The Athletics are on the verge of signing Hideki Matsui

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UPDATE: Susan Slusser reports that Matsui is going to make just less than $5 million for next season (Update: Olney says it’s $4.25 million). But hey, the A’s are going to pony up for his translator and his PR person. Which, given the horde of Japanese media that follows Matsui around, is definitely a full-time gig.

Good deal for the A’s.  I worry that the Coliseum will absolutely kill Matsui, but he’s a fun guy to have in baseball, so I’m glad he has a job for next season.

Monday, 6:10 PMSusan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics are on the verge of signing Hideki Matsui to a one-year deal. An agreement may be announced today, with a Tuesday press conference in the offing.

Which makes a ton of sense for everyone. Matsui wants to be on the west coast. The A’s need a DH, and would prefer to go year-to-year, which is all that Matsui can expect these days. He started slow last year but ended up being pretty much his old Matsui-self with the Angels, hitting .274/.361/.459 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs.  I’d expect age and the move to a rough hitter’s park to depress those numbers a bit, but Matsui isn’t going to get a ton of money from Oakland. Even at last year’s $6 million salary, Godzilla will likely earn his keep.

UPDATE: According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Matsui is scheduled to undergo a physical tomorrow morning. Assuming everything goes well, the A’s will hold an introductory press conference tomorrow afternoon.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.