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Thread: Aki Iwamuri in the PG

      
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    Default Aki Iwamuri in the PG

    Pirates Spring Training: New second baseman gets a jump on season

    Thursday, February 18, 2010
    By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    BRADENTON, Fla. -- Actually, Aki Iwamura enjoyed the thigh-high snow.

    He visited Pittsburgh last weekend, finding a place for his wife and 2 1/2-year-old son to live and checking out a blanketed PNC Park . He even posed for some snowbound photos of himself around the ballpark -- with the scoreboard behind him, from the skyline perspective of the home dugout.

    "[I] saw some people carrying skis Downtown," Iwamura recalled Wednesday from the Pirate City clubhouse, through interpreter and assistant trainer Toshi Nagahara. "It was kind of neat."

    Nagahara paused before continuing: "He was wondering where those guys ski Downtown."

    "Those guys went to Vancouver," Iwamura said in English, punctuating it with a wry grin.

    The Pirates' new second baseman speaks some of the language, but a three-month offseason back home in Japan has left him rusty. As the Pirates' interpreter/trainer put it, "His English is a little bit out of shape." Spring training can be good for that, too.

    Pirates pitchers and catchers formally reported Wednesday to the club's southern headquarters. They threw and took batting practice under blue skies and amid breezes that made the mid-50s temperatures seem a tad cooler. This morning brings physical examinations, a noon meeting and then the first official workout of the 2010 season. The rest of the players join in Tuesday.

    Iwamura was among a handful of non-catchers who showed early for work. This six-time Japanese Gold Glove winner, who converted from third base to second two seasons ago, was acquired from Tampa Bay for reliever Jesse Chavez in November so he could fill the Pirates' void at second base. Whether he would spot play at third, or where he might bat in the order, remained a mystery for him still. His first day was spent meeting manager John Russell and staff, getting acclimated with his new surroundings.

    Yet he talked as if he were still a member of the 2008 American League champion Rays.

    "He wants to be a part of a winning team," Nagahara translated for Iwamura. "He doesn't care what you've done in the past. This is a brand-new season. He's looking forward to a brand-new season, a winning season, to be part of a championship team."

    Did he see similarities between the Pirates and the young Rays that matured from a cellar-dweller into a champion? Well, Iwamura has yet to meet his new teammates, let alone evaluate their abilities. But he offered, via the interpreter: "Anything is possible. This is a major league team, and we're the same major league players as Tampa Bay. Why not? Why can't that happen here? The important thing is, we start winning games, to get a good momentum. When you get momentum, everybody gets together."

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10049...#ixzz0ftJ2gCiE

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    Default Re: Aki Iwamuri in the PG

    That was a neat read. Hopefully his attitude will permiate throughout the team all season long.
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    Default Re: Aki Iwamuri in the PG

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    That was a neat read. Hopefully his attitude will permiate throughout the team all season long.
    Just like Eric Hinske's did...

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    Default Re: Aki Iwamuri in the PG

    Quote Originally Posted by irahuss View Post
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    Just like Eric Hinske's did...
    Eric Hinske? whats that have to do with Aki Iwamura?

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    Default Re: Aki Iwamuri in the PG

    It was a good article. Iwamura seems to have a nice positive energy and vibe to him which is always nice to have on the team especially a team that is going to have it's struggles.. you need those that are more uplifting than those that wallow .

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