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NPB: Sankei Sports interviews Craig Brazell

by on Jun.10, 2009 @ 6:02 am, under NPB

Here is Sankei Sports' interview with Craig Brazell.

You haven't been with the team for very long, but what are you thoughts so far?
Even though we lost yesterday (6/8), we've been doing quite well. There's nothing that I can complain about. I'm just having a lot of fun playing for the Tigers.

Your thoughts on playing for Hanshin...
There's a lot of tradition here. Even when I'm not wearing the pinstripe uniforms, I feel it. It's not really something you can see, but you can definitely feel the history and tradition.

About the wild and crazy Hanshin fans...
I can't believe it. Every night, 45,000 fans focus on each and every pitch. I'm excited about being able to play in this kind of atmosphere. Their excitement keeps pushing me forward.

And within that environment, you hit a home run in your first game...
I could feel their excitement as I rounded the bases. I was really excited as well.

You play at your old stomping grounds tomorrow (Seibu Dome). Your thoughts?
It feels a little strange. Players like Kataoka and Nakajima... We played together as teammates. Now they're my opponents. I'm a Hanshin Tiger. But it still feels a little strange to be facing my old teammates under such circumstances.

Are you close with any one on the Tigers?
Not with just one player, but the entire team. Everyone has been very supportive. They've made me feel at home and I think that's why I've been able to perform. The manager and coaches have also been very helpful.

What are your thoughts on Akinobu Mayumi?
He's really a great manager. He believes in each of the players. And that helps provide me with comfort so I can focus on playing. I think the other players are feeling that as well.

You struggled during the second half last season. Some felt that opposing teams figured out a weakness and exploited it. What do you think about that?
I was hurt towards the end of last season. If they did happen to find a weakness, it just means to need to overcome it. I did that pretty much the entire season last year. I didn't have a good March, but I did better in April... I didn't have a good May, but I did better in June... It isn't really good to have too many peaks and valleys, but if they figure out a way to pitch to me, then it's up to me to figure out a way to hit them. In the end, it's all about how you adjust.

The rain season begins on the 9th for the Kansai region. It's going to start getting muggy in Japan. You were ok last June, but do you have concerns about how that might affect your play this year?
I guess you guys haven't been to my hometown in Alabama. The humidity and the heat is much worse than it is over here.

Hisanobu Watanabe (Lions' manager) says he knows you well...
He does, but that means I also know him/them well.

Wakui says he believes you can hit 30 home runs...
We were pretty close when I was with the Lions. I've got a lot of respect for him. I think he's a great pitcher and if I ever have a chance to face him, I think it'll be a great match-up.

Would you like a shot at playing at the Japanese All-Star game?
Becoming an All-Star isn't really my concern. As long as the Tigers win, that's what I'm concerned.

You seem to be talking to the batting coach a lot...
I talk to him a lot about my swing. Just asking for advice.

What do you think of the clean-up hitter, Kanemoto?
He's really an amazing hitter. Just everything about him is great. He's a good team leader and I have a lot of respect for him.

You were paying close attention to his BP session on the 8th...
Yeah, I watched a little. I was just watching... He's really a great hitter. He's got a good personality and he's just a great team leader.