This is something I didn’t even think about til I read the article over at the Boston Herald. I forgot about the Yankees having a new pitcher from Japan, Kei Igawa, plus Hideki Matsui.

This is what Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman, had to say about the “The Greatest Sports Rivalry” heading to Japan now:

“We have two great organizations that both respect each other and now we’ll take that battle overseas. Bringing the rivalry over here is something special.”

Cashman made that quote at a press conference in Tokyo where him and Randy Levine are in town to meet with the “NY Yankees” of Japan, Yomiuri Giants. The two teams have a working partnership. They then are heading to Okinawa to visit the Hanshin Tigers, who are holding spring training there.

Honestly, I really never thought about the rivalry going to Japan. But with almost every Yankees game and now Red Sox games on television over Japan, I can definitely see how the rivalry will become big over there. Matsui is huge over there and so is Matsuzaka. If you don’t believe me of how big Matsui is, take a look at this picture:

Matsui Plane

Matsui is on a friggin plane. I am sure it only a matter of time before Matsuzaka’s picture is on the plane that flies from Tokyo to Logan Airport in Boston.

Another rivalry, in my opinion, that will take place between the two teams has to deal with the merchandise sales. I would have to think that the Yankees and Mariners are the top two selling teams of merchandise in Japan. With Matsuzaka now pitching in Boston, I would have to think the Red Sox will move to the top in merchandise sales in Japan.

All I have to say is, it will be very interesting this season to see what transpires in the rivalry here in the New England area and also overseas in Japan between the beloved Red Sox and the ‘Evil Empire’.

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