourth in five years.

“He was very choked up and kind of silent,” Hal Steinbrenner said. “It was what I expected. He was very emotional and choked up as we all get from time to time. He said, ‘You’ve done a great job. Keep going, you guys.’ As he’s gotten older, he’s gotten more emotional and he’s calmed down. He’s certainly different than 10-15 years ago, when Jeter and Girardi played for him. No doubt, he’s done with that.”

One more thing, Steinbrenner said. Jeter, who grew up in Michigan and whose first Yankees opener was in 1996, jokingly asked the elder Steinbrenner to remove his Ohio State ring.

“He didn’t do that — he took the 2000 ring off and put the new one on,” Hal Steinbrenner told reporters earlier. “Jeter is great at breaking the ice in situations like that. My dad looked right at him, pointed right at him, and said, ‘Michigan!’ I think it all came back to him. Other than that, he was just about speechless, which is what we expected.”

Angels Yankees Baseball

  Team Owner George Steinbrenner And His Wife Joan Watch The New York Yankees Play Against  Of The Los Angeles Angels

Derek Jeter pulled a nice prank on Matsui yesterday, during the Yankees ring ceremony. From Andrew Marchand:

“The captain got a ring that they gave in Tampa [at the end of spring training],” Joe Girardi said. “It was a ring that they handed out to all the fans. It was a giveaway so Jeet thought it would be appropriate to put it in Matsui’s box because he would be the only one that wouldn’t be standing next to someone to compare it. So [Matsui] took it over [to the Angels dugout].

“[Mike] Scioscia was kind of looking at it and he said, ‘It didn’t really look right.’ So when I was introduced [during the pregame introductions], I asked Mike if I could give [the real one] to [Matsui]. He had a huge smile. That is one of the things that sometimes people don’t know about Jeet, he likes to pull pranks.”

Jeter imagined that when Matsui looked at the ring his eyes bulged from his head.

“You knew it would be funny,” Jeter said.

Matsui said he didn’t know he was given a fake until Girardi handed him the real one during the player introductions. He didn’t know it was Jeter behind the prank until the media told him.

“We knew [Matsui] wouldn’t be able to compare it to anyone’s on the other side, so we gave him the bootleg one,” a grinning Jeter told Jones after the Yankees’ 7-5 win. “Knowing him, he was probably happy to receive that one, too.” 

 “I will remember it forever,” said Matsui

  Hideki Matsui #55 Of The Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim Is Greeted By Former Teammates Alex Rodriguez #13, Derek Jeter

(more…)

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You can check out a recap of the game here (courtesy of Bryan Hoch). I will soon post my take of the game and the whole experience of going to the home opener.

Final Score: Yankees 7, Angels 5

  Andy Pettitte #46 Of The New York Yankees Greets Yankee's Legends And Baseball Hall Of Famers Yogi Berra (L) And

(more…)

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Tomorrow, the New York Yankees will host a ceremony prior to the game to honor the 2009 World Champion ball club. The gates will open up to the fans at 11AM. (All Information Courtesy of the NY Yankees Official Website)

The Festivities begin at 12:15PM ET

  • World Series Rings will be handed out to the players and coaches by Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra.
  • The Ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Bernie Williams. He will become the ninth ex-Yankee to throw an Opening Day first pitch.
  • Championship flags for each of the Yankees’ 27 WS titles will be on display, and it will encompass the roof of the entire Yankee Stadium.
  • Emmy & Tony Award winner Kristen Chenoweth will sing the national anthem. The colors will be represented by the West Point color guard.
  • A giant American flag will be unfurled in the outfield by the West Point Cadets
  • After the anthem, the Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12- a U.S. Navy Reserve fighter squadron. They are known as the “Fighting Omars,” and stand as one of the Navy’s two Reserve Hornet squadrons.), will execute a fly-over.
  • U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Mary May Messenger will perform “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch.

Hideki Matsui will be in attendance in an Angels uniform, and will probably get a well-deserved ovation. George M. Steinbrenner III is also planning to attend. According to George King, Gene Monahan will be there as well.

NYY vs. LAA: Pitching Matchup:

RHP Ervin Santana (0-1, 6.00) vs LHP Andy Pettitte (0-0, 1.50)

The game will start at 1:05PM ET. It will be televised on both the YES and MLB Network.

The Yankees ask their fans to please budget ample time when planning their trip to the Stadium and to consider using public transportation.

(more…)

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It is hard to look at a player like Hideki Matsui — who is loved in New York and loved playing in New York — and let him go.

Looking back at Hideki, he is one of the rare players to come from Japan, chock full of hype and live up to the hype that is given to him. Given, he didn’t hit 50+ homeruns, however I don’t think most fans would argue that his 25+ homeruns and stellar approach at the plate is anything to shake a stick at.

