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Some more Kenji Johjima updates from 10/23/2009

by on Oct.23, 2009 @ 8:40 am, under NPB

Akinobu Okada is claiming that the Hanshin Tigers have been talking to Kenji Johjima for a couple years now, knowing that he'd be making a return to Japan at some point in the near future.

"These negotiations didn't just start you know.  They've been talking since before!  I heard about it a couple years ago. I was with Hanshin at the time so," said Okada.

Okada also apparently seems to know where Johjima wants to go.


Sponichi is carrying a Q&A that appears to be slightly different than the one I translated earlier.

On your four years with the Mariners...

The manager, coaches, and above all, the warm fans...  I really wanted to thank the fans personally.

On not having any chances for the postseason...

I had a dream of working my butt off and getting to the playoffs... I felt strongly about making the playoffs.

It was a decision you made after you returned to Japan after the last game of the season...

I was just truthful with myself, living in the now. I talked to my family about it and told them how I felt.  My wife respected by decision.

How will you apply your 4 years of experience in Japan?

I want people to be able say that I've grown since the last time I played in Japan.  I was really filled with anxiety the first two years.  Being able to prove that the Japanese way works over these last 4 years is also one of my better memories.  I'd like to think that I'll continue to grow each day, that's the way I want to live each day of my life.


Johjima on Koshien Stadium (Hanshin Tigers):

I never got to play at the Koshien in high school.  And I've only played a handful of games there after I turned pro.  To be honest, and I'm not really sure, but my impression of the stadium is that there are a lot of passionate fans there.