The Yankees are about to sign another veteran outfielder, a left-handed hitter who’s a proven postseason slugger.
Tomorrow morning, Hideki Matsui will re-sign with the Yankees, only to promptly retire as a member of the organization.
“I haven’t seen him in a little while, so I’m looking forward to getting a chance to talk to him,” Derek Jeter said. “I love Matsu, man. I’ve always told you guys he’s been one of my favorite teammates. I’m looking forward to seeing him. … He was a professional. He played every day. The biggest thing is he never made excuses. He never talked about injuries; he never used injuries as an excuse. He went out there and played. As players, you appreciate that.”
Before tomorrow’s game, Matsui will sign a minor league contract to officially rejoin the Yankees organization. He will then sign retirement papers during a pregame ceremony. These are the announced plans for the ceremony, which begins at approximately 12:30 p.m.:
• Video tribute on center-field video board
• Matsui to enter field on golf cart (via center field) and be driven down third-base line
• Matsui brought to home plate, where a desk and chair will be set up. He will be joined by Yankees Senior Vice President/General Manager Brian Cashman and Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman.
• Father (Masao Matsui) and mother (Saeko Matsui) will join the group at home plate.
• Matsui will sign his retirement papers and be presented with a matted and framed a 2009 Yankees jersey.
Matsui will then throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the first 18,000 fans will receive a Hideki Matsui bobblehead presented that portrays Matsui with his 2009 World Series MVP trophy.
“Our fans are always big on history, so they’ll always remember Matsu, especially in that 2009 World Series,” Jeter said. “It’s well-deserved. I couldn’t imagine coming from one country and going to another with all those expectations and performing like he did. He deserves it.”
Associated Press photo