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Matsui's request for release granted by Rays

OAKLAND -- Rays manager Joe Maddon informed reporters that he had just received the news that Hideki Matsui, who was designated for assignment on July 25, has been granted his release from the Rays.

Rather than report to Triple-A Durham, Matsui requested his release, and the Rays went with the veteran slugger's wishes.

Matsui was well respected inside the Rays' clubhouse from the players to the manager and coaches.

He hit .147 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 34 games with the Rays -- and he did not look good while compiling the paltry numbers. Nevertheless, when Maddon was asked if he thought Matsui could still play, he replied: "I do."

OAKLAND -- Rays manager Joe Maddon informed reporters that he had just received the news that Hideki Matsui, who was designated for assignment on July 25, has been granted his release from the Rays.

Rather than report to Triple-A Durham, Matsui requested his release, and the Rays went with the veteran slugger's wishes.

Matsui was well respected inside the Rays' clubhouse from the players to the manager and coaches.

He hit .147 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 34 games with the Rays -- and he did not look good while compiling the paltry numbers. Nevertheless, when Maddon was asked if he thought Matsui could still play, he replied: "I do."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.