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Tonight Could Be Hideki Matsui's Last Game As a Yankee

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Hideki Matsui #55 of the New York Yankees celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium on October 29, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Christopher ChavezAnalyst IINovember 5, 2009

The night of Game Six of the 2009 World Series could be a memorable one for Yankee fans. It could be the night they finally get a chance to celebrate their 27th World Series, and their first since 2000. But for Hideki Matsui, it could be his last night as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium.

Hideki Matsui will be a free agent at the end of the season. The signs are not looking to bright for him to get resigned. The Yankees have said before they are more likely leaning towards re-signing Johnny Damon and letting Matsui go.

There are not may teams with a high interest level with Matsui. Most National League teams will not take a risk of signing a player who has not played in the field for a few years. Matsui has not been able to step on the outfield grass due to a knee injury he suffered a few years back. 

Most American League teams have a designated hitter already signed through next year, but there are those who will be interested in Godzilla's services. 

Hideki Matsui has indicated he will be interested in playing for the Seattle Mariners so he will have the opportunity to play with fellow countryman Ichiro Suzuki. Matsui has been offered an opportunity to play with Ichiro in the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009, but rejected both offers. 

Matsui has promised a return to Japan toward the end of his career. He said in the past he would like to retire in Japan, possibly playing for his former team, the Yomiuri Giants. It would be a great surprise to many if Matsui decides to return to Japan after this season, but he will most likely stay in the United States.

Before Game Six of the World Series, Matsui said, "I'm always aware of the pride and the responsibility that comes with being a Yankee. But that doesn't mean that I change my approach as far as how I play baseball and how I prepare for the game. I still approach it the same way."

Matsui has not attached any sad emotions when he asked about what could be his final days as a Yankee. Deep inside, he could be saddened. Yankee fans certainly are crying at the thought.

The Yankees went through a lot to get Matsui in 2003. Matsui has been in the Bronx since 2003, and helped the Yankees reach the World Series that year. It would be appropriate if Matsui ends his Yankee career bearing a World Series Championship Trophy in his arms as the Yankees parade down Fifth Avenue in New York.

The fans at Yankee Stadium will definitely be waiting to give Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui possibly one last final curtain call as he exits the great stage that is Yankee Stadium. 

It has been an honor watching No. 55 play for the New York Yankees.

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