|Tsuyoshi Nishioka: No. 7 for the Marines, No. 1 for the Twins.|
Highlights from my viewing:
- He'll wear the number 1. (He wore 7 in Japan, both for Chiba Lotte and the Japanese national team, but that's now the permanent property of Joe Mauer in Minnesota.)
- He said that as a rookie, he has no say in whether he plays second base or shortstop here. If the manager wants me to be the ball boy, I'll do that.
- He has not talked to other Japanese players who've made the transition to U.S. ball: Everybody's different, and I want to experience it on my own.
- Ron Gardenhire mentioned Minnesota-Duluth winning the national Division II football championship: It's a great day for Minnesota. We got a national championship, and we got one heck of an infielder.
- Nishioka had a couple of English sentences memorized that he wanted to say to introduce himself, and I expect that will be the big soundbite on the newscasts.
No questions from the Japanese media in attendance, and no comments on the weather. I know they have winter in Japan, but he walked into a mess in the Twin Cities this week.
Danny Valencia was there, which was a minor surprise to me. I don't know if he's wintering in the Twin Cities or if he flew up to meet his new teammate.