Oakland, meet your newest shortstop: Hiroyuki Nakajima.
The 30-year old from Japan was formally introduced to the Oakland media on Tuesday afternoon after signing a two-year, $6.5 million deal with the A’s.
The press conference was one of the most animated and enjoyable ones that I have ever seen. Nakakajima started off by introducing himself in English, telling A’s fans to call him “Hiro,” and thanking general manager Billy Beane.
Then, when it came time for questions, Nakajima wasn’t afraid to lighten things up. When asked why he chose to sign with the A’s, he said (via a translator):
“Billy Beane is extremely sexