Just finished a great event with Kuroda and everything went very well. At the end of the day, he told me how impressed he was with the entire organization and all that we did to make him feel at home (actually, he said this to the interpreter who passed it along to me).
I really think that the Dodgers’ history in Japan paid huge dividends with this signing. It actually made me think about Alfonso Soriano from last winter and how he ultimately decided that he didn’t want to move all the way to California from his home in the Dominican Republic. Sometimes your location works against you and sometimes, like with Kuroda, it works in your favor. Having a huge Japanese population in Los Angeles certainly helped sway him, as did our aggressive pursuit of him with numerous members of the front office. Among those Frank and Ned credited today were Acey Kohrogi, Keiichi Kojima, Scott Akasaki, Curtis Jung, Logan White and Paul Fryer.
After the news conference, we walked Kuroda down to the field where he took the mound for the first time. Then he got a chance to talk to Russell Martin on the cell phone from on the field, which was a cool moment.
I know we’ve got a lot of work to do before March 31, but I echo the comments from the last post by Roberto – I wish Opening Day was tomorrow.