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Hideki Matsui reacts to Guillen's comments on Asian/Latino ballplayers

Aug 5, 2010, 1:31 PM EDT

And it’s about as even-keeled as you would imagine.

Hideki Matsui was only “vaguely aware” of what Ozzie Guillen said over the weekend, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, but after being informed of the context of his remarks, he said the following through his interpreter Roger Kahlon:

“I think the circumstances might be a little different for us vs. Latin
players. If Latin
players came straight to the big leagues after playing in professional
leagues in their own country like Japanese players do, then I think they
would be treated exactly the same as Latin players in those

“I think there’s a good chance the circumstances may be a little similar
for Cuban players who played professionally there then defected and
came over here.”

Can’t argue with any of that. Matsui also mentioned the disparity between Asian and Latino ballplayers, and how most of the time, Latino players have a built-in support system, while Asian players do not.

Matsui has only had one Japanese teammate (Kei Igawa, sometimes) during his time in the major leagues, and as we recently learned with Hideki Okajima, he has battled with loneliness and homesickness due to the cultural divide. In other words, nobody has it perfect.    

  1. SouthofHeaven - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Matsui=pure class. I’m a Yankees fan & I think they made the right move in trading him, but I’ll always love & respect the guy.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Matsui is a True Yankee, although I agree it was time for him to move on ala Abreu and Giambi.
    Roger is really a hoot as an interpretor- He’ll listen to a Hideki 2 minute answer, go to English then to sufer dude all in one fell swoop- “Yeah, Jeter’s double was way cool and put us over the top tonight”

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Ever since I read the article about his porn collection, I have always had the utmost respect for him.

  4. Simon DelMonte - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    And what about Damon? I understood completely letting them go, but it strikes me as a bit ironic that the heroes of the World Series were elsewhere six months later.

  5. bgrant - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Hideki Matsui rools the pule.

  6. Jonny5 - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    I think too many people take wayyyy too much of a sensitive stance when it comes to race. Everyone has their issues, and everyone thinks they have it worse than the next guy. It seems to me humans have a built in trait that never allows them to be 100% satisfied with anything. I guess this trait drove us to discover iron and steel, and now drives our species to build skyscrapers and bridges and better mousetraps. on the surface we’re a disgusting species, but amazing all at the same time. Whatever Ozzie said, i just blew it off as just some more bitching about how the other guy has it better. It sure as hell won’t be the last time people disappoint others with their thoughts and feelings. I just try and make sure I’m not one of them.

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