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January 14, 2009

Koji comes across

The Koji Uehara news conference was an interesting event that showcased the 33-year-old Japanese star's sense of humor and allowed the Orioles an opportunity to make the most of a positive publicity day.

Uehara and his translator took questions from both the English-speaking and Japanese media, and Koji played off the back-and-forth by answering one Japanese question with a well-timed "Yes."

He explained that he's actually looking forward to less media coverage in Baltimore. The Yomiuri Giants are the Japanese equivalent of the Yankees, and the large media contingent there is very competitive. So, here's how he dealt with the issue of his relationship with the American media -- and I'm translating a bit loosely for comic effect.

"Are you going to come to my house?'' he said in Japanese. "If you don't come to my house, we'll get along just fine."

Andy MacPhail and the Orioles' director of international scouting, John Stockstill, also took part in the media conference and did some interviews afterward. I'll drop in a few comments from Andy in an upcoming post.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 2:37 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Just baseball


Koji is either gone by late July or in the bullpen looking for his samarai sword....

Koji, Hendrickson.... some solutions to the need for a veteran SP huh? This will be ugly.
I also agree with the masses & Peter, why not Wigginton? Besides 1B , the guy can play 2B & 3B too. I dare say that's a good utility guy, plus he can hit with much more power than your avg. utility guy.

We need more starters. Are we looking seriously into some of the remaining free-agent pitchers??

Come on, Brian, think of Koji's arrival as a birth. When a man sees his son, he doesn't know whether he'll be a Rhodes Scholar or an underachiever, a CEO or a janitor. Nor does he care. He just loves having a son, and will do anything to help him grow. Koji is the start of something big. That's the way to look at it.

Well, we missed out on the big one, but we have gotten a pretty good shortstop, a pretty decent starter and a real good utility guy. All were pressing needs.

Provided we sign Roberts and Nick to long term deals, we'll be going into spring training a lot better off than we were the end of September.

welcome to birdland, Koji! i look forward to learning more about japan and japanese baseball just as Koji learns more about our city and our game.

Talking about the need for translation made me chuckle at the recollection of former Cavs coach Paul Silas getting angry with the questioning of a reporter and responding by saying gruffly " what , am I speaking Chinese ?!!? " ....... I guess you had to be there .


I just wonder how it will feel pitching with 1600 fans in the stands in cold weather on an April night. Unless the Yanks or Sox are in town, I think it is going to be a disappointment after his fame in Japan.

Uehara will be at the end of this year what we thought he is now. An in-road to Japan. That's about all we can expect.

The next move should be a trade for Hideki Matsui, (for Luke Scott and Hayden Penn) I hear the Yankees are looking to move him.

I think I'm turning Japanese. (spell check)

Brian, I guess you weren't impressed when Bobby Valentine said that Uehara was a good signing for the Orioles. What does he know. I mean he just manages over there.


Because he's expensive and terrible!

Unwelcome Reality Check: The O's are doing (Pretty much) the right things here. Signing a big star or two would be a step backwards. If we'd gotten Texeira and Santana, say, we'd still be a long way from competitive, with about 15 of the other 23 positions still in need of an upgrade. After we've built a solid base and shown we can win 81-plus games, then it'll be time to look at individual 'impact' players. Right now, a potential upgrade at third starter or such is a great move.


There are $13 million reasons per year of why not.

J. Roberts -- Gotta like your positive attitude, you must be a professional motivational speaker, because it is hard to make this off-season look good without signing any extensions and not picking up a big name talent. Heck, Peter might have a job for you in the PR department as A.P.'s assistant!!

I like the Koji sighning,once the FO "fleshes out" the rotation we will see a marked improvement from last year. Remember the ORIOLES were tough to beat well into summer,and dare i say could be tougher in '09! whadoyah say Pete?

Pete's reply: I say I hope you're right but that pitching staff still scares the heck out of me.

Hi Pete:

Well it looks like the only competition the Orioles will have is the I95 100 defeats club. We should be in contention again this year. Who will hit the big 100 first the Orioles or the Nationals.

Do you think another year of dismal results will help with contract extensions for current young players? I do not think any of the young players including Markakis and others will be a Oriole after another 90 plus defeats? Will the Os ever again seriously have a chance to sign a top free agent?

I do not think so. I could be wrong!

A George from Harrisuburg, Pa

i agree-- the pitching is kinda scary, after Guthrie. We'll see---maybe someone will step up, like Liz, Penn, Olson, Bergesen, etc. etc.
Are 4 days of rain per week too much to pray for??

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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