This may change, because anything around the Yankees is subject to change, subject to the whims and the wonders of the men who own and run the team.
But it would seem that Hideki Matsui is in his final days as a member of the team, and given his feel-good, pinch-hit home run late in Game 3 Saturday night, it seems a good time to appreciate all that his time with the Yankees has meant.
Understand that there may never have been an athlete who needed to succeed as much as Matsui did -- for himself, to back up a huge reputation gleaned as a Japanese league slugger; for his nation, always eager to prove itself in the international game; and for the Yankees, who made a bold bid to secure his services as an international marketing coup.
For every Matsui, Ichiro and Hideo Nomo (at least the early years), there has been a gaggle of Kaz Matsuis, Masato Yoshiis and Kenji Johjimas. More telling, look at the hype that preceded Daisuke Matsuzaka, and the relatively paltry production he has brought with him.
Then there is Matsui, with an army of Japanese reporters chronicling his every move, and in seven years he hit 140 homers, drove in 597 runs and hit .292 with an .852 OPS.
Beyond that, what was equally impressive was the humanity he brought to the role. Never once -- literally, not once -- did he lose his temper with any of the Japanese reporters, even befriending quite a few of them, no matter the depth of a slump or the painfulness of a loss.
It is impossible to imagine an equivalent American athlete being equally humble under similar circumstances.
He has been a joy to watch. Here's hoping his next city discovers likewise.
By Mike Vaccaro