Thursday, December 23, 2010

What the Japanese Media Thinks about What Minnesotans Think about Tsuyoshi Nishioka (and another potential Japanese teammate?)

Guess what—the Japanese are even reading Aaron Gleeman now too! Although they seem to think Gleeman's .275 BA hopeful expectation for Nishioka funny.

The Japanese media has been very impressed with what we would call “Minnesota Nice.” While Nishioka was visiting Minnesota this past week, many Japanese media outlets reported about the awesome VIP treatment he received. One news outlet proclaimed that we gave Nishioka the best welcome any Japanese player has ever gotten—and all of this was particularly because GM Bill Smith himself drove Nishioka around during his visit. (西岡に超異例のVIP待遇!ツインズGMが運転手に!! (“Oka Nishi extraordinary super VIP treatment! GM Twins are the driver! !”)) This article said they had never heard of a GM himself driving players around, that Nishioka was very happy, and then described the reception past Japanese stars have received in America—all involving large crowds and police escorts. Hmmm… I guess police escorts aren’t soo welcoming?

The Japanese also reported that Tozawa Hidenori—the head chef at Nami restaurant, near Target Field—has created the “Rock’n Roll” sushi roll in honor of Tsuyoshi coming to the Twin Cities. The restaurant is reportedly Ichiro’s favorite place to visit here in the Cities.

The Japanese media was also impressed with Gardy bringing his “Survival Japanese” book Nishioka’s press conference. Andrew from Off the Mark posted a few weeks ago that the organization gave Gardy lots of Japanese language learning tools for Christmas.

And it might be a good investment—I came across a headline reading “小林宏もツインズ!?打診認めた” (“Hiroyuki Kobayashi Twins too!? Consultation revealed”). A fellow-teammate from Tsuyoshi’s champion Chiba Lotte Marines is also looking to come to the U.S., and apparently the Twins expressed some interest. And good news if it’s true—Hiroyuki is a relief pitcher, something the Twins really need! Is this guy any good? Might as well get our money’s worth from the Japanese translator!

Anyways, it sounds like Nishioka and his wife really enjoyed their visit, and—despite the freakish large amount of snow—are looking forward to living here. Nishioka’s wife, Tokuzawa Naoko, is a famous Japanese model. The couple spent Saturday searching for a new home in Minneapolis.

Nishioka also expressed interst in coming back to the Cities for Twins Fest at the end of Janurary—which brings up the inevitable question of whether the Metrodome will be ready in time. I personally hope so. I would love to go back and visit the dome, and I bet our new Japanese friends might like it too. Remember the video I posted of Nishioka playing in the bizarre-o Metrodome? That’s actually the Tokyo Dome, and it was inspired by the Metrodome!

I told you Japanese fans are the best!

(P.S.: Video of workers shooting shotguns into the Metrodome Roof!)

1 comment:

  1. I can see a lot of upside to getting another player who speaks Japanese, primarily for Noshi's sake.
    Fun article. Thanks