Hideki Matsui visits Yankee Stadium with the Tampa Bay Rays honoring Mike Mussina


Hideki Matsui is the consummate professional baseball player.

Hideki Matsui and the Tamp Bay Rays are again playing tonight in New York at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Matsui, who made his debut with the Rays on May 29 after signing a one-year contract as a free agent, excelled for seven-years on East 161st Street and River Avenue in Gotham.

The 2009 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP), who in seven games with Tampa Bay is hitting .150 with two homers in 30 appearances at the plate, is donning #35 to honor former Yankees teammate Mike Mussina.

“Hopefully I can end my career with the kind of numbers and performance that Mussina had,” said Matsui, 37, a two-time All-Star as a Bomber.

Mussina, a five-time All-Star who amassed 270 victories, in comparison to a mere 153 losses, notched 20 wins once in his career during his final season as a professional at the age of 39 in 2008.

“Godzilla,” a past superstar with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball in Tokyo, Japan, is a clutch ballplayer and few athletes deserve to retire “with the kind of numbers and performance that Mussina had.”

Similar to the classy and upstanding 1990 graduate of Stanford University, it would be fitting to see Hideki Matsui ultimately vacate baseball while still thriving on the diamond.

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