Last night, I ate Matsuzaka beef for dinner. It’s actually better than Kobe beef. It’s the best beef you can have. I guess Matsuzaka is a city or a region in Japan. No, the beef is not named after Dice-K! But it was very tasty.
We went down to Ginza today ?- which is like the shopping district in Tokyo — and looked at stuff. A lot of the shopping around here is stuff you see in America. It’s very Americanized here in Tokyo. It’s unbelievable when you come this far to see how similar it can be. The department stores and all that are very alike and very similar to the customs of the USA. But it’s cool.
We just tried to look for stuff, but we really didn’t buy much because we found out it’s very expensive. We saw a lot of stuff that we can get in the States for cheaper. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to get some Japanese culture stuff later on in the trip, especially on Monday’s off-day.
This city is so big, and it’s very clean. The streets are so clean. It’s very orderly. That’s the biggest thing that sticks out when you walk around.
If you say hi to someone here on the street, they’re very shy or a little nervous or timid. But down in the Ginza area, they’re not as timid. It’s just a little different.
It’s definitely the big city lifestyle here with 13- or 14-million people. There’s high rises here but it’s not as crazy as New York. It seems a little more spread out.
We’ve had a taste of playing games at Tokyo Dome the last two days against the Japanese teams, and it’s loud and a little different just to hear the constant crowd noise. It was cool. It was a unique experience that a lot of us never would have gotten if we didn’t come over here. To sit there and hear it, it was fun. When we played Hanshin, it was pretty loud out there in left field. I wonder if Manny Ramirez could hear anything out there. They chanted the whole game for their team. That’s great to see.
Hanshin threw their best pitchers at us. They’re good players and it was a close game. I don’t know if all the hitters on that team could hit consistently at the Major League level. That would probably be tough. They don’t like the hard heat.
It’s just a little different, because, I think, the pitchers here also pitch different. I was watching a baseball game here today and they use a lot of offspeed pitches. They use their fastball a little bit, but they really focus on the offspeed stuff.
The first few days here have been busy, no doubt. We got in so late Thursday night, then came to the park for the workout on Friday, and had the early game Saturday and another game today. I think a lot of us are looking forward to the off-day just to have fun and do all the things we want to do.
Once Tuesday hits, it’s the real season and we have to be on the road right after the game on Wednesday. For us, it’s just a matter of seeing the rest of the sights and getting all the good stuff we can for our family members.