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The clock is ticking for the Captain

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Hideki Matsui not only got married yesterday, he completely suckered Bobby Abreu and Derek Jeter.

The three made a bet at the beginning of spring training over who would get married first. Whoever got hitched first would win. But there was a caveat: the losers could keep their money if they got married as well.

Abreu, because he already has a girlfriend, would get six months. Jeter, who is single, would get a year.

Jeter was stunned when he walked into the clubhouse this morning and learned that Matsui got married in New York yesterday. Captain Cool, the man who loves to say nothing surprises him, was astonished.

“He what?” Jeter said. “Seriously?”

Jeter quickly conceded the bet. “I got one year? No chance,” he said. “I’ll give him the money today. That’s pretty good. How do you say sneaky in Japanese? Ain’t that something? I should have known he was up to something.”

Said Abreu: “I’m writing him a check.”

Matsui was having a good time with the whole thing.

“Derek has a year or I win,” he said.

Asked whether he got married just to win the bet, Matsui let out a loud laugh. “Maybe,” he said.