Rogers’ Impression of Hanshin: “A Team with Strong Traditions Like the Red Sox”
Hanshin held a press conference to introduce new import infielder Jason Rogers (formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ AAA club) on the 7th at club headquarters in Nishinomiya. He showed confidence in himself and his future playing in Japan. He’ll wear number 48 this season.
*** DISCLAIMER: I was not at the press conference and have not seen a video of it, so Mr. Rogers’ words here are not precise. They are a translation of a translation. ***
- How do you feel now that you are officially a member of the Hanshin Tigers?
I’m excited, this is my first time in Japan. I’m excited for the opportunity to get to play here. I’ve heard a lot about the history here from the fans, they let me know on social media about all the history, so I’m excited.
- Tell us a little about your strengths as a player, and how you hope to contribute to the team.
My strengths are, hit for average, hit for power, play solid defense. Just really, I just want to do whatever it takes to help the team win on that day, so, whatever it takes.
- How would you evaluate your hitting during your 69 games of AAA ball this season?
Sixty-nine games isn’t a lot, but I felt really good out there. My body was in good shape. I haven’t played in a few days now because of coming out here, so I want to play a few games as soon as I can.
- What do you know about Japanese baseball and Japanese pitchers?
I’ve heard that Japanese pitchers have really high quality stuff. I’ve faced (Nippon Ham pitcher Toru) Murata before, and I think I picked up a few things from that experience.
- What’s your impression of the Hanshin organization?
I think it’s a team with a longstanding tradition, kind of like the Boston Red Sox in America – a strong team with great tradition. I hope I can contribute to this team’s success.
- How do you feel about coming into a new playing and living environment?
I’m confident I’ll adjust fine. I know I’m going to have to do a lot of fine tuning, but I feel like I was playing well in America, and I hope I can just keep that going out here.
- Did you get any advice from anyone about coming out here to play in Japan?
I talked to a few people, and they told me that there are some differences in the game, but just to go out and have fun. I’m confident I’ll have a good time here.
- Do you know any Japanese words yet?
I just know “konnichiwa” and “arigato” – just those two, but hopefully I can remember more as the season goes on.
- What Japanese food are you excited to try?
I’ll try anything. I had some Japanese food on the plane over. I don’t know what it was, but I’m willing to give anything a try!
- You had the nickname “Panda” in America. What do you want to be called in Japan?
I’m OK with anything. If you can think of a new nickname, great, if not, Panda is fine too.
- What kind of numbers are you hoping to put up in the second half?
I don’t have any specific numbers in mind. I just want to go out there and take it one at-bat at a time, and hopefully contribute to the team winning some games.
- Please give a message to the fans.
I’m so glad to be here in Japan. I’m thankful to the Hanshin organization for giving me this chance, and I hope to help the team make it into the playoffs.