Matsui arrives in Arizona
A large handful of Japanese reporters greeted Hideki Matsui at a Phoenix airport on Friday night, when the new A’s slugger spoke of his excitement about the start of camp while sporting a green vest.
Fresh off the plane, Matsui took about five questions, one which focused on his attire and possible promotion of his new team, for which he’s expected to serve as designated hitter.
“He said it was just an accident that he happened to be wearing green,” one reporter said with a smile, “but I’ve been covering him since 2003, and I’ve never seen him in anything but dark colors.”
The Japanese contingent waited nearly five hours at the airport for Matsui, who endured delays on a connecting flight in Dallas while traveling from New York.
Matsui donned the green and gold on Saturday for a commercial shoot at the A’s Minor League facilities, where he’s expected to greet media tonight. However, he isn’t slated to join teammates at Phoenix Municipal Stadium until Sunday, when A’s position players report.
The 36-year-old Matsui, who agreed to a one-year, $4.25 million deal with Oakland this winter, told Japanese reporters that he’s entering Spring Training in excellent shape and that his knees, plagued by injuries in recent years, are of no worry.
“That’s why he’s so excited to have a new season,” one reporter said. “His knees are in good condition.”