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Sanspo interviews Craig Brazell (HAN)

by on Jan.09, 2012 @ 2:12 am, under NPB

Sanspo has posted a fairly lengthy interview with Craig Brazell (here and here).  I don't really have the time to go through and translate it all, so I have selected a couple of the more interesting bits.

On the team's concern about his weight:

I am working with a bodybuilding trainer this time around.  I am also working on strengthening my hamstrings.  My goal is to avoid getting injured in 2012.  It is really hard to have to sit out because of an injury.

On Yutaka Wada becoming the new manager:

I am a little uncertain of how to approach him (laughter).  I mean, up until now, I was asking him if there were any problems with my swing and he would give me immediate feedback.  He would say it was my shoulder or my back leg.  I feel like I might continue relying on him for advice even though he became the manager.  He does know my swing really well.  But I do not that he will change.  After all, he knows everyone's hitting style the best.  The good swings, the bad swings.  I think he might continue to help out with hitting advice.

On the Yomiuri Giants' improvements:

I heard about them.  [Toshiya] Sugiuchi, [D.J.] Houlton, [Shuichi] Murata.  Interesting moves.  But I actually look forward to the challenge.  Hanshin - Yomiuri games are kind of like the Super Bowl here in the States.  I think there are more reasons to be excited now.  More than the Giants' though, I am actually worried about Softbank (laughter).  Not only did they lose Sugiuchi and Houlton, they also lost [Tsuyoshi] Wada.

On playing out his career in Japan:

I have thought about finishing out my career in Japan.  My dream is to retire in Japan and then play golf everyday.  But I will need to learn how to speak Japanese if I am going to retire in Japan.

On how the new baseball is allowing pitchers to pitch inside more:

The pitchers do not have to be afraid of pitching inside.  If they are pitching at Koshien, Nagoya Dome, or Mazda Stadium, they do not have to worry about giving up home runs.  Chances are the ball will not go over the fence.  Even home runs at Tokyo Dome and Jingu dropped off.  Personally, it feels like balls that are hit well end up hitting the outfield fences...  I think that is what it feels like.  And when that happens, pitchers can just throw strikes without any concerns.  Makes it tough for the hitters.  That is why there were so many 1-0, 2-1 type games last year.

On where he was when the March 11 earthquake/tsunami struck:

I was at my home at Rokko Island.  The whole building swayed and then the images of the tsunami showed up on TV.  At that time, I felt a kind of fear I never experienced before in my life.  I was worried about the tsunami coming toward me and I looked out to the ocean.  I do not think I will ever forget what happened that day.

On the start of the 2011 season up through to June:

I started worrying because I could not hit any homers in April.  Then I changed my approach to hitting around mid-May: I decided not to think about home runs.  I imagined hitting the ball to the outfield gaps.

On Wada, Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Norichika Aoki heading to the majors:

It was really too bad what happened to [Hiroyuki] Nakajima, but for the rest of the players, I actually makes me happy.  After all, it means I no longer have to face them (laughter).  I hope they do well over here [in the States].