In December 2002, the Yankees signed Hideki to a deal of 3 years/$21 million. Looking back on it, his averages over that time span of .297, 23 HR’s and 110 RBI’s one can surmise that the Yankees got a steal of a deal when they signed Hideki. Hideki’s next contract of 4 years/$52 million was more in line with his value in the field than his previous one. However, all Yankees fans cared about is whether or not he was on the team. With the exception of 2 years really, the Yankees got great production out of Hideki and couldn’t be happier about it.

Most people thought that in 2003 Hideki would not produce as expected as he was getting used to the pitching, per se. His line for 2003 was .287, 16 HR’s, and 106 RBIs. This Hideki struck out 86 times, the second highest in his time in the Major Leagues. He also came in second to Angel Berrora in the Rookie of the Year voting by 4 points.

2004 turned out to be a better year for Hideki on almost all fronts. He continued to be an iron man and improved on almost all of his numbers except for his strikeouts, which were the highest of his MLB career at 103. Other than that, he hit .298 with 31 HR’s and 108 RBIs. He also was an All Star for the second year in a row.

Arguably Hideki’s best season as a Yankee came in 2005 when he hit .305 with 23 HR’s and 116 RBI’s. He also finished 14th in MVP voting this year. (more…)

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You may have been really sad when you first heard that Hideki Matsui wasn’t going to be a Yankee, but you may have some different thoughts now. I’m not saying that we won’t miss him, but it will ease your pain.

Erik Boland from Newsday:

Though certainly not approaching Omar Minaya territory, Brian Cashman took some heat this offseason for not retaining Hideki Matsui. It was no secret the Yankees felt Matsui’s knees, which kept him from playing any games in the field last season, were only getting worse. Matsui’s first meeting this spring with reporters covering the Angels backed up the Yankees’ perspective.

“To be honest, my knees aren’t 100 percent,” Matsui said Friday.  

Not a good sign in February.

Not that we wish this upon Matsui, but the fact of the matter is…his knees aren’t in good shape. If his knees aren’t at 100% now, imagine what he will be like in the dog days of summer. Some of you may come to realize that maybe Cashman made the right decision. Brian Cashman’s whole mission is to keep a championship team on the field and get younger at the same time. If you think over the situation and put your personal feelings for Hideki aside, I think you have a different view.

Nobody denies that Matsui was phenomenal in the postseason, but you can’t just bring him back for that. It’s about the regular season and the condition of the player as well. If you look over his season (which was pretty good, but nothing spectacular), it doesn’t make you think that it would be insane for the ball club to let him go. His World Series performance put it over the top, because he was awesome when it counted the most.

Did you really want Matsui locking up the DH spot for another year with bad knees? Think it over.

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At the end of the 2005 season Brian Cashman almost left the Yankees as he was fed up of fractured chain of command on the baseball operations side of the Yankees. Cashman took nearly two weeks to decide whether or not to come back. In the end, Cashman wanted more authority and received it as well as a 3 year/$5.5 million contract. Since late 2005, the Yankees have finished in first (2006), in second with a Wild Card berth (2007), in third place (2008) and in first place with a 27th World Series championship (2009).

Obviously, a lot has happened in Yankeesland since Cashman was given full autonomy from good draft picks to good free agent signings (or re-signings) to good trades and obviously, there is the converse of that. Over the next 4 posts (this one included) we will try to breakdown a portion of those transactions that either mattered or made some sort of an impact and give Cashmoney a grade for each year and overall.

When we say year, we generally mean from late October to late October (For example October 2005-October 2006 would be a year) unless otherwise specified.

Without further milking the cow, here’s October 2005 to October 2006 and our analysis of the first year of Cashman’s autonomy.

(more…)

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After yesterday’s home run themed post, let’s continue with this theme today and compare those Yankee pitchers who serve up meatballs (ie No Doubters) and the hitters on the Yankees that have hit the most last season. You can click the previous link to find out the Hit Tracker’s definition of a No Doubter.

Yankees Hitters:

Name Amount
Mark Teixeira 16
Melky Cabrera 8
Hideki Matsui 7
Jorge Posada 6
Johnny Damon 6

Pitchers:

Name Amount
Andy Pettitte 6
AJ Burnett 5
Sergio Mitre 3
Chien-Ming Wang 3
Joba Chamberlain 3

The most ‘No Doubters’ given up were 10 this year was by James Shields, would have thought Joba would have been higher than just the measly 3 he gave up, oh well. I was also a little surprised that the dearly departed Melky had 8 No Doubters.

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