Sayonorah To Godzilla: Hideki Matsui Signs One-Year, $6.5M Deal with LA Angels

December 15, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The reign of Godzilla in the Bronx is officially over.

It was announced today that the 2009 World Series MVP, Hideki Matsui, would sign a one-year deal worth about $6.5 million with the Los Angeles Angels.

Matsui would likely be the every day designated hitter for the Angels, which would likely end the stay of Vladimir Guerrero with the team.

Matsui will be 36 next season but showed everyone in the postseason he still had a lot left to offer to a team beyond 2009.

During the regular season, Matsui batted .272, hit 28 home runs and 90 RBI.

In the postseason, he slumped some against the Twins and Angels, hitting .222 and .238 respectively in those series. But in the World Series against the Phillies is when Matsui really turned on the power.

Matsui went 8-for-13, batting .615 with three home runs and eight RBI. His Game Six performance of a 3-for-4 with a home run, single, double and six RBI propelled him to winning the World Series MVP trophy.

Now, Matsui will be traveling west and add his bat to the Angels. He joins another former aging Yankees player in Bobby Abreu in the lineup.

Getting a veteran hitter and a professional player like Matsui was a very good move for the Angels. They’ve already lost Chone Figgins, John Lackey, and possibly Guerrero all to free agency, so the Angels lineup is taking quite a hit.

Matsui might not be the same player he was when he first entered the league in 2003, but he still has some pop left in his bat to be productive.

It was very surprising to not see the Yankees make any effort at all to try and get Matsui back.

Over the last seven years, Matsui has been a very popular player with the fans, especially the Japanese fans who came over to the states to watch Matsui play in the Bronx. His fans will likely follow him into Los Angeles now.

Many will not forget his opening day game in 2003 against the Twins where in his second at-bat of the game, Matsui hit his first home run, a grand slam out of Yankee Stadium and sent the crowd into a major frenzy.

Up until Game Six, that might have been his biggest moment as a Yankee. But then his shredding of the Phillies pitching in the World Series in the deciding game of the Fall Classic might have been his defining moment of his career with the Yankees.

It will be interesting to see when the Yankees play the Angels in Yankee Stadium and how the crowd responds to Matsui being in a Angels uniform rather than being in pinstripes.

Likely though, for what he did in the 2009 World Series and during his seven year tenure with the Yankees, Matsui will probably get a warm ovation from the Yankee faithful.

It’s sad to see someone as classy and popular as Matsui go, but he was getting up in age and his knees are beginning to get worse, so it was inevitable.

Hideki Matsui, we as Yankee fans would like to thank you for the memories you brought and good luck in the rest of your career and we’ll likely see you again at Yankee Old Timer Games in the future.

Oh, and please go 0-for-4 every time when you play the Yankees next year.

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