In a battle of two hard-hitting left-handers, both of whom have been at one time rumored to be on his way to the Bronx, Barry "Mothra" Bonds defeated Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui 8-5 in a home run derby in Japan earlier today (I think it was today, I get confused crossing over the dateline).
In further Godzilla news:
Matsui said the fact that he has played right field the last two games has nothing to do with him showcasing his talent for the Yankees. Matsui, a natural center fielder, would be moved to right if he signed with the Yankees because Bernie Williams is New York's center fielder. Matsui played center during the first games of the tour. "I was asked by my manager, Mr. Tatsunori Hara, to play right field,'' Matsui said. "I'm just doing what the manager tells me to do.'' Matsui was a center fielder during the regular season.
The way that Williams threw this year might indicate a move to left is in order. Perhaps the Yankees are expecting the winter rest to heal his wings. Or perhaps, and it's a long shot, they have decided to move Soriano to center for 2003. Maybe the Yankees can field a lineup entirely made up of outfielders next year--talk about an invite pitch.
One last Japan note:
Reliever Mike Fetters will be looking for a job when he returns to the U.S. He learned earlier in the week that the Arizona Diamondbacks had declined to exercise the $2.75 million option on his contract for next season. Fetters said he hoped the Diamondbacks would re-sign him for less money. "That would be the top option for me, but I'll play for anyone with a chance to win. Heck, I might even pitch over here,'' he said. Fetters continues to wear the Diamondbacks' colors on the tour. "It's the only uniform I brought with me,'' he said.
Or maybe he can go on the field naked like Morganna. It's got to be more flattering than those D-Backs unis.