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Hideki Matsui to Serve as Guest Hitting Instructor for New York Yankees at Spring Training

February 11th, 2014 at 10:20 PM
By Doug Rush

The last time a former New York Yankees player came to the team and served as a guest instructor for spring training, it was Andy Pettitte back in 2012. He threw so well down in Tampa that spring, he decided to opt for a comeback with the Yankees and ended up pitching for two more years.

Hideki Matsui likely won't be filing for employment again in Major League Baseball, but this spring, he'll be back with the Yankees as a special guest hitting instructor, as Dan Martin and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reported on Tuesday.

Matsui was invited last spring to come and help the Yankees down in Tampa, but declined due to the birth of his child, but decided to opt to come this year and help the team that he played seven seasons for and won a World Series with, plus the 2009 World Series MVP award. In the 2009 Fall Classic, Matsui hit .615 with three home runs and eight RBI and had a sensational Game 6 where he went 3-for-4 with a home run, six RBI and absolutely destroyed the Philadelphia Phillies pitching, especially Pedro Martinez, who served up the towering two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning that helped propel the Yankees to the series win.

Matsui arrived onto the scene in New York in the 2003 season after being a star in Japan for many years and became an instant fan favorite with the Bronx crowd; in his first home game at the old Yankee Stadium, Matsui blasted a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins and from that point, made his presence felt in the lineup and in baseball. After seven years with New York, Matsui made stops with the Los Angeles Angels in 2010, the Oakland A's in 2011 and his final one with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012.

Matsui signed a one-day contract with the Yankees and retired with the team that brought him over from Japan and made him an even bigger star than he was in his native land. Now, he'll help the team out by giving advice and instruction to hitters, as well as helping acclimate newly-signed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to the every day life that is being in New York and playing for the Yankees.

Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter / CC BY-SA


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Tags: Baseball, hideki matsui, Masahiro Tanaka, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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