An interesting thought from the Times: Hideki Matsui is now the longest tenured Yankees without a fist-full of World Series rings.
“I think winning a world championship is what defines being a Yankee.”
“I don’t have any thoughts as far as going back to Japan,” Matsui said. “I would like to play here in the U.S. as long as possible.”
I've been thinking about Hideki a lot lately. I considered making him my Bold Prediction, but I'll save that announcement for tomorrow.
For now I'm thinking about where he'll play next season. I'm sure he won't be in the Bronx- with aging players locked in at all the infield positions and the potential for a nearly complete turnover in the outfield amid a commitment to getting younger/ more athletic, I just don't see any way to retain a defensively challenged left fielder.
I see Matsui on the West Coast. The M's seem like a logical choice, especially if this is Griffey's last season, but they really need to rebuild. If Matsui plays well and heals, I suspect he could move to the NL- the Giants need offense, and the Rockies will still be looking for a replacement for Matt Holliday. A lot will depend on Manny, but I also wouldn't rule out Hideki for a reunion with Torre in LA. The other 'LA' team has Vlad and Abreu up for free agency and might be interested. Depending on how things play out with Jason Giambi, the green and gold might bring in the latest member of the "aging vet- incentive contract" program.
Here's hoping that Hideki Matsui doesn't join Mike Mussina and Jason Giambi as eternal members of the Yankees-Without-Rings Club.