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1/6/2011: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ichiro Suzuki, Takashi Saito

by on Jan.06, 2011 @ 11:32 am, under MLB

Hideki Matsui might begin swinging the bat while he's still in Japan, although that depends largely on how he's feeling.

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Hiroki Kuroda will be approaching the 2011 season as if it were his last.

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Daisuke Matsuzaka took off for Hawaii on Wednesday.  He'll begin his workouts with Tomoki Hoshino (SEI), Chikara Onodera (SEI), and Masamitsu Hirano (SEI) before breaking off around the 20th to continue his training on his own.  Matsuzaka also has his orders from the Boston Red Sox and will likely head to Florida sometime around February 10th.

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Ichiro Suzuki worked out for about 2 hours at Skymark Stadium on Wednesday.  He also had this to say about Yuki Saito (HAM, 1st round):

He's good.  He has an aura that most people don't have.  For example, everything I say tends to come out sounding like an insult, but nothing he says sounds bad, that's amazing.  In that sense, I'm the complete opposite of him.  And it might be that the opposites have the best connection between each other.

Seems Ichiro also dreamed about facing Saito once.

Nikkan Sports is also carrying a short interview with Ichiro:

Did you play golf for New Years?

Of course.  And my score is improving.  Although only a drop from 120 to 100.  That's the kind of progress I'm making.

Can you imagine your baseball career over the next 10 years?

I wasn't able to do that over the first 10 years.  So that's probably going to  be a little difficult.  Eating what you like first might be easier to say.  And then saving things you hate for last.

Your thoughts on [Tsuyoshi] Nishioka playing in the Majors?

There still aren't a lot of Japanese players [in the Majors].  Even if you take the total number of Japanese players with experience in the Majors, that's still only a small amount.  So if you figure the way things progressed over the last 10 years in that regard, it seems like not much has really changed.

What do you think of T-Okada?

Well, he has put up numbers.  But in order to really make it big, he needs to do something with that T.  Like maybe wear a T-back (thong in Japanese) under his sliding pants...  Something playful like that would be interesting.  That would really make him something.

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Via Sponichi: The Associated Press reports Takashi Saito's contract with the Milwaukee Brewers as follows:

- one year deal worth US$1.75M.

Award bonuses could add an additional US$1.5M to the deal:

$1M yen for number of games

$50,000 each for 15, 20, 25, and 30 games; $100,000 each for 35, 40, and 50 games; $150,000 each for 50 and 55 games; and $200,000 for 60 games.

$500,000 for time on the active roster

$100,000 each for: 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 days on the active roster