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  • Akinori Iwamura 2008 spring training quotes

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 23日 Thursday

    I had read about improvements in the Rays team heading into the 2008 season, but didn’t believe they’d be this good going from finishing last almost every season to suddenly winning the toughest division in baseball, AL East, and winning the ALCS (by defeating defending WS champs the Boston Red Sox) to reach the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

    When I initially read these Akinori Iwamura (converted from 3B to 2B for the 2008 season) quotes during spring training, I thought it was typical athlete optimism mixed in with a media face, but Iwamura turned out to be right.

    「オフの間もチームが本腰を入れて補強に入ったなと感じた。(キャンプ)初日に集まった時に、選手だけでなくスタッフの顔色も違うという感覚があった。投打が噛み合えば面白いチームになると思うし、ヤンキースとかを本気で倒しにいけるんじゃないかな。ここまでこのチームに興奮しっぱなしです」

    “The team was really dedicated during the offseason to strengthen the squad. When we got together in the first day (of spring training), I felt that not only were the players’ expressions different, I could also feel it from the team staff. This will be an interesting team if the pitching and hitting click together, and I think that we can really beat the Yankees and other teams. I’m really, really excited to be here.”

    「いい意味で(自分たちは強いんだと)勘違いしてもいいと思う。みんなで勝ちにいこうという姿勢は大きいし、勘違いしているうちにだんだん実力もついてくる。今年は一味違うというのを少しずつ出していかないといけないし、それをシーズン中に癖にさせるのが大事。オープン戦なんですけど、勝ち癖をつけていかないといけない」

    “I think that we are allowed to delude ourselves, in a good sense (that we are strong). It’s important that we’re all in this together to win, and mistaken confidence will lead to real strength. We have to gradually show that we’re different this year, and turn that into a good habit during the season. Even though this is still spring training, it’s important for us to get in the habit of winning.”

    Some times when athletes talk, sometimes they’re not just merely paying lip service or being a bland quote machine but instead they’re telling rather interesting nuggets of truth. Not that Iwamura called the Rays’ reaching (or winning) the World Series or anything, but I should have given his quotes more credit than I did at the beginning of the season.

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