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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bobby Valentine says things will improve for Oakland A’s shortstop

The Vivacious One! (There’ll Be Some Changes Made).

It’s been a tough spring for A’s shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, who is trying to make the transition from being a star in Japan to an every day player in the U.S.

But Bobby Valentine, who saw Nakajima play numerous games in Japan, says things are likely to get better.

...The knock on him was his defense, but from Valentine’s vantage point, Nakajima should be able to at least hold his own in the big leagues.

``He played in the same division that I managed,’’ Valentine said. ``He’s a quality player, a quality major league player. I’m not sure that he’s going to be able to go to his right and be a great shortstop. But I think he could be a good player.

``I don’t know that he’ll play great for the Oakland A’s. He has world class abilities. His challenge will be his arm. He has to learn the speed of the runners and adjust to the length of the grass. The skills don’t always translate.’‘

Nakajima played mostly on artificial turf in Japan. With the A’s, he’ll play his home games, and most of his road games, on grass. He’s going to have to acclimatize to that difference. And that’s not all.

``The hardest thing will be adjusting to the community — but he probably should,’’ Valentine said. ``He’s a very vivacious guy. He’s really smart.

``I had a lot of guys playing in Japan that were very successful in the United States and they came to Japan and couldn’t acclimate to the culture — and they stunk. It’s all about acclimation.’‘

Repoz Posted: March 20, 2013 at 04:43 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: oakland

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   1. Al Kaline Trio Posted: March 20, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4392983)
Well that makes me feel better.
   2. Natty Fan Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:31 PM (#4393266)
"He could be good, unless he isn't."
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:33 AM (#4393326)
He has to learn the speed of the runners and adjust to the length of the grass.


Note to Oakland A's.
Cut grass short on left side of infield.
   4. tfbg9 Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:30 AM (#4393371)
They could simply go with a turf infield/grass outfield? Was it the White Sox who had that for a few years? I mean, it ain't like the Coliseum can get any uglier.
   5. villageidiom Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:51 AM (#4393379)
I had a lot of guys playing in Japan that were very successful in the United States and they came to Japan and couldn’t acclimate to the culture — and they stunk. It’s all about acclimation.
There was a manager who was successful in Japan, and he came to the Red Sox and couldn't acclimate - and he stunk.
   6. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4393383)
There was a manager who was successful in Japan, and he came to the Red Sox and couldn't acclimate - and he stunk.


That's not true. Houk fought in the European theatre during the war.
   7. Styles P. Deadball Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4393446)
They could simply go with a turf infield/grass outfield? Was it the White Sox who had that for a few years? I mean, it ain't like the Coliseum can get any uglier.


You obviously haven't seen what that godawful monstrosity looked like.
   8. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4393454)
Has anyone seen him play this spring? Does he look hopeless or is there a chance he could figure stuff out?
   9. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4393458)
It seems like the high point in his career will be when he called Billy Beane sexy.
   10. dr. scott Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4393506)
He could hit .400 and calling billy beane sexy may still define him....

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