Perhaps worried that they’ve alienated their Japanese market by not resigning their hero Hideki Matsui, the Yankees brought the World Series trophy with them to to Tokyo on Monday. Brian Cashman also called Matsui one of the best moves he’s ever made.
“I’ve had some successful signings in Japan; I’ve had some unsuccessful signings in Japan,” Cashman said. “Hideki Matsui will be one of the best deals I ever made.
“We will have future players from Japan on our roster. They will do everything in their power to try to help us win, but I doubt we’ll find another Hideki Matsui.”
Of course by “some successful signings in Japan” Cashman means he’s had one successful signing in Japan – Matsui. The bad signings? Remember Hideki Irabu and, of course, there is Kei Igawa who is still bringing value to the Scranton Yankees. The Yankees also had Hideo Nomo in 2005, but he never played in the majors, so maybe that is what Cashman is talking about when he mentioned successful signings (plural).
One name that many Yankee fans learned during the Matsui signing but didn’t come up in any of the many articles, except the ones pointing out it’s absense, was Jean Afterman.
Afterman was such a pivotal role in the Matsui signing that Mark Feinsand then of MLB.com, of course of Daily News fame today, posed one of his questions to her this way:
“George Steinbrenner has repeatedly credited you with paving the way for Hideki Matsui’s signing with the Yankees. What was the most challenging part of the Matsui negotiations?”
Quick recap, the Yankees are kissing up to Japanese fans for not resigning Matsui, who was just one of their successful signings from Japan, and he was one of Cashman’s best signings especially since he didn’t have to do most of the work.