Nikkan Sports has posted an article with some interesting comments from Takeshi Yamasaki (taken on Monday).
Regarding the Chunichi Dragons...
There is nothing that would make me happier than wearing the Chunichi uniform. I will compete with [Tony] Blanco and win the first base job. I will not be a pinch-hitter, I will win a starting position. Because of the position I play, I am constantly competing against foreign players. [Blanco] has won a home run title, loves Japan, and loves baseball, so this obstacle will be difficult to overcome. But I need to take on this battle.
Regarding his career home run total...
I want to pass [Shigeo Nagashima's total of 444]. Then I can show off to my grandchildren. If I can get to 2,000 hits, I should also be able to hit 444 home runs. (Yamasaki is 219 short of 2,000 and 42 short of 444.)
Regarding what kind of contract he wants...
If I do not put up results, I will have to retire. I do not care about the money. I just want to show everyone my last stand.
You will be meeting with the Dragons on 12/8...
It is a good feeling to go from being jobless to wearing a uniform. It would be a disservice to everyone in Sendai if my feelings were broken and I was planning to retire.
What has changed since you left Chunichi ten years ago?
During the 16 years I was with Chunichi, I played baseball the way I wanted to play it. I did not learn about the basics until Katsuya Nomura came along. I learned a lot about teamwork.
What are you looking for in a contract?
I am not going into this as a regular FA player would. I was making quite a bit with Rakuten too. I just want to show Rakuten that I still have a lot left in me. Money does not really matter.
Taking the field is something you will need to do in the Central League.
The uneasiness I had when I first played for Chunichi is now gone. I think my defense may have improved by not taking the field and watching. I also practiced when I was with Rakuten. I will work harder on my defense than on my hitting during spring camp.
Where will you stand [when you join the Dragons]?
I need to make sure [Motonobu] Tanishige, [Kazuhiro Wada], and [Hirokazu] Ibata are comfortable. I can not become a reason they feel uncomfortable. I also have to work on remembering names because there are a lot of young players I do not know. I have already experienced enough internal conflicts.