Friday, June 03, 2011


When I heard Okajima asked to be traded and didn't want to pitch for the Red Sox I was pissed at him. But I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and read the article in which he said these things. Not the reactions to the article in other articles, but the original source.

That would be Michael Vega of the Globe. The article says that Okajima said, last night, that he wouldn't want to be called up "in this situation." Meaning to replace Rich Hill who just got hurt. I take this to mean that he'd rather not have seen the other guy get injured so that he can replace him. Vega even noted he said it with empathy. (Also note that everything Okajima is saying is through an interpreter.)

Then the article says

In fact, Okajima said he hoped to move on after being designated for assignment on May 20,

and adds a quote from Okajima:

"It's definitely a new start for me," Okajima said. "I'm in a new position. It's all about pitching well and hopefully along the line another team will show more interest in me and I can be traded."

Doesn't this sound like Vega is referring to what Okajima said at the time of his going to Pawtucket? And isn't that a fairly normal response to having your team leave you out there for anyone to pick up, and then have no team claim you, and have to play in the minors at age 35?

It took a while, but I found an article with quotes from Okajima from right when he landed at Pawtucket. You can see he's saying just about the same thing as the later quotes in the Vega article. From the Pawtucket Times, May 27th:

“I have to get myself in a position where I’m pitching well and possibly get called up again or possibly even traded sometime later this season,” said Okajima. “I’m just looking forward to continue playing baseball.”

I'm guessing Vega's second set of Okajima quotes were referring to what he said a week ago, not last night. (Note that nobody got huffy about Okajima mentioning a trade on May 27th--it wasn't until the Globe used these quotes with the headline "Hideki Okajima looking to move on from Red Sox, not get called up" that everybody got mad.)

I could be wrong about all this, but that's my story and I'll stick to until Mayor Vaughn makes me change the autopsy report. And if I am right, I blame the Globe headline writer.


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