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WBC: Nakajima may not be ready to play on Sunday; Hara quotes; and more…

by on Mar.15, 2009 @ 2:00 am, under WBC

...Yu Darvish was almost run over by a bus, or at least that's how a couple of news headlines are putting it in Japan.

Based on what I can gather, Darvish was trying to stow his bags onto the team bus (those side compartments you access from outside the bus) when it started to move. When the bus came to a stop, Darvish once again tried to store his bags away when the bus started to back up.

No one was hurt, but it seems as though everyone was a little surprised that no one bothered to check what was going on outside the bus.

...Hiroyuki Nakajima was still wearing a mask over his mouth when he checked into the team hotel in San Diego on the 13th.

Said Hara on the 13th, "We'll see how he's doing tomorrow and if he's still under the weather, we'll let him take the day off."

...Japan, Cuba, Korea, and Mexico are all staying at the same hotel in San Diego. All four teams arrived at the hotel on the 13th.

...It doesn't seem like there's much excitement in San Diego for the World Baseball Classic. Based on the linked article, it would appear as though there are more advertisements for the Body Worlds exhibit.

...Hara thinks the cold weather could be advantageous for Japan.

Said Hara, "Every year around this time of year, we're playing exhibition games in places where there might be some light snowfall. I'm guessing the other teams will struggle with the cold more."

...Munenori Kawasaki and Yasuyuki Kataoka might both be in the starting lineup for Japan. And depending on who starts for Cuba, Shuichi Murata or Atsunori Inaba will hitting in the 4 hole.

...Japan is hoping that Ichiro catches fire during the second round, just like he did during the first WBC, when he went 3-for-13 in the first round and then 9-for-20 with 4 RBIs in the remaining rounds.

...Some quotes from Hara:

On what he's currently feeling...
The team continues to get stronger every day going back to our practices that began in February at Miyazaki. The team is getting pumped and I'm starting to get really excited as well.

On Nakajima's status...
That's probably one number 1 concern right now. We decided it would be important to take the day off today. It might be difficult for him to be ready for tomorrow's game, but I'm sure he'll be ready for the next game. If there's some sort of miracle, maybe we'll see him in tomorrow's game.

On picking Matsuzaka to start...
An hour after the last game of the first round ended, I told Matsuzaka he'd be our starter for our first game in the second round. Losing out on his practice start? I think he'll be just fine without it.

On Cuba's team...
They have a really balanced, world class team. But I think if we play our game, we can compete with them.

...Some photos of the team practicing at Petco Park on 3/14 (Sanspo).

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