FOX Sports Exclusive
Everything You Wanted to Know About Matsui
Share This Story
We've seen top pitching (Hideo Nomo,
Yeah, but isn't Tuffy Rhodes a god in Japan, too?
First of all, we'll argue that Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes, another lefty slugger, never got a fair shake with the
We know he puts up numbers, but is Matsui a winner?
In Matsui's 10 seasons, the
What position will Matsui play in the U.S.?
In Japan, he played mostly center field but can also play the other two outfield positions. To show off his versatility in November's seven-game series with the MLB All-Stars, his manager played him in RF. No doubt, he can also DH. Though he's a lefty batter, Matsui throws righty. He also picked up his third straight Golden Glove award this season.
If you had to compare Matsui to an American player, who would it be?
By most accounts, Matsui is the Japanese
How old is Matsui?
Matsui turned 28 in June. By comparison, Ichiro made the jump when he was 27, Nomo when he was 26 and Ishii when he was 28.
Has he always been this good or is he a late bloomer?
Matsui's success hardly came as a surprise. He was a top junior player and was once walked intentionally five times in a high school championship game. The Yomiuri
How much will Matsui have to adjust to American pitching?
Well, he actually lost to Bonds last month in a home-run hitting competition at the Tokyo Dome ... but it was close. Bonds jumped out to an early lead with eight home runs on 19 swings, but helped relax the "clearly nervous" Matsui by giving him a shoulder massage at the plate to the delight of the fans. Matsui responded with five shots, falling three short of tying Bonds.
What is the knock, if any, on Matsui?
From one scouting report: "Matsui has a fast swing but lacks Ichiro's samurai-like discipline at the plate." OK, but couldn't they have come up with an adjective a bit less obvious than "samurai-like?"
Matsui didn't look too impressive in the MLB All-Stars' seven-game series with the Japanese All-Stars? What gives?
True. Matsui went only 4-for-27 for a .148 average in the seven-game series. But keep in mind he endured an intense media and fan frenzy during his farewell week in Japan, with the crowd chanting "Home Run Matsui, Home Run Matsui" at every at-bat. Still, it raises questions on how he'll be able to deal with the intense pressure in the U.S.
Why were the
Aside from the obvious media attention, Matsui is a lefty batter and should thrive with the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium. Plus, the Yanks look to play Matsui in left field, an obvious upgrade over the
How much yen can Matsui expect to earn in the U.S.?
The highest-paid player in Japanese baseball history, Matsui earned $5.1 million last season. Agent Arn Tellem reportedly negotiated a three-year, $21 million deal, plus performance bonuses, with the
How does the American Giambi feel about the Japanese Giambi joining him in the Bronx?
During the All-Stars' tour of Japan, Giambi welcomed the idea. He also said Matsui would probably hit "anywhere between No. 3-5" in the order.
What uniform number will Matsui wear?
He wore No. 55 with Yomiuri and, fortunately for Matsui, that's not among the many numbers retired by the