Hisanori Takahashi and baseball analyst Hiromi Makihara participated in a talk event on Wednesday that attracted 300 fans. After the event, Takahashi told reporters that he was looking forward facing players like Ichiro and Hideki Matsui next season.
Regarding Matsui, Takahashi told reporters that he never pitched him hard during previous exhibition game match-ups (Matsui is apparently 5-for-8 with 4 homers against Takahashi) and instead often threw the ball down the middle to see just how hard Matsui could hit the ball. Takahashi then added that he's ready to get serious against Matsui and won't even be afraid to pitch him inside.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka told reporters on Wednesday that he was looking forward to the chance of facing Daisuke Matsuzaka during one of Minnesota's 5 exhibition games against the Red Sox.
Sponichi also has a little more of Nishioka's 40 hour journey back to Japan.
It all started at 11am on the 20th (US time). GM Bill Smith dropped Nishioka off at Minneapolis airport for a 1:10pm flight. The Nishioka's boarded the plan and ended up stuck inside an airplane for about 4 hours before the flight got canceled. The two returned to their hotel after getting off the plane.
Things didn't get much better on the 21st. The Nishioka's 9am flight was delayed 2 hours due to poor weather conditions. But after the flight took off, it was directed to return due to worsening conditions.
The Nishioka's made it onto a flight that did finally touch down in Japan (at 1:10pm), but even then it was 30 minutes behind schedule.
Said Nishioka, "I'm happy that I was able to sign [with the Twins], but I'm dead tired after being stuck for 2 days. I even saw some people sleeping at the airport."
Earlier this year (on 2/10) Ryota Igarashi was stuck in a similar situation due to a snow storm that hit the North East.
Hideki Matsui's 2009 World Series Ring went up on display (from 12/22) at the Hideki Matsui Museum. 15 drawings from his youth were also put up on display. The official Hideki Matsui Museum website also went through an update from Angels' red to Athletics green.