Godzilla goes home a Yankee

Sometimes the gesture seems futile, sometimes not. The least the Yankees could have done for one of their best-liked and most productive players was to sign him for a day and let him retire as a ‘Striper. Which is exactly what they did with Hideki Matsui Saturday—on a day his old teammate and friend Derek Jeter returned from the disabled list with a Matsui-like bang, hitting the first major league pitch he’s seen all season over the right field fence.

Matsui (left) with Jeter, going home a Yankee . . .

Matsui (left) with Jeter, going home a Yankee . . .

Nashville Cats

Mr. Haren goes to Washington . . .

Perhaps it’s wise to accept at last that the winter meetings, freshly concluded in Nashville, are not always going to produce blockbusters. Since this year’s meetings didn’t, unless you want to count Dan Haren landing with the Washington Nationals, there’s a consensus brewing among the hot stove toppers that they were “boring” or “eventless.” Well, as the man used to say on old-time radio, oh, now, I wouldn’t say that . . .

LEGS UP . . .

Ichiro Goes from Worst to First, with a Few Pangs Between

Nobody saw it coming until it came, as Yogi Berra might say: Ichiro Suzuki dealt to the New York Yankees for a pair of minor league question marks. And all the iconic Seattle Mariners outfielder had to do was pack his bags, say goodbye politely, then walk from clubhouse to clubhouse, since the Yankees had just arrived to start a series with the Mariners. Then, all he had to do to seal the deal was exactly what he did when, batting eighth in the Yankee lineup, he faced his former team as a hitter for the first time.