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November 4, 2009

Hideki Matsui


Philadelphia Phillies 3
New York Yankees 7

(Through interpreter Roger Kahlon)

Q. I wonder if you could put into some perspective, it's very difficult for a Japanese playing to get here, play ten years in Japan and come to a new culture, and I'm sure you thought you'd win a championship before this. What does this journey feel like and how do you feel right now?
HIDEKI MATSUI: My first and foremost goal when I joined the Yankees was to win the world championship. Certainly it's been a long road and very difficult journey. But it's just -- I'm just happy that after all these years we were able to win and reach the goal that I had come here for.

Q. The first game you ever played in Yankee Stadium you hit a grand slam, and after the game you said it was the greatest moment in your life. Do you have a new greatest moment?
HIDEKI MATSUI: Certainly to begin with, I was happy to be able to hit and contribute to the team's win. But more than that, just us as a team, winning the championship, by far that's such a great feeling. I guess you could say that I guess this is the best moment of my life right now.
If I were to look back, yes, this would be the best.

Q. Charlie Manuel said you were really locked in, you were hitting everything that they threw at you. I'm just wondering if you could take us through the pitching sequence or at least what you hit and what you were thinking for the home run.
HIDEKI MATSUI: Yeah, he threw me a couple pitches, fastballs inside throughout that at-bat. Making contact, some of them I fouled off, but basically I was behind in the count. So I was in a tough situation. But fortunately there was one pitch that he threw that caught the plate, pretty much in the middle, so I was able to put a good swing on it, and so it was a home run.

Q. Do you expect to be a Yankee next season?
HIDEKI MATSUI: No, I have no idea right now.

Q. Can you talk about your pride as a representative of Japanese baseball? And does tonight make this a true World Series, an international World Series?
HIDEKI MATSUI: I'm certainly aware that I represent Japan in that sense as a baseball player. But more so in my mind I feel that I am a member of the Yankees. I'm a Yankee baseball player. So that's always in my mind more so.
As far as how I look at this World Series and being a champion, I guess it's hard to make a comparison. When I was in Japan, that was the ultimate goal, and that's what you strive for. Being here, winning the World Series, becoming world champions, that's what you strive for here. So I can't really make a comparison.

Q. Considering you could be a free agent and this could have been your last game as a Yankee, did you take any time tonight while the game is going on to try to soak in a little? And if you did, is anything going to stand out from tonight?
HIDEKI MATSUI: No, I didn't do that. I didn't have that in my mind. All I was focusing on was winning this game and helping the team become world champions.
What was your second question?

Q. Will you remember something from tonight more than anything else moving forward for the rest of your life?
HIDEKI MATSUI: I guess it's tough to say right now. I guess only after time passes when I look back, maybe I can have a better perspective on that.

End of FastScripts

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