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Hideki Matsui announces his retirement

Dec 27, 2012, 1:06 PM EDT

Hideki Matsui Reuters Reuters

Not necessarily a surprise, but Hideki Matsui has announced that he is retiring. He will hold a press conference in New York to make it official.

We last saw Matsui when he was released by the Rays last August after 34 games. But before that Matsui had himself a nice career. Ten years in the bigs, mostly with the Yankees, during which he hit .282/.360/.462 with 175 homers and 760 driven in. He was the 2009 World Series MVP too, going 8 for 13 with three homers against the Phillies. In addition: he was seen as a heck of a teammate and a great all around guy, possessing one of the better senses of humor in the game, accoding to both his teammates and the press who covered him.

Happy trails, Godzilla. It’s been great watching you.

  1. raysfan1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Best wishes for a happy retirement!

  2. phreakin - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Agreed. Obviously I don’t know him personally but as a Yanks fan I loved him. Never heard a negative thing about him and he played hard every day. That’s all you can ask for from someone. Thanks Godzilla

  3. pisano - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Good move, he was a clutch hitter with the Yankees, something they could use now.

  4. butchhuskey - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Now he has more time to watch his massive porn collection.

    • illegalblues - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:58 PM

      bummed i was beat to the punch for this one

    • Old Gator - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:47 PM

      And you wonder why he had those amazingly powerful wrists, huh?

  5. uyf1950 - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Very classy, best wishes with his retirement.

  6. vincentmoonoir - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    It looks like he’s getting yelled at by that dude on the left and is totally oblivious to it. Is that Matt Garza?

    • psuravens19 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      1) That looks nothing like Garza
      2) He was on the Cubs, so he wouldn’t be wearing a Rays hat

    • vallewho - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      I think that’s his translator.

  7. danaking - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I’m a long-time Yankee hater, but always liked Matsui. Handled himself in a business like manner on the field, never a hint of trouble off of it, and a hell of a player besides. Happy trails.

  8. kyd29 - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    In other news 4-6-3 GIDPs are expected to drop by 18% due to Matsui’s retirement

  9. Old Gator - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Through 2009, that was the real Godzilla. Afterwards, it was just Haruo Nakajima wearing a Godzilla suit. And of course one wonders what they’re going to do with those thousands of Matsui bobbleheads in the bazaar by the Shoji Temple in Tokyo.

    Let’s not forget the many years Matsui wowed the home crowd in Japan before jumping the pond. He was an all-star from the git-go.

    No matter. Go enjoy your well-earned retirement, big fella.

    • forsch31 - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Still remember the little surprise of his cameo in Godzilla Millenium. The U.S. equivalent would have been Albert Pujols in a superhero movie.

    • Gamera the Brave - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      “Afterwards, it was just Haruo Nakajima wearing a Godzilla suit.”
      Gator, you say that like it’s a BAD thing!…

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:35 AM

        Haruo is one of my heruos. But let’s face it: he was all field, no hit.

      • Gamera the Brave - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        I dunno, Gator – he “hit” a lot of stuff with that atomic breath – but boy did he have range!
        I certainly agree that Nakajima was the MAN!

  10. louhudson23 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    One of my favorite players.Best of luck to him….

  11. 13arod - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    he is one of the best that came from japan and is a hall of fame player and always a good guy he will be missed

  12. yankeepunk3000 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I always loved watching him play and really hoped he had some more successful years but he now rides off into the sunset…il always remember him for betting to get married before a rod or Jeter that always made me laugh…which he did too! love ya Godzilla..syranara!!!!

  13. TIF - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    A Thrilla for Godzilla! This post is absolutely correct. Matsui was a class act and a team player. His presence in baseball will certainly be missed.

  14. bigdell - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    One of my favorite Yankees over the past 20 years. A solid player who did his job every day.

    Nothing but the best in the future for #55.

  15. toonloonboon - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    he will be given a golden egg roll at his retirement ceremony.

    • Old Gator - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      Rice paper spring roll. He’s Japanese, you culinary illiterate.

  16. sdelmonte - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Possibly the second best player to make his way over from Japan, after Ichiro. And a New York legend, given his role in winning the only Yankees title since the dynasty ended.

  17. beaverdam21 - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    I second all accolades above. One thing I remember is that he refused to play for the Japanese team in the world baseball tournament saying at the time he was employed by the Yankees and they deserved his undivided attention. And he never mouthed off to the press for any reason. 100% class. A Yankee any Yankee hater could appreciate. All the best.

  18. badintent - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    He was Godzilla to the Phillys. !They kept throwing him BP all series ! Great scouting report , “throw fastball right down the middle at 90 MPH and wait for explosion.” Like Kendo practice on straw figure. Banzi ! You were Mr. October.

  19. jayscarpa - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Just got the Yankees email announcement:

    STATEMENT FROM YANKEES MANAGING GENERAL PARTNER HAL STEINBRENNER

    “Hideki Matsui, in many ways, embodied what this organization stands for. He was dedicated to his craft, embraced his responsibilities to his team and fans, and elevated his play when he was needed the most. He did all these things with a humility that was distinctly his own, which is why he was such a big part of our success and why he will always be a cherished member of the Yankees family.”

  20. zzalapski - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Will his wife be at the press conference? Maybe we’ll finally get a confirmation of what she looks like.

    • purp1234 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      no, but such a special event, he’ll draw a picture of her in color on poster board.

  21. bigharold - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Sayonara Gogzilla!!

    Hail and Farewell!!

  22. joerymi - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    10 years just flies…

    He had a nice career. If he hit the majors at 22, 23, who knows what he could have done.

  23. theskinsman - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:30 AM

    Classy guy, tough to get out…This Yankee hater thought he was the real deal. I wish him the best…..to paraphrase that nitwit Sterling…SEE YA!!!

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