* Keep in mind, I am translating (into English) a translation (in Japanese) of his answers (given in Spanish). I have not heard the actual press conference, so Luis Mendoza‘s answers are not his exact words! I just hope nothing got lost in translation.
How do you feel about joining the Tigers?
First of all, I want to express my gratitude to the Hanshin Tigers for giving me this opportunity. I think I’m in good throwing shape this season, and I know the team has a chance to win the pennant still, so I am hoping to pay them back by helping them win some games on the field.
You’re coming in as a mid-season acquisition and expected to hold down a spot in the rotation. How do you hope to contribute to the team?
I understand perfectly well that this is a very important time of year. I have playoff experience, and I’m excited to be able to have a chance to throw in meaningful games again here. Although we’re coming up on season’s end, in a way it feels like I get to start over again. Hopefully that fresh feeling will help me contribute.
What’s your impression of the Hanshin Tigers?
I heard about this team’s legacy when I first got to Japan, and I’m really happy to be able to be part of this kind of team.
What was your impression of Koshien from the times you have thrown here?
It’s completely different from Sapporo Dome. Not to say one is better than the other. Each has its own atmosphere, and I really enjoyed throwing at Koshien. I’m excited to be able to throw from that mound again.
Are there any hitters you look forward to facing in the Central? Or any pitchers you want to go up against?
I want to face strong teams and strong hitters. Right now the Hiroshima Carp have a good hitting lineup, they’re a strong team, so I’d like to face off against them.
With your acquisition, the hopes of winning the pennant have increased. How do you feel about that?
Yeah, I think there’s still a chance for the pennant, and I want to do my part to help. I just want to do my best to win as many games as I can for the team.
Kansai is a lot hotter than Hokkaido. How do you think you’ll handle the heat?
The weather is completely different here, but there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m the type that gets hot as the game goes on anyways, so hopefully I’ll slowly get used to it.
Give a message to the Tigers fans, please.
I’m so grateful that the team and fans have been so welcoming of me already. I’ll do my best to give you reason to cheer more, and hope to do my part for the team. See you at the stadium.