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Hideki Matsui to announce retirement

Posted by: vmercogliano - Posted in Misc on Dec 27, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Word has surfaced from several Japanese news sources that former Yankees playoff hero Hideki Matsui will soon officially announce his retirement. There have been rumors that he will make the announcement in New York where he began his 10-year major league career after playing professionally in Japan for 10 seasons.

Of course, Matsui will be remembered most fondly for his tremendous performance with the Yankees in the 2009 World Series, when he hit .615 with three homers and eight RBI in 14 plate appearances to earn MVP honors. But Matsui’s list of accomplishments on two different continents is one of the most impressive of all-time. After being named the Central League MVP in Japan three times, he signed with the Yankees in December of 2002 to much fanfare. Unlike many others that have attempted to make the quantum leap, Matsui transitioned well and became a key cog for the Yankees for seven seasons. He had four seasons with at least 100 RBI, five with at least 20 homers and was named to the All-Star team twice.

After one-year stints with the Angels, A’s and Rays, Matsui is calling it quits at the age of 38. His final season was cut short when he was released by Tampa Bay in July after his average had dipped to .147. In my mind, Matsui will go down as the second-best Japanese-born position player to play in the U.S. after Ichiro. He finished as a .282 hitter in the majors with 175 homers and 760 RBI, but it was the World Series title that truly cemented his legacy in Yankees’ history.

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95 Responses to “Hideki Matsui to announce retirement”

  1. mick December 27th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Thank you Matsui san….you are all class.

  2. Benny Blanco December 27th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Matsui = first class.

  3. chicken little December 27th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Players like Matsui are why its worth it to take risks. I just wish Hal, Cash, etc … would remember that. Matsui was class all the way and performed well on the biggest stage. I hope the Yanks honor him somehow (though not by retiring the #).

  4. billy December 27th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you Matsui. Class act. Happy I was able to see him play.

  5. blake December 27th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    @JonHeymanCBS: Justin Upton back in play for possible trade, but #dbacks owner may need convincing to deal him. http://t.co/5UtI4F7Z

  6. blake December 27th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    We need a matsui

  7. blake December 27th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    @KenDavidoff: The #Yankees have added former #Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu to their pro scouting staff.

    Good add

  8. mick December 27th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    PJ Carliisimo to take over for Avery Johnson?

  9. Ys Guy December 27th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    the diamondbacks should just shut up about j upton. nobody wants to freakin hear every 3 days that he’s available or he’s not freakin available.

    trade him or don’t just shut up about it!

  10. Jerkface December 27th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Matsui is the kind of player the Yankees need. Hit for average, with good plate discipline both in terms of walk rate & strike out rate, had good power both for the gap & over the fence, played quality defense, and was someone who could hit any type of pitching.

  11. mick December 27th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    matsui and damon have not been replaced.
    if we had , we might have had another championship(s).

  12. austinmac December 27th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Matsui was a great player to watch who gave me many moments of joy. I wish him well. He always seemed such a rock.

  13. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    blake-

    Kind of confused by Heyman’s report.

    He says in there that Kendrick is a JU supporter.

    Really ?

    Don’t quite get that since he is the one who called JU out in public, and seemed to want him moved.

    Something doesn’t quite compute.

    ;)

  14. mick December 27th, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Matsui was the type of ballplayer you could root for.
    Cut in the mold of a DiMaggio, Jeter, Bernie.
    Dependable, reliable, no nonsense, all about business…

  15. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    You know you are dealing with a special player and human being when they apologize to he fans for having injured themself.

    That was Hideki Matsui.

    ;)

  16. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Matsui was a great “situational hitter”.

  17. The Return of Stoneburner December 27th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Matsui came in with a grand slam in his first YS game, and left a WS hero.

  18. RayVT December 27th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Kuroda san is cut in the same cloth as well! I miss Matsui san!!

  19. austinmac December 27th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    All good points about Matsui. People like him are hard to come by. Plus, he sure could hit.

  20. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    It’s Ichiro’s turn now.

