OK, so he’s not quite familiar with everything related to American baseball, but he’s getting there.
Hideki Okajima’s reaction when Sachiyo Sekiguchi let him know that he’d won the American League Rookie of the Month award was a questioning, “Huh?”
He was happy to have won and all, he just didn’t exactly know the award existed. Then he asked if it counted both the hitters and the pitchers.
Set-up guys in Japan simply don’t get the press. They don’t really here, either, unless they’re exceptional, which is just what Okajima has been so far this season.
His secondary reaction included a question: Is it really OK that I received this award? Am I suitable?
It was a prime example of the humility that Okajima has shown throughout his tenure with the team.
Plus, he also told Japanese reporters, that where fans used to call out “Daisuke” indiscriminately when they saw one of the team’s Japanese players, they now know enough to get his name right. (Besides, the players look absolutely nothing alike.)