Hideki Matsui Makes Call to Tanaka on Yankees’ Behalf

Jul 28, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees former player Hideki Matsui speaks during a press conference before a game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Yankees want something, they sure know how to get it. A short while after news broke that the Yankees had agreed with star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on a 7-year $155 million deal (the fifth largest in MLB history), new reports surfaced that former Yankee and fellow Japanese player Hideki Matsui, had made a call to Tanaka urging him to sign with New York.

Matsui himself was a star baseball player in Japan, idolized by millions. So there’s no question, Tanaka may have been a little starstruck to hear from him. Whether or not the Yankees asked Matsui to make the call is unknown at this point, but regardless, it sure didn’t hurt in their efforts to sign him. Some reports have come out with just the news of Matsui making the call. Others have included some more details, such as one stating that Matsui made a recruiting pitch “extolling the virtues of Pinstripes” to Tanaka. Other Yankee officials to meet with Tanaka include manager Joe Girardi, GM Brian Cashman, Team President Randy Levine, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild. This is not the first time that Matsui has had a conversation with Tanaka however. Back in 2006, a 17-year-old Tanaka visited Yankee Stadium, and got to meet and shake hands with Matsui. If only the pair knew what they would be conversing about 8 years later…


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