    ;)

  21. austinmac December 27th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I agree also about Kuroda. He seems unshakable. Of course, he evidently went through He’ll in his training.

  22. RayVT December 27th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Ichiro san is cut in the same cloth as well! I miss Matsui san!!

  23. The Return of Stoneburner December 27th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Yanks not only need players like Matsui, but more fans with his type of honor and sensibilities. If Matsui were a fan, he would probably not complain as much about 189. Have faith in the Yankees my son and Matsui – - – -

  24. Duh Innings II December 27th, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you for 2003-09 Hideki (esp.2009 : ) A class act all the way.

    Enjoy collecting TWO baseball pensions (Japanese League and Major League.)

    I could see him winning public office in Japan one day.

  25. austinmac December 27th, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I would like to point out spending money and taking a risk got us Matsui. Igawa should not be the only memory.

  26. tomingeorgia December 27th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Just thinking back over “stop gaps” I can remember. Well, there were Enos Slaughter and Johnny Mize, and many more. Old heads, pitch in here.

  27. St. Pete Yankee December 27th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    He was a classic Yankee who always gave his best — at bat, on the bases and in the field. His class on and off the field, without fanfare or attention seeking, fits right in with great Yankees like Gehrig, DiMaggio and Jeter.

    Hideki, I hope you will come back for Old Timers Day from time to time. I know it doesn’t matter to you, but the ovation will be enormous, just like the day in 2010 when you got your World Series Championship ring.

  28. Jerkface December 27th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Good ole Stoneburner, can’t make a post without attacking fellow fans.

  29. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Matsui, Johnny D, and Abreu made for 3 really, really tough outs.

    It was fun watchin’ them grind it out.

    :)

  30. BoJo December 27th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Best wishes hidecki…

    He won me a prize in the Daily News contest for predicting the WS MVP in 2009 series. I had a gut feeling he would turn up big as he was a money player. Got a set of Yankee history DVDs for it.

    I always remember him when I look at the videos.

    BTW–my money now would be on Ichy as he is another money player….

  31. BoJo December 27th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Hidecki knew how to drive in a run by giving up an out too

  32. tomingeorgia December 27th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Bojo,
    Nice to see you, but all of us here know we’re DOOMED!
    Matsui was a pro’s pro.

  33. mick December 27th, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Abreu could be on the radar…

  34. BoJo December 27th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Tommy–nice to be seen! hope you and all here are well.

  35. mick December 27th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    There was no ego or selfishness about Matsui.
    Different culture i guess…

  36. RMS December 27th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Matsui, thank you. Class act all the way.

  37. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Unfortunately, I believe Bobby’s hitting skills have severely diminished.

    :(

  38. mick December 27th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I think bringing in guys like Youkilis and Ichiro show a return toward the traits that O’Neill and Matsui brought.

  39. mick December 27th, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Abreu will still go 3-2 every AB.

  40. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Eye is still great.

    It’s just the rest of his hitting skills that have declined.

    If he were a little younger would have made an excellent DH.

  41. mick December 27th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Abreu might brood if Jeter got too many of “his” AB’s.
    Thome might not…

  42. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Right now I’m curious to see who that 4th, RH hitting OF’er turns out to be ?

  43. austinmac December 27th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Abreu may now be big enough to be picked by radar.

  44. mick December 27th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    give thome and figgins minor league deals, see what they have left in ST.

  45. mick December 27th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Diaz could be that 4th man.

  46. chicken little December 27th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    It would be nice to add an “impact” type bat that hits from the right side and can play OF (Hairston would do, Upton obviously would be ideal). Guys like Thome (who probably would love to play here, particularly because of the DH opening) and Figgins (for versatility and speed — gives Joe options late in game) who wouldn’t complain about being on the bench may make sense on minor league deals. Abreu doesn’t make sense because he has complained about being a bench player …

  47. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    yup. Could be.

    Think there might just be someone else though.

    I always liked Matt.

  48. blake December 27th, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Jerkface says:
    December 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm
    Matsui is the kind of player the Yankees need. Hit for average, with good plate discipline both in terms of walk rate & strike out rate, had good power both for the gap & over the fence, played quality defense, and was someone who could hit any type of pitching.

    This

  49. Doreen December 27th, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Good luck and all the best to Matsui. A pleasure to watch play for his entire tenure in NY, capped off by a World Series performance for the ages. One of the best signings ever of the modern Yankees.

    As for Damon and Matsui not being replaced, well, they likely could not have replaced themselves. And Matsui hit the road rather than wait for the Yankees off-season plan to unfold and Damon turned down a two-year offer.

    And Damon and Matsui were with the Yankees multiple years with one World Series to show for it. So the last couple of years were likely due to a more complex reason than simply not having Damon and Matsui or their clones.

  50. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    For some reason when I see Diaz I think of Nady.

    Nady had more power but Diaz hits for higher avg.

    Both with health issues.

    Both from CA.

    Both Latino ?

    Whatever.

  51. blake December 27th, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I would bet Matsui has good numbers against the “best pitchers “

  52. BoJo December 27th, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I still think Travis hafner would be a good pick up in a minor league deal. My gut instinct tells me he will make a comeback…great Dh potential.

  53. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Bojo-

    Was Pronk injured last year ?

  54. blake December 27th, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Pronk on a minor league deal yes….but he can’t stay healthy enough to warrant more than that

  55. BoJo December 27th, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    He has been injured, and thus only deserves a minor league deal…but I don’t believe he is through yet…players like that can make it back

  56. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    He’d be great in that role if he could stay healthy enough.

  57. blake December 27th, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Apparently Bowden speculated that the Yanks could offer Mason Williams, Sanchez and Dante Jr for Justin Upton in his insider piece…..

    Id totally do that…..don’t know if Arizona would though….kinda doubt it

  58. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Blake-

    Not sure I’d give up Sanchez.

    And I’d substitute Heathcott if I could

  59. donnyb23 December 27th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Matsui was a beast in that 2009 World Series — polar opposite of what we got in the playoffs this year.

    Both Matsui and Ichiro always seem to me to have a very glacial calmness about their at-bats in big game situations. It’s almost as if the language barrier means that they can’t even comprehend the huge pressure of post-season play and they just look like they’re up their to do business like any other at-bat. Maybe it’s in my head, but I always felt great when Matsui came up in the playoffs or any other big situation because I knew he was the one guy, even more than Jeter, that would not be affected by the situation.

  60. blake December 27th, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    MTU,

    You know I don’t wanna give up Sanchez….but if I can get Upton and give up 3 A ballers then I think you have to…..

  61. RadioKev December 27th, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I loved watching Matsui go out on top. Part of me is still beaming from that Game 6.

  62. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    If the Yanks could as that deal for Upton then try their darndest to get Olt from Texas then they have two very young pieces to build around….. And still have Heathcott , Austin, and Flores

  63. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    @PeteAbe: Jeter on Matsui: “I’ve had a lot of teammates over the years with the Yankees, but I will always consider Hideki one of my favorites.”

  64. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    @YankeesPR: From Brian Cashman: He played with pride, discipline & of course talent, & flourished when the lights were at their brightest. #Godzilla

  65. jacksquat December 27th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    blake December 27th, 2012 at 5:21 pm
    @JonHeymanCBS: Justin Upton back in play for possible trade, but #dbacks owner may need convincing to deal him. http://t.co/5UtI4F7Z

    Yeah, right, whatever. I’m sick of hearing about Upton might be traded, then won’t, then might if the offer is right… Trade the guy or stfu.

  66. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    “Yeah, right, whatever. I’m sick of hearing about Upton might be traded, then won’t, then might if the offer is right… Trade the guy or stfu.”

    Yea I agree…..Upton has to be sick of it too

  67. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Blake-

    Bichette, Heathcott, and Betances.

    Towers use to rave about Betances.

    Of course I think it takes way more than that.

    My approach would be to hand Towers a list and say pick any 3/4.

    There would be very few who would not be on that list.

  68. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    @AnthonyMcCarron: Matsui also said that coming to the Yanks was one of the best things that ever happened in his life and he’ll never forget his Stadium debut

  69. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    MTU,

    Betances isn’t even a top 20 prospect for the Yanks anymore in a lot of folks eyes…..for a prospect only deal my guess is it’d take both Mason and Sanchez to even start the conversation

  70. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Upton should come and play for us.

    We’ll make him feel welcome.

    :)

  71. RadioKev December 27th, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    More Brian Cashman: “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.”

    That was the perfect way to cap his Yankee career. To finally get the ring.

  72. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Blake-

    Just hand Towers a list and say, “pick 3 or 4″.

    He knows our system about as well as anyone.

  73. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    “MTU says:
    December 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm
    Blake-

    Just hand Towers a list and say, “pick 3 or 4?.

    He knows our system about as well as anyone.”

    Maybe…..if they could trade for Upton then deal Granderson to recoup prospects or to get Olt then that’s be awesome.

  74. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Blake-

    Of course it would but it isn’t gonna happen.

    We both know that.

    Just shut up and eat your gruel.

  75. RadioKev December 27th, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Well, we wouldn’t want Towers to totally pick our pocket, but then again, A ball guys for a huge upside MLB talent? You couldn’t say no if you’re the Yankees.

  76. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Jeter SS
    Ichiro RF
    Cano 2B
    Tex 1B
    Upton LF
    Youk DH
    Olt 3B
    Romine C
    Gardner CF

    Yes please! Never happen…..

  77. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I really think Upton gets moved….he can’t be happy and this story just won’t die…..it’s time to move the kid for his and everyone’s sake

  78. tomingeorgia December 27th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Was there a sale on mushrooms?

  79. mick December 27th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    how about giancarlo stanton instead of j. up?

  80. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Blake-

    I think it’s one heck of an opportunity for some lucky team.

    It’s a amazing that he’s even available at his age.

    My only concern is about that shoulder. Would have to check his medicals very carefully.

    His bro had labrum surgery I think. Might be a genetic connection there.

    ;)

  81. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Stanton takes even more, and he likely isn’t available.

  82. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Cargo is scheduled to be a FA in 2015.

    Would the Rox trade him ?

    Nah.

    :(

  83. yankeefeminista December 27th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    :(

    I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to watch Matsui play from attending Matsui’s first game as a Yankee on OD at OYS in 2003 to his astounding 2009 WS MVP playoff performance to his return as an Angel on OD 2010 when he was embraced by the entire Yankee team, as he received his WS ring, his red cap showing amid a sea of white and blue. So many great moments; such a class act. Matsui wore the Pinstripes with honor and pride. He will be missed.

  84. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I’ll take McCutchen from the Bucco’s too.

    See. I’m not greedy.

    :)

  85. blake December 27th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    mick says:
    December 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm
    how about giancarlo stanton instead of j. up?

    As MtU says….he’d cost even more…probably more than the yanks even can offer

  86. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Granderson would hit about 60 dingers if he played at Coors.

    :)

  87. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I think we’ll wind up with Diaz and Julio Franco.

    Angel Berroa as DH.

    Satchel Paige and oil can Boyd out of the Pen.

    Deadly combo’s.

    ;)

  88. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    They also wanted another LOOGY but Moyer wasn’t available.

  89. Pat M. December 27th, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Opposing scouting reports as well as mgr’s, pitchers and players viewed Mats as the Yanks toughest out out, especially with guys on 2nd -3rd……Always felt that The Yanks should have resignd him rather than Nick Johnson

  90. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Pat M.-

    Happy Holidays.

    Any whispers for us ?

  91. MTU December 27th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    New one —–>

  92. GregD December 27th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Upton salary demands will keep him from being on the Yankee radar…..they aren’t going to take on any more $15M+ per year salary players. The only way they get any flexibility is to fill the OF positions with farm system players when they develop.

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