The Daisuke Matsuzaka press conference was thoroughly entertaining, even for those of us who understand approximately one word in Japanese (yes, that would be me). The guy exudes confidence and a definite personality. He had the smile and dimples flashing throughout his 40-minute press conference here at City of Palms Park that started after he arrived at 4:58 p.m., two minutes early. Still very impressive.
Matsuzaka was clearly thoughtful in his answers to questions -- and even understood some English. He said he's learning it now, and it became apparent after he obviously understood some of what his translator, media relations employee Sachiyo Sekiguchi, said to the English-speaking press.
He finished off his press conference by thanking the media, in English, then bowed to us. And, before going back into the dugout, he bowed to the field.
All in all, very interesting. The best part, of course, was when he joked that he was looking forward to playing catch with Tim Wakefield so he could try to catch the knuckleball. He also let us know that he tried to throw one during his recent workouts in Southern California, but it didn't work out too well. Looks like he'll keep that one on the shelf.
(Even though no games will be played on the field at City of Palms Park until March 1, people were working on the field before the press conference. The going theory? They're sprucing it up to look good on all the camera feeds being beamed back to Japan.)
And if you happen to get sports station NHK, you'll see me answering questions from the Japanese press. They've been going around asking members of the American media to appear on TV and take questions on Matsuzaka. Today was my turn, I guess.
OK, it's time for me to transcribe Matsuzaka's answers from his press conference. I will try to post at least another entry tonight.