At breakfast this morning at our hotel, I ran into our Executive Director of Asian Operations Acey Kohrogi and our primary scout in Japan, Keichi Kojima and as you might imagine, all anyone can talk about is the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.
Acey was up much of the night following the news and I can only imagine how hard this is on someone like KK, who isn’t home in Japan and has to follow all the coverage on TV. We also know former Dodger Takashi Saito is from the town where this hit and as you can imagine, it’s been impossible for guys to call Japan and speak to anyone right now.
Kuroda learned of the earthquake online first thing this morning and said he was shocked by the photos he saw. His family mostly lives in the West, but he has a lot of friends on the Rakuten Eagles, which are based in Sendai, where the damage appears to be worst.
Even though this is taking place on the other side of the world, it’s amazing that the impact can be felt in Southern California, where very large waves are expected to be hitting the coast.
For those of us who lived through the Northridge, Whittier or even the Sylmar earthquakes over the last 30 years or so, you can somewhat understand what the quake itself felt like but there’s simply no way to understand the sort of damage that has occurred there.
We are all hoping and praying that the worst is behind the people of Japan and that the process of putting back together their lives and these towns starts to get underway quickly.
The players have headed out to the fields for practice this morning, but the first Cactus League game is today here at Camelback Ranch against our co-tenants, the White Sox.
Meanwhile, this morning at 8 a.m. we had a logistics meeting for Taiwan and people are starting to get excited for the trip. Obviously the earthquake there created a few raised eyebrows, but MLB has confirmed that there is no structural damage to any of the areas we’re going and that our Wednesday morning departure is all set.
There will be lots of fun things going on while the team is there, including an autograph signing for fans, a clinic for kids, a Success Seminar they’ve asked Joe Torre to participate in, and a little bit of sightseeing. Taipei 101 used to be the tallest building in the world until a new skyscraper in Dubai recently topped it. I guess we’ll find out if any of our players are afraid of heights.
Anyway, first pitch is at 1:05 and you can listen on KABC 790 or KHJ 1330…Rick and Charley on the English side and Jaime, Pepe and Fernando in Spanish. Tomorrow’s “home” opener will also be at 1:05 p.m. and can be watched on PRIME TICKET.
For those who might have heard, we did, in fact, have a 5.8 earthquake here in Los Angeles just a short while ago and those of us working at Dodger Stadium certainly felt it. However, there was no damage whatsoever to the stadium or the people inside and the game will continue as scheduled tonight (as will DY’s web chat at 2 p.m.).