FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima believe their immediate families survived the massive earthquake that struck off the northeast coast of Japan and triggered deadly tsunami waves.
The players’ wives and children are in the United States. But both had concerns about their parents and others.
“I contacted my family and a few of my friends, and they all seem to be all right,” Matsuzaka said via interpreter Jeff Cutler. “I haven’t been able to get in touch with my grandmother, who lives in Aomori, which is close to where the earthquake was.”
Okajima’s in-laws are in the Kanto, another city reportedly affected.
“It’s not a good situation, to say the least,” Okajima said through Cutler. “I’m a little worried. This was a big one, so I am worried.”
Okajima and Matsuzaka watched television reports in the clubhouse with their teammates and used their cell phones to try and reach out to family and friends. Getting an open line was almost impossible.
“You can’t control nature. When something like this happens, you really realize the power of nature,” Okajima said.
Okajima owns a home in Tokyo. “There’s quite a bit of damage there,” he said.
Matsuzaka had similar concerns.
“It was definitely shocking waking up and hear the news,” he said. “Receiving an e-mail and reading it, I wasn’t able to take in exactly what it was. Once I turned on the television and saw what was going on, it was very shocking, very scary to see that.”