Matsuzaka, Okajima affected by Japanese quake


Matsuzaka, Okajima affected by Japanese quake

By Maureen Mullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. The effects of the massive 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan today could be felt inside the Red Sox clubhouse at City of Palms Park as Red Sox players and personnel from Japan tried to get news from home.

Hideki Okajima said his parents are in Kyoto and he has family in Kansei, away from the area that was hardest hit. But he's more concerned with his wifes family in Kanto, closer to the earthquake.

Its not a good situation, to say the least, said Okajima, whose wife is in Boston now.

His parents are in Kyoto.

Not sure, but they are probably okay, he said through team interpreter Jeff Cutler. Theres probably some sort of damage to their house or living situation."

Hes also concerned about his house in Tokyo.

Theres quite a bit of damage in Tokyo, too, Okajima said.

Daisuke Matsuzakas parents are in Tokyo. He said his parents are fine, although within their house it was a mess.

But he is concerned about his grandmother.

I havent been able to get in touch with my grandmother, who lives . . . close to where the earthquake was, he said.

Its difficult being so far from home and waking up to such devastating news.

It was definitely shocking waking up and hearing the news, Matsuzaka said, through Cutler. But just receiving an e-mail and reading it, I wasnt able to take in exactly what it was. But once I turned on the television and saw what was going on it was quite shocking, very scary to see that.

Mikio Yoshimura, the teams Japanese media liaison, said his family is okay, but he was waiting to hear news about his extended family.

Cutler also has family in Japan.

Theyre all all right, he said. But my brother lives in the city, in Tokyo, and he had to walk home 2 12 hours to get home and its usually a 20-minute train ride. Its definitely scary.

Kenta Yamada, a team interpreter, has family in Japan.

I talked to my family. Theyre fine. Theyre in Tokyo, he said. But, my brothers wifes family is from the area where the earthquake hit and they havent heard from them yet. Its pretty scary.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.