Hideki Matsui was 1 for 3 in Trenton’s 3-1 win over the Portland Sea Dogs last night, as the Thunder took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-5 Eastern League playoff first round series. The occasion of Matsui’s (postseason!) rehab stint provoked the following rememberance from Trenton skipper Billy Masse (from MiLB.com’s Kit Stier, link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)

Masse said he visited Japan as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team in 1988 and found himself rather overwhelmed by the experience.

“I actually read my first book I ever read in my life there,” Masse recalled. “I did. I mean for fun, not like in school.”

The book was “Misery” by Stephen King.

“I got so caught up in that dumb book I couldn’t hit that night,” Masse said, drawing a laugh.

“All I cared about was what happened in that book. I couldn’t concentrate on hitting. I went home, I finished it and threw it away. I haven’t ready another book since I was so caught up in it. It was horrible.”

I hate to call Billy’s credibility into question, but a check of Trenton public library records reveals that he has, indeed, returned to the mind-altering world of reading-for-pleasure.