The Minnesota Twins held a press conference on the 18th to introduce their newest addition: Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Nishioka was also presented with the number 1.
Some comments from Nishioka:
Playing for a team that's always in the hunt for a Championship is good for stimulating growth. I need to pay my dues by playing well. I'm entering uncharted territory. Fear is stronger right now. I don't want to think about numbers or results, I just want to play my heart out. (Nikkan Sports)
I've leapt into the place I've been dreaming of playing in. [Up until now,] I've only been a spectator for these kinds of press conferences. I can't believe this is happening. ... At one time I was worried what would happen if there were no bids. I want to make sure they don't regret the money they spent. ... I'm very happy [about the uniform number]. I want to make with the number 1. (Jiji Press)
More than my own personal stats, I want to put the team first. I want to get on base and make winning a Championship my number 1 priority. ... When it comes to the Majors, I'm just a rookie, so I'll be prepared to play either position. (NHK)
Jiji Press has also posted a more complete version of his comments from his press conference:
What are you strengths?
My job is to cross home plate as much as possible. I want to make it my goal to get on base and make it my priority to help this team win a Championship.
Your thoughts on your uniform not being the number 7, but rather the number 1.
The number 7 is already worn by a superstar in Joe Mauer. I'm a rookie. I'll take whatever uniform number the team gives me and I'll play with pride.
How was your English?
I don't know how to pronounce English words. But i feel this club is very warm. I'm very happy to be a part of a team that's like a family.
On your dreams of play in the Majors.
It's where I've wanted to play since I first started playing when I was 3. Is it really ok for me to be here? I still can't believe it.
What are you confident about?
I don't have any. More than anything, I have fear. More than confidence, I just have a strong desire to do well.
Nishioka's wife, Naoko Tokuzawa, was also at the press conference. Tokuzawa told reporters that she was relieved that Nishioka's opening speech in English went well and that Nishioka was pleased with the Twins' uniform.
A Japanese restaurant named Nami (located near the stadium) is thinking about a new menu item called the "Rock 'n Roll." The name apparently comes from Nishioka's "rock star" sense of fashion.
Nishioka got his physical on the 17th. After his physical, he spent the rest of the day with GM Bill Smith. Smith even personally escorted Nishioka back to his hotel at the end of the day.
Hiroyuki Kobayashi on the possibility of facing Nishioka:
I've never faced him before, but [it would be interesting] if it happened in the Majors. I'm looking forward to it.
Saburo's comment on Nishioka joining the Minnesota Twins:
All I can say is that I'm envious of him. I want to see him play his heart out. I'm sure if he plays as usual, he'll put up results.