When the Yankees jumped ahead of the Phillies on Hideki Matsui’s third RBI hit of the night, I got a text from a friend and Yankee fan, Matthew McKown. It said, “At least it’s Matsui.” I used to love Matsui. Back in 2003 he came to New York with great fanfare. He hit a grand slam in his first game in Yankee Stadium. And he always looked hilarious. He wore the same determined expression on his face at all times. When he sprinted straight and hard for the ball in the outfield, his hat would fly off again and again. Matthew and I attended one of his first games against Seattle when Ichiro and Matsui drew thousands of Japanese fans to the stadium. We loved it.
But in the end Godzilla is not a lovable character. He is a monster who destroys your village without even trying. He is a nuclear bomb, a disaster. So it was last night when the Phillies succumbed to the wrath of Matsui. In a way, I’d rather have been beaten by Teixeira or Posada, someone without special menace and without special charm. Now I’ll never look at Matsui the same.