The dumbest streak in recent history is now finished, but not in the way the Yankees wanted. Hideki Matsui broke his wrist while diving to make a catch in the first inning of the Yankees’ 5-3 loss last night. Matsui will need surgery and will probably miss at least three months of the season.
For the past three seasons the Yankees bent over backwards to put Matsui in the lineup even when it was clear he needed a day off. During his major league career, Matsui has hit 17 points higher before the All-Star break than he has after it. Yet, neither Matsui nor Torre would ever admit that he could use a break. Like Cal Ripken Jr., Matsui seemed determined to put the streak above the team. Why don’t baseball players admit that it is better to be rested than to try and play in every game?
Now, the choice is no longer Matsui’s. The Yankees will have to see if Melky Cabrera can handle the big leagues on a daily basis and will hope that Gary Sheffield is ready to come back in a week. If Cabrera isn’t ready or Sheffield needs more time, then Brian Cashman will have to see if he can work a trade.
Photo by AP/FRANK FRANKLIN II