Friday, December 28, 2012

It seems like yesterday that Paul Rudd yelled, "Honey, I just drafted Hideki Matsui!"

It came in the movie "Knocked Up," when Paul Rudd - wearing an Orioles jersey, no less - was found "cheating" on his wife in a fantasy baseball draft. He had selected Godzilla, probably in a high round, and every guy watching had to appreciate the movie's realism. Now, "Knocked Up" has spawned a sequel - "This is 40." And Hideki is hanging up his cletes. Damn. You blink, and 10 years go by.

I remember Godzilla's first home opener, when he hit a grand slam. The place went bonkers. I penciled him in for 40 homers and .350. But my mid-May, he couldn't hit a beach ball. I penciled him in for Columbus. But he Tino-ed through it and should have won the Rookie of the Year award, instead of - who? - oh, yeah, the god in human form known as Angel Berroa. How did it happen? Two Gammonites screwed him, left them off their ballots, saying he wasn't a legitimate rookie, because he's played in Japan. Of course, they hadn't done that with Ichiro, just a few years earlier.

Frickin' Gammonites.

But my favorite Matsui moment came in the 2003 ALCS, the Aaron Boone game. In the eighth inning, we were down by three with one out, and Pedro dealing. The place was as quiet as Lindsay Lohan passed out on the floor. Jete doubled. Crowd wakes up. Bernie singled, knocking him in. The Redsock bullpen started. Pedro huffed. The place came alive. Hideki smacked a ground rule double to right field. Second and third, one out. Jorge coming to bat. I just remember Hideki standing at second, trying not to smile, while Pedro simmered.

Great moment. Great player. Great Yankee. I wish I drafted him in my fantasy league.

Make no mistake: Matsui goes into the Hall wearing a Yankee cap.

I wish him happiness. He has a lovely wife, at least on paper. And of course he has his legendary porn collection. I assume Paul Rudd won that year in his fantasy league. The movie got it right.

1 comment:

The Sayonara Kid said...

Sayonara, Sayonara Kid. His homerun call remains my favorite Sterlingism of all time.