The latest on Yu Darvish.
From the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant:
... If Darvish finishes first in the Cy Young voting once during 2012-16 and second through fourth once in the same time, he could void the final year of the deal. If he finishes second through once and second through fourth on two other occasions, he can also void the deal.
The latest on Masahiro Tanaka.
From CBS Sports' Jon Heyman:
Word is he has even more poise and presence than Yu Darvish, though perhaps not quite the talent. Darvish's success has to help Tanaka, though. Agent: $125M ($60M posting; 6 years, $65M). GM: $150M ($75M posting; 6 years, $75M). Me: $140M ($70M posting, $7 years, $70M).
From CBS Sports' Dayn Perry:
This year's headline import may lack the ceiling of a Yu Darvish, but Tanaka boasts polish and a sterling track record in Japan. It seems most evaluators see him as a strong no. 2 starter in an MLB rotation, and that makes him the easy choice to top this list. The posting fee will turn away some teams, but Tanaka's age of 25 -- very young by free agent standards -- adds to his already substantial appeal.
Sankei Sports has posted an interview with Munenori Kawasaki.
On this past season.
Not just this year, but all years, I am not happy with the results. Baseball is a sport of mistakes so things do not seem to go very well.
You bounced back and forth between the minors and Majors.
I was busy. But I like being busy. I was born in the year of the bird, so I love fluttering about (laughter).
Your unique phrases were becoming popular.
I owe my father and mother for bringing me up like this. This is just the way I am.
There was no interpreter?
I took English conversation classes in Japan during the off-season. I spoke to a foreign teacher one or twice a week. But when I actually got [to the US], I could not say one word.
You were not planning on getting an interpreter?
I thought I could figure things out, but things did not work out quite that well. There were times I sat through hour-long meetings and could not understand a word that was said.
What did you do?
I pretended I understood. Then I would go to the coaches later on and they would draw me pictures to help me understand. It was like, "Oh, that's what they were saying." That's what it was like.
You taught your teammates Japanese?
Things like "Iio, iio, Matsumoto Iyo." I would also say thing like "Saiko" and "Sente hissho" while sitting in the dugout in the 1st inning. Then everybody started picking up on it.
What will you do during the off-season?
I will not rest. The day after I returned to Japan, I was running dashes in the park. I will exercise on New Years day too. It's just like the way people eat. So it really is no big deal to me.
Source: Sanspo 11/7/2013
Munenori's "I am Japanese" speech was nominated for a Cut4 Topic GIBBY Award.