|Advertisers across Japan let out a huge sigh of relief yesterday...and then promptly put up 90,823,487,912 new ads featuring Matsui's face Way back in May when Mark Loretta maliciously struck dear Matsui down with a fly ball (sabotage mission?), it was unclear how long it would take for him to heal up or if he would even be able to get his skills back up to snuff after such a serious break. As recently as this month, ESPN Magazine speculated that even if Matsui did return to the lineup, the fact that the break was in his left wrist (his top hand when he bats, since he is a lefty) would prevent him from performing the way the Yankees have come to expect and enjoy during the past 3 years. Matsui is not interested in “medical science” or “batting logistics”, though. He is interested in one thing: baseball. What he exhibited last night with his 4 hits (all off different pitchers) and 1 base-on-balls was more than just talent; Matsui is one seriously dedicated player. As for the Yanks’ other wrist-breaker, Sheffield seems to have been lost in the excitement of Matsui’s long-awaited return. Shef is apparently eager to get back into the game, but since there is really nowhere to put him Torre is taking his time activating him. Melky, Abreu and Damon have the outfield under control; and with Matsui in the DH spot Giambi will be playing 1st base regularly; when Shef returns there will be some serious shuffling to do.
It took surgery and 4 arduous months of rehab, but the break heard ‘round the world has finally healed. Matsui returned to the lineup last night, making fans in the Bronx and a whole bunch of Japanese advertising execs very, very happy