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Shuichi Murata signs a two-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants

by on Dec.13, 2011 @ 9:30 pm, under NPB

The Yomiuri Giants held a press conference today to introduce their newest addition, Shuichi Murata.  The Giants inked the 30-year-old third baseman to a two-year deal worth an estimated total 500M yen.  He was also assigned the number 25.

A video of the press conference is available at Yomiuri Online (not sure if there is an expiration or if there are country restrictions).

The official Giants website is carrying the following comments taken during Murata's press conference:

When did you decide to join the join and why.

When I saw Chunichi celebrate after winning at Yokohama Stadium, I started feeling the urge to do the same.  When I met with GM [Atsushi] Harasawa and heard about how much they needed me, my expectations for the Giants' uniform slowly started to increase.

What about your family?

My son is beginning to show an interest in baseball and he tells me he hopes I win more often than he hopes for me to get a hit.  I think that means winning is more important.  I am grateful that the Giants reached out to me and my son is now memorizing the player names by looking at the registry.

What about the number 25?

It was a number I have liked since my college days and I am honored to have the number prepared for me.

What are your thoughts as the third baseman?

I want to show everyone, beginning in spring camp, that in my early 30's, I am capable of playing 144 games at the hot corner.

Speaking of third baseman, [Tatsunori] Hara played the same position.

I have a strong image of Hara kantoku [playing third].  I remember the homer he hit during his retirement game.  I want to work hard so that image does not overcome mine.

What are your thoughts about batting fourth?

I batted fourth every year with Yokohama since 2006.  But that does not matter.  I [just] want to hit in the middle of the line-up for a strong team.  So I do not really mind if I bat fourth or not.

How do you think you will feel when you face Yokohama DeNA?

I want to see them get stronger and I personally would like to keep cheering them on.  It would be nice if Yomiuri and Yokohama could compete for first.

Anything you would like to say to the fans?

To the fans that supported me as a member of the Yokohama Bay Stars, I will do my best so that you can continue to support me as a member of the Yomiuri Giants.

What are you impressions of Hara kantoku?

I could not celebrate with him when we won the WBC (hamstring injury) so I would like a chance to celebrate with him now.

You are wearing an orange tie today.  Does it have any special meaning?

This is a tie that my wife bought me before I turned pro.  I wonder if she knew this was going to happen nine years later.  I plan to use the team colors for my batting gloves and wrist bands as well.

UPDATE 12/15 @ 12:14am - Sanspo is carrying the following comments from Tatsunori Hara:

Your thoughts on [Shuichi] Murata.

A very strong player decided to join our team.  He was the clean-up batter for the team that won the WBC.  I feel we have a good connection.

Where will he bat?

I obviously want him to bat in the middle of the order.  It would be great if we could battle it out with [Hisayoshi] Chono batting third, Shinnosuke [Abe] fourth, and Murata fifth.  But I would not be surprised if he was thinking, "I am no number five hitter, I want to bat fourth."  I also do not think Shinnosuke will easily give up the spot either.  I will build the line-up while considering them and the rest of the team.

Are you expecting 30 homers and 100 RBI?

It will not be easy, but I think he has what it takes to set that kind of goal and attain it.

What are Murata's specialties?

There are not a lot of players with individuality.  I think he is a valuable player that has his own style and can hit for power.