Two things you didn't know about Hideki Matsui

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Thing number one: Angels GM Tony Reagins hasn’t totally ruled out bringing him back for 2011:

“Would I say that it’s completely out of the likelihood that he’ll be
back? I can’t say that at this point. You never know.”

Eh, I’m going to assume that’s just polite talk, because the Angels likely aren’t going to have room for him, what with Bobby Abreu almost certainly moving into the DH slot.  Still, given how everyone has assumed that Matsui was one-and-done in Anaheim, even a vague comment suggesting otherwise is noteworthy.

Something else you didn’t know: For all of the talk early in the season about Vlad Guerrero breaking out down in Texas and Matsui disappointing in Anaheim, Matsui actually finished the year with a higher OPS+ — that is, park adjusted OPS — than Vlad did (124 to 122). Matsui finished the season pretty darn strong, and ended up with a stat line that was pretty darn close to his career averages.

Matsui isn’t done. Someone would be wise to take a chance on him for one more year.  Hell, if they don’t win the World Series thanks to some poor clutch hitting this month, that someone could even be the Yankees, couldn’t it?

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.