Baseball fans in Japan joined the celebration of Hideki Matsui's MVP-winning performance in the World Series.

Relegated to pinch-hitting duties in Philadelphia, the Japanese star returned to the lineup in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium and came through with a two-run home run, a two-run single and a two-run double to lead the Yankees to the title and tie Bobby Richardson's record for most RBIs in a World Series game.

"They're partying in Tokyo tonight," teammate Nick Swisher told MLB.com. "I know that. What a great job Matsui did for us, coming up in clutch situations all year long. He deserved that MVP trophy, no doubt about it."

Matsui finished the series with eight RBIs, matching the record Reggie Jackson set in 1977 and 1978. Although limited to three at-bats as a pinch hitter in Philadelphia, Matsui made the most of them with two hits, including a home run.

"I guess you could say this is the best moment of my life right now," Matsui said through an interpreter upon winning the award.

Utley one of Manuel's favorites: Manager Charlie Manuel went ahead and praised the performance of Chase Utley, who tied Reggie Jackson's record by smacking five home runs in the World Series, even though the Phillies' star second baseman doesn't like the attention.

"Sometimes I don't even like to talk about him because he doesn't want me to," Manuel told MLB.com. "Actually, he doesn't like for you to say a whole lot of things about him. But he's one of the most prepared, one of the most dedicated -- he has the most desire and passion to play the game of any player that I've ever been around.

"I used to say Kirby Puckett was my favorite player. All those things I just said, I used to say those things about Kirby Puckett. The only thing Kirby might have on Chase is he's more flamboyant because he smiles a lot, and Chase is a little bit different. He's quiet, and he goes about his business in a real good way."

One for the thumb fits Jeter: After winning his fourth title in 2000, Derek Jeter had to wait nine more seasons before earning another ring.

"It feels good, but they're all special," Jeter told the New York Daily News. "You forget how good it feels. [There was] a lot of hard work. We were joking around that this was like our 200th and something game this year. But it's all worthwhile to be standing here now. They are all meaningful, but this one here is special because it's been a long, long time."

Jeter, who has been the team's captain since 2003, hit .407 in the series, going 11-for-27 at the plate.

Lee plans for return to Phillies: Cliff Lee is already planning a return to the World Series next season with the Phillies.

"I expect to be back here next year," Lee told MLB.com. "There's no reason why we shouldn't be."

Pie-guy Burnett delivers to Girardi: A.J. Burnett made good on a midseason promise by smothering manager Joe Girardi's face with one of his whipped-cream pies during the Yankees' World Series-winning celebration.

"I got him finally," Burnett told the New York Daily News in the Champagne-soaked clubhouse. "I got him when it counts.

"Any time you think it couldn't get any better, this place gets better. This is the best place to play."

Rollins reflects on Phillies' dynasty chances: Jimmy Rollins was asked if this incarnation of the Phillies could still become a modern baseball dynasty.

"Definitely," Rollins told MLB.com. "Usually you've got to win two in a row, but San Antonio was pretty good winning every other year," in reference to the NBA's Spurs franchise that won titles in 2003, '05 and '07.

A-Rod proud to 'one of the guys': For Alex Rodriguez, hoisting the World Series trophy for the first time was both a joyous occasion as well as a huge relief.

"It was all about the team. I just thanked A.J. [Burnett] and CC [Sabathia] and [Andy] Pettitte and [Nick] Swisher," Rodriguez told the New York Daily News. "We needed help, and they came over and gave it. I'm just glad to be part of the team and be one of the guys."

The New York third baseman hit .365, going 19-for-52 this postseason with six home runs and 18 RBIs, the latter a new club record.

Pettitte matches team postseason record: Andy Pettitte almost didn't come to terms with the Yankees this season, but he was the winning pitcher in the deciding Game 6 of the World Series.

"One for the thumb -- that's awesome," Pettitte told the New York Post. "It's special man; this one is so special. I just gave it everything I had out there tonight."

Pettitte joins Derek Lowe (2004) as the only pitchers to win three clinching games in one postseason, and his four postseason wins this year matches the team record, first set by David Wells in 1998 when he went 4-0.

Pujols steps in to sponsor Coolbaugh golf event: When the sponsor for this Saturday's Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Golf Tournament unexpectedly pulled out, Albert Pujols provided the charity event with the necessary support -- and then some.

Mandy Coolbaugh, the wife of the former player and coach who was killed by a foul ball while coaching first base in the Minors in 2007, wants to make sure Pujols' generosity didn't go unnoticed.

"It's important for people to know, to know that as big as Albert Pujols is, as much as he has, he can still do something like this that makes such a difference," she told MLB.com. "This stuff doesn't make the headlines. And it should. It makes regular people want to be good people as well.

"I think anyone can feed off that. If we saw all the good athletes continually do, I think it would make people strive to do positive things as well. It might not be as big as what Pujols can do, but small things count, too."

Hudson back for three more years with Braves: The Braves and Tim Hudson have reportedly agreed to terms on a three-year contract pending an MRI on Hudson's elbow.

"I'm excited about being able to help the organization get back to the position we used to be in, which is a championship club," Hudson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "To me, being part of that is more special than going through free agency and just going to the team I think has the best chance to win the World Series."

"I was really optimistic about getting [a deal] done," said Hudson, a neighbor of genearal manager Frank Wren's in Peachtree City. "I'm just glad we were both able to get together and find a happy medium. My family's happy here."

Hermida traded to Red Sox: The Marlins traded Jeremy Hermida to the Red Sox for two pitchers, Hunter Jones, who pitched at Florida State and made his Major League debut last year for Boston; and Jose Alvarez, who is an A-ball pitcher.

"It came out of nowhere," Hermida, the Marlins' first-round pick in 2002, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I figured it was coming, but you're never quite ready for that day."

Abreu signs two-year contract with Angels: The Angels and Bobby Abreu have reportedly agreed to terms for a two-year contract.

"We are extremely delighted to have Bobby back in our organization for the next two years," general manager Tony Reagins told the Los Angeles Times. "He was tremendous in our clubhouse as well as on the field. It was an easy decision for us to bring Bobby back."

Carroll plans to bring leadership to new team: Free agent Jamey Carroll, who spent the last two seasons with the Cleveland Indians, offers veteran leadership in addition to his considerable offensive and defensive skills.

"I've learned a lot over my time of playing," Carroll told MLB.com. "If I can use that to be a good teammate -- sharing what I've learned and what I know -- I try to do that. It's only fair."

-- Red Line Editorial