The things you discover while standing around at Tempe Diablo Stadium hours before the Angels take the field:
An cool eye-drop solution by a Japanese manufacturer has quickly endeared Hideki Matsui with his new Angels teammates.
Matsui, last fall’s World Series MVP for the New York Yankees before coming to Anaheim in a one-year, $6 million free-agent deal to DH and perhaps play some outfield, has been using an eye drop that is said to sting a little more but quickly has a more cooling effect than most of the stuff you can pick up at the local pharmacy.
The name of the secret stuff — is it on the MLB’s list of banned substances? — is made by Rohto, which we’ve found on Amazon.com (linked here) but isn’t always available. Some have said it can be occasionally found at CVS and Drugstore.com (linked here), where it goes for as much as $8.99 for a .4-oz bottle. It was shown to us by a Japanese reporter who is among the dozens following Matsui’s every move.
Catcher Mike Napoli and second baseman Howie Kendrick are two of the Angels who say they’ve pestered Matsui enough about the product so that he’s asked the makers of the eye drops ship him two cases so far this spring to Tempe. Outfielder Juan Riviera even said, perhaps jokingly, that after using these eye drops, the baseballs look like beach balls when they come to the plate.
True or not, Rivera hit his first home run of the spring over the left-field wall in the fifth inning during the Angels’ 7-6 loss to Arizona on Wednesday afternoon. Kendrick had a run-scoring double and an RBI single as well.
Matsui started as the DH Wednesday and went 0-for-3.