Hideki Matsui stole the World Series MVP from Alex Rodriguez, who must have more issues with baseball writers than Mark McGwire. A-Rod bashed the biggest hit in both Games 3 and 4, the two Philly games that swung the series, and yet still falls short to a one-blowout wonder?
It just doesn’t make sense. And neither does the banter that the Yankees won’t re-sign Matsui for 2010. All the post throw-your-clients-documents-out-the-window-parade analysis on whether the Yankees should bring him back is nearly as ridiculous as people’s obsession with Fox’s “Glee.”
Someone needs to tell the same baseball writers who snubbed A-Rod that this isn’t a baseball decision. Matsui’s performance — future or past — has little to do with it. As if baseball teams make their decisions based on the field. This isn’t the 1960s anymore.
The Yankees will re-sign Matsui because their global marketing plan demands it. The Yankees aren’t so provincial as to think of themselves as America’s team (that’s so Jerry Jones). No, the Yankees of the new Steinbrenners fancy themselves as the signature brand in worldwide sports.
The marketing deal with soccer superpower Manchester United is a sure-tell sign.
When you’re focused on global commercial domination, you don’t give up the biggest baseball star in Japan. Not because he’s getting older. Certainly, not because Jorge Posada needs to DH.
The only way the Yankees don’t go after Matsui is if there was a younger Japanese superstar waiting to be bought. Think they’re going to let the Mariners corner the Asian market by teaming up Matsui and Ichiro? Or watch as one of Chicago teams gains international inroads?
The Yankees being all about winning championships is something of an urban legend. The Yankees are first and foremost all about making insane amounts of money and multiplying the value of the brand. Their most cherished number isn’t stamped on the back of Joe Girardi’s jersey.
Expect plenty of talk casting Matsui as a warrior, a new era Paul O’Neill when he gets his new deal.
Just know the real score.
– Chris Baldwin covers the sports media for Metro.
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