Hangin with Hideki and friends

The first workout of Spring Training never changes. You just want to get through it. You know you’re going to be a little sore the next day, and you’re just happy to get it out of the way. Every player can tell you that.

No matter how many sprints you do or how hard you work out in the gym in the offseason, baseball shape is totally different. Today felt like all first days do, like you didn’t do a thing in the offseason. And I really worked hard coming off my sports hernia surgery after Thanksgiving. After six to eight weeks, I didn’t feel it anymore and was able to go out, do sprints, do a lot of lifting.  I started running hard on Jan. 5, so I’m in good shape. Even so, you still feel it on the first day.

All in all, it went well. I felt pretty good swinging the bat and moving around in the outfield. No problems at all with the groin. Didn’t even think about it, really.

It was good to be out there, in the Arizona sun, hanging out with the guys, taking some swings, getting the kinks out. I spent some time with Hideki Matsui, talking in the outfield, and that was fun. I’m really excited to be playing with a guy who’s a legend back home in Japan, Godzilla of the Yomiuri Giants. He’s an Angel now, and I think he’s going to like it here.

The Quiet Assassin, that’s what I think I’ll call Matsui.

I’ll miss Vladimir Guerrero, one of the greatest guys I’ve ever played with, but I think Matsui can really help us. He’s one of the quietest clutch hitters in the game. When I was with the Twins and he came to the Yankees in 2003, 2004, he came up with so many clutch hits against us. I got tired of chasing all those balls he hit.

He has great balance, a smooth, easy swing. You can see why he hits lefties so well with that balance. He stays in and stays on the ball. He’s going to be a good fit in our lineup. We’ve got some guys who can drive the ball, including Brandon Wood. I’m not worried about Brandon. He sits right next to me here, and he’s cool. He’s got some serious power and can handle the glove like a pro. This isn’t his first rodeo. He knows his way around.  

Matsui hit one ball over the wall in right in batting practice, and I was kidding around with him, telling him not to hit my car. It was parked out that way. I might have to move it over a little.

I keep saying I’m going to be more conscious of running into walls after what happened last year, so there I was again, going after a ball against the wall. That’s just me, man. I guess it’s who I am. That’s why they call me Spiderman.

The Japanese media is here in big numbers for Matsui. They’re very polite, very kind and respectful. I appreciate that. They were asking me who’s nicer, Matsui or me. That’s easy, I told them. Matsui is nicer than me. He’s definitely a very good guy. He’s special.

Sometimes I get upset and I’m ready to fight, I told them. I’m a good guy, but when you push my button, I can get mad. Matsui, if you push his button, he still smiles. That’s why he’s nicer than me.

This is going to be very interesting with all these new people around us. They’re here to cover Matsui, but they’re also here to cover baseball. And we plan to put on a good show for our new friends.    

13 Comments

WOW!! I’m so excited to get back to BASEBALL!! Well, Spiderman can’t wait to see the team this season. I know it will be a good year!! Good Luck with getting back the fight and the hunger. This will be my first spring training visit. Can’t wait to get back to BASEBALL.

I was the third base usher for ten yrs. at the New Britain Rock Cats, where Torii played his AA minor league career. I will never forget his big smile, and those AMAZING CATCHES in center field, flying over the wall. He had star written all over him and I love watching him still. Fame hasnt seemed to change his personality, which is the best part. Still a sox fan, still a Twins fan-but I love my Rock Cat stars…

I was the third base usher for ten yrs. at the New Britain Rock Cats, where Torii played his AA minor league career. I will never forget his big smile, and those AMAZING CATCHES in center field, flying over the wall. He had star written all over him and I love watching him still. Fame hasnt seemed to change his personality, which is the best part. Still a sox fan, still a Twins fan-but I love my Rock Cat stars…

I was the third base usher for ten yrs. at the New Britain Rock Cats, where Torii played his AA minor league career. I will never forget his big smile, and those AMAZING CATCHES in center field, flying over the wall. He had star written all over him and I love watching him still. Fame hasnt seemed to change his personality, which is the best part. Still a sox fan, still a Twins fan-but I love my Rock Cat stars…

I was the third base usher for ten yrs. at the New Britain Rock Cats, where Torii played his AA minor league career. I will never forget his big smile, and those AMAZING CATCHES in center field, flying over the wall. He had star written all over him and I love watching him still. Fame hasnt seemed to change his personality, which is the best part. Still a sox fan, still a Twins fan-but I love my Rock Cat stars…

Sorry about the repeats, my first time on this. Wont happen again, I swear! Love ya Torii-keep flying Spidey!

I love spring training! The hope for things to come, the weather is superb, and you get to watch some great baseball up close. Heading to Tempe in less than a month for the 16th straight year. Can’t wait to see you, Torii, and the rest of the Halos! Looking forward to seeing how this team plays together with you as the definite leader of the club!

Just saw your Dick’s Sporting Goods commercial this morning! Very well done!

Go Angels!

Well I’m a Yankee fan been in here a couple of times because I’m in Matsui “withdrawl”. You don’t know how important this guy is going to be for you. I’m Yankees to the bone and we’ve simply dumped one of the top 3 critical guys in our line-up. And of all teams, you guys signed him.

Read the article about Abreu being delighted to have Mats an Angel. Bobby knows what a steal you got. Probably the top clutch hitter in baseball (with power). I’m not referring to the WS last year. Matsui has been like that the entire time he was a Yankee. You’ll see.

My only hope is you only signed him to one year, so we can sign him back. As stupid a move our GM has made. You don’t simply let elite producers go. This really bothers me.

We just dumped him

Well I’m a Yankee fan been in here a couple of times because I’m in Matsui “withdrawl”. You don’t know how important this guy is going to be for you. I’m Yankees to the bone and we’ve simply dumped one of the top 3 critical guys in our line-up. And of all teams, you guys signed him.

Read the article about Abreu being delighted to have Mats an Angel. Bobby knows what a steal you got. Probably the top clutch hitter in baseball (with power). I’m not referring to the WS last year. Matsui has been like that the entire time he was a Yankee. You’ll see.

My only hope is you only signed him to one year, so we can sign him back. As stupid a move our GM has made. You don’t simply let elite producers go. This really bothers me.

We just dumped him

I am a huge fan of hideki from Japan. I was disappointed that Yankees didn’t sign him, but happy that he went to the great organization like Angeles. If he stays healthy, he will do a lot of good things for any teams.
Mr. Hunter’s name have already been on the Japanese media all the time now. He’s been introduced as one of the most premiere outfielder in the world. There will be a lot of Angeles games to be put on air in Japan this year because Matsui is in it. I guess with him in the line-up, it will create a lot of new Angeles fan here in Japan as well.

Vancouver Olympic is over, but we’re gonna have a new baseball season again with fresh taste.
I just want to say simply that the value of Hideki Matsui is way far from steroid business. His power is real stuff.
Hey Japanese media was so nice in Vancouver, too.

Godzilla fun from Canada

Torii! I’ve been waiting all winter to read your blog, I love hearing all your Storiis! So stoked that baseball is back, I pray you and the Heavenly Halos will win it all this season, God bless!

Well said Tori. I like Matsui can really help with his bat, and despite public opinion I still think he is a viable defensive player. It will be weird seeing Vladimir in another uniform, but I guess that is the nature of the business. Regardless of the price I say we should have kept him, but I digress. I am looking forward to another great year of Angel’s baseball. Good luck this season Tori!

Best Regards,
Jesse

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