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Rakuten Eagles News and Notes: December 21, 2010

by on Dec.21, 2010 @ 4:44 pm, under NPB

Senichi Hoshino told his radio audience on Monday that Hisashi Iwakuma contacted him just before negotiations with the Oakland A's ended and said, "I'm Japanese.  I want to play for a team that needs me.  I look forward to playing."  Hoshino also said that he plans to use Kazuo Matsui and Akinori Iwamura on the left side of the infield.


Satoshi Nagai would like to see the Rakuten Eagles add a display behind home plate that shows radar gun readings so that pitchers don't have to keep looking back at the scoreboard in center.

7 comments on “Rakuten Eagles News and Notes: December 21, 2010

    1. Gen Post author

      I obviously can’t speak for Iwakuma, but here’s what I think:

      Based on the next sentence, “I want to play for a team that needs me,” Iwakuma could be taking a small dig at the Oakland A’s. Remember, he kept talking about how he wanted to play for a team that wanted him.

      It could also be a reflection of his current state of mind in that he’s feeling some comfort in returning to the Eagles, a team that really does want him, even though he’s Japanese. This could also mean he felt like an outsider during the negotiation process because he was Japanese.

      Or perhaps it refers to Hoshino’s desire for a foreign closer and that even though he’s not either of those, that he hopes the team still wants him.

      Or maybe it means nothing. Although I tend to believe that there’s no such things as words without meaning.

      There are probably other possible explanations… There were just the first few that popped into my head.

  1. Alex

    Your thoughts on the matter are pretty good, I haven’t considered that way…you may have a career as a psychologist!

    I just felt it was strange for him to mention his nationality. I don’t read about European soccer players talking about their nationality during transfer talks. I’ve heard other Japanese althetes say similar “I’m Japanese” statements during certain situtaions…it just sounds like a cop out when things go wrong.

    I understand Iwakuma’s agent dealt with the A’s, but why were tehy so surprised the A’s didnt want to invest that much money into him? Did they not do their research (I remember that Iwakuma didn’t even know who they were) that Oakland isn’t a big budget team? Or that relative expensive busts of Fukudome and Dice-K hurt the amount MLB were willing to pay?

    1. Gen Post author

      It’s hard to know who to trust at this point, but Iwakuma has mentioned that it was never about the money and that it was the A’s attitude that turned him off. The interesting thing with that though is AFAIK, it was his agent that was doing all the talking. So Iwakuma can only believe what his agent speaks. And I think that’s where the issues might really lie.

      So my impression of this whole Iwakuma “mess” is that Iwakuma may be playing for the A’s right now if his agent wasn’t Don Nomura, or if the A’s had tried to contact Iwakuma directly to see how he was doing (although I suppose it’s possible the A’s did try to contact Iwakuma).

  2. EJH

    While I have not heard the complete quote from Iwakuma and keeping in mind that many Japanese people feel that being Japanese makes them incredibly unique and that, of course, everyone understands this, I tend to think that Iwakuma simply meant that, since he is Japanese, it is no problem to play one more year in Japan.

    And I agree with Alex that Gen ought to consider a career in psychology.

  3. Tim

    Psychiatrist :)
    Yes I am really appreciated how Gen always looking things from different aspects and angles to make people think positive.

  4. Gen Post author

    Heh. And to think I almost majored in Psychology.

    I just think there’s always a back story to things. And even the most trivial headlines can make for interesting analysis. Especially in Japan where nothing is as it seems.

    I also find this stuff extremely interesting to think about. Especially in terms of how it might affect player performance. Everyone’s always talking about the physical aspects of the game, but none hardly ever talk about the psychological aspects. I guess that might be because it’s never 1 + 1 = 2 when it comes to the mind.

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