April 3, 2010

Mr. Matsui comes to Anaheim

Angel Stadium had nearly twice as many fans tonight than last night. It was even a little loud at times (but don’t tell our usher that). It’s starting to feel like baseball season once again, even though the air has been cold at night.

Between the end of tonight’ game and the start of Monday’s game, the stadium will get a little make-over as the decorations come out to signify the start of a brand new season. I’m getting that old familiar feeling that comes with the start of a new hunt for a red October and yet, something is a little different this year.

Could it be the trees behind the center field fence? How about the new paint job around the concession stands or some of the new food choices around the Big “A?”

Well, it’s none of those things.

It’s all about Hideki Matsui. I heard on the radio today that some 70 media credentials were handed out for opening night. That’s a lot of microphones, lab tops and cameras!

Matsui got to play left field tonight and I can only imagine the news that will generate back in Japan. It’s certainly going to be an interesting year with all the extra media following the Angels around. Perhaps the coverage of Matsui will eventually lead to more Angel fans in Japan. I love the idea of expanding the Angels brand around the world. Heck, a lot of people look good in red.

I am really digging the idea that a whole wave of new fans are going to be exposed to the Angels brand of baseball and that names like Kendry Morales and Erick Aybar might become household names in Japan. I know the media will be covering Matsui, but there are only so many Godzilla stories one can tell, right? Sooner or later, they’re going to find their way to Torii Hunter and Jered Weaver and all the other Angels.

Think about it.

I’m picturing little boys and girls in Tokyo wearing Napoli jerseys. I’m picturing tour buses outside of Angel Stadium for every game. Japan’s rock star is on tour and his new home base is Anaheim. Yup, I’m envisioning a good time in 2010.

Speaking of visions, there was a very strange one on the field tonight; Garret Anderson in Dodger blue. It just seems wrong on so many levels. The only way it would have been even more strange is if GA had dived for a ball in the outfield. Hey, I’m just saying…

The Angels won the game in the bottom of the 9th. As we were leaving the stadium, we headed down the escalators and there were puddles of water near the top of the escalator for some reason. One Angel fan shouted that the water came from the tears of Dodger fans. You gotta love it. Baseball season is here.

Here are a few photos from tonight. A couple of Matsui, followed by Jeremy Hill and Garret Anderson in blue.

BallHype: hype it up!

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