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NPB Roundup 1/17: Koji Uehara TV Interview; Norichika Aoki feels shafted

by on Jan.17, 2009 @ 12:23 am, under NPB

In case any one is interested, Koji Uehara was on a news show last night and I managed to jot down a few notes. Here they are:

  • As is mentioned in most of his interviews, Uehara is really excited about his opportunity to play in the Majors.
  • He's quite happy about getting the number 19.
  • The fact that the Orioles are looking at Uehara as a starter was definitely a factor.
  • He looks up to Hideki Matsui and can't wait to face him.
  • When asked what the difference between yakyu and baseball was, he said, "Yakyu is about the little things; baseball is much bigger." Uehara referenced the power lineups in the US have.
  • Uehara didn't have a very good image of Baltimore at first. Most of the people he spoke to didn't have a lot of good things to say. But after visiting the area personally, his image of the place has changed and he feels that he'll enjoy his time in Baltimore.
  • He looks forward to playing on natural grass and likened Oriole Park at Camden Yards to an amusement park.
  • Uehara is sort of known as a frequenter to places called izakaya (something akin to bars and pubs). When asked if he's been able to find something similar in Baltimore, he said that he hasn't had a lot of time to explore just yet.
  • Uehara's impression of the Orioles: A team with a lot of tradition and history.
  • The news anchors were asking how Uehara might approach Matsui and he said he'll aim for his knees since he just had knee surgery.
  • One of the anchors mentioned Jeremy Guthrie as the only pitcher to record double-digit wins and what that meant to Uehara. His reponse: Well, I only had 6 wins last season so... Last season is over and done. This season is just begining. I just want to work hard alongside my new teammates.
  • When asked if Uehara had any plans to learn or work on any new pitches: The shuuto and cutter. Balls with side-to-side movement. I have a forkball for up-and-down movement.

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Recently retired Kazuhiro Kiyohara is interested in becoming a manager at some point in his career. "I'll learn what is needed and what isn't need in order to become a manager. I'll also continue studying what kind of people are needed in order to create a successful ogranization until I get a chance to prove myself."

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The Orix Buffaloes will be submitting their PR video to the 2009 IDEA (Information Deisplay and Entertainment) Conference. They are hoping the entry will give the team more world wide exposure.

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Negotations aren't going very smoothly between the Swallows and Norichika Aoki. The Swallows have only offered to increase Aoki's 2008 salary by 10% (around 240M and 250M yen) while Aoki is looking for something a little higher. "I heard from my agent and I'm a little disappointed. Only a 10% raise? ... I understand the economy isn't in good shape right now, but I feel undervalued."

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One of the reasons why the Lotte Marines didn't extend Jose Ortiz's contract was to open up second base for Tadahito Iguchi.

0 comments on “NPB Roundup 1/17: Koji Uehara TV Interview; Norichika Aoki feels shafted

  1. knucklehead7
    Quote:

    Uehara didn’t have a very good image of Baltimore at first. Most of the people he spoke to didn’t have a lot of good things to say.

    I see Baltimore’s reputation has extended overseas as well.

  2. Gwynar

    I was actually a little curious to know with whom he spoke to regarding Baltimore. I wonder if it was a player (like Matsui) or just some people that visited the area before.