06/30/2003 4:39 PM ET
Hideki Matsui named American League Pepsi Player of the Week
New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui, who led the AL with 14 hits and 14 RBI, has been named the American League Pepsi Player of the Week for the period of June 23-29.
In eight games last week, Matsui tied for the league lead with a .500 (14-for-28) average and 23 total bases, posting six runs, three doubles, two home runs, .821 slugging and .622 on-base percentage. In Saturday's two-park doubleheader against the New York Mets, he began the day at Yankee Stadium by hitting his second grand slam of the year in a 7-1 win, in which he collected a season-high five RBI. At Shea Stadium that night, Matsui went 4-for-4 with two runs and an RBI in a 9-8 victory. Matsui also hit one of three Yankee home runs in the third inning of his club's 5-3 victory on Sunday night.
Other candidates were Boston's Jason Varitek (.429, 3 HR, 10 RBI, AL-best 1.000 SLG), Trot Nixon (AL-best .500, 1 HR, 5 RBI), and Kevin Millar (.481, 1 HR, 9 RBI); Jason Giambi (.458, 3 HR, 11 RBI, ML-best .629 OBP) of the Yankees; Oakland's Eric Byrnes (.371, 2 HR, 4 RBI); Tampa Bay's Damian Rolls (.385, 3 HR, 10 RBI, AL-best 23 TB); and Toronto's Carlos Delgado (.360, 4 HR, 13 RBI, AL-best 23 TB).
The Red Sox set a Major League record on Friday night at Fenway Park by scoring 10 runs before making an out in the first inning of a 25-8 win over Florida and matched the AL mark by scoring 14 runs in the first inning. Byrnes, a Bay Area native, highlighted the finale of the Bay Bridge Series on Sunday at Pacific Bell Park by becoming the 257th player in Major League history to hit for the cycle and equaled the A's franchise record with five hits, going 5-for-5. Delgado, the Major League leader with 26 home runs and 89 RBI, could become the third player ever to collect 100 RBI by the All-Star break.
Pitchers on the ballot were Mark Buehrle (1-0, 1.00, 1 CG) of the Chicago White Sox and Mariano Rivera (5 saves, 6.0 IP, 8 SO) of the Yankees.
Matsui will receive a Tourneau luxury Swiss timepiece as the AL Pepsi Player of the Week.