Example #2: Matsui’s return
This could not have gone any better. The Yanks announced their team, in descending order of uniform number, culminating with #2, Derek Jee-tah, #2. Then they welcomed back World Series MVP Hideki Matsui and the fans went bonkers.
When Matsui was introduced – he was the last person to receive a ring – he was given a bigger ovation by the Stadium crowd than anyone else had received – including Jeter himself. After getting his ring, Matsui was mobbed by his teammates, who enveloped him in a sea of pinstripes.
“Honestly, I was very surprised,” Matsui said. “I didn’t realize what was happening in the background. So when it happened, I wanted to say hello and greet everybody one by one, with everybody lined up.”
“We wanted to give him his due,” Alex Rodriguez said. “Probably without Hideki Matsui, we don’t have a ceremony today, so it was fitting he was here today and it was wonderful, the ovation our fans gave him.”
“Matsui is one of my favorite teammates I’ve ever played with,” Jeter said. “He’s a professional, he comes out here every day ready to play and he never makes excuses. I remember when he broke his wrist, he apologized to his team for breaking his wrist. I’ve never seen that before. It’s only fitting that he’s here for Opening Day.”
That’s the way you do it when you do it the right way. Sure, no team does everything the right way all the time, but yesterday’s ring ceremony was spot on. (Aside from the YES cameras unable to find anyone with a Steinbrenner name, of course.)