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Hideki Matsui pregame quotes
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10/17/2004 6:45 PM ET
Hideki Matsui pregame quotes
Says familiarity with pitchers is reason for success
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Q. What is different for you this season, as opposed to last season, do you feel much more comfortable at the plate?

HIDEKI MATSUI: I think the biggest factor is just knowing the pitchers are better and what type of pitches they throw. I think that's been the biggest reason.

Q. Have you always been a calm player on the field or a calm person in general? You seem to be one of the least emotional people when they do something well in terms of expressing happiness or disappointment.

Yeah, I mean, I don't know about my personality, but, you know, as far as baseball, I feel like I can play better and play to my ability when I don't get too emotional.

So, you know, that's what I try to emphasize when I'm on the field.

Q. Could you say a couple of words, in English, about your performance last night?

HIDEKI MATSUI: I wonder -- unbelievable. (Laughter.)

Q. Now, two years into the experience of coming over here, what have been the best things that have happened as a result of your decision to come to the Yankees and what have been maybe the most difficult things about it?

HIDEKI MATSUI: Yeah, I think the good part of it, for that answer is -- for that question, is that I'm playing with a team that's always conscious about winning a world championship every year.

So I've been very fortunate to be part of that.

As far as the difficult part, I think just all in all, in general, just trying to adjust to the pitchers. I think that's been the biggest challenge.

Q. In this country, the Yankees are the most popular baseball team, and also probably the most unpopular baseball team. In Japan I've read over and over again they are very popular. Are they also very unpopular, and if not, is that a cultural difference?

HIDEKI MATSUI: Yeah, I guess you know in the sense, to make that comparison, certainly the Giants are the most, you know, loved team, but on the other hand, also everybody hates the Giants there, too. So in that sense, that comparison is correct.

You know, so they are pretty much very similar in that sense.

Q. At this point, is there still a certain loneliness being so far from home, so far from your culture and so far from friends, and how do you combat that and not have that bother you?

HIDEKI MATSUI: Yeah, actually, I don't have that kind of feeling at all. (Laughter.)

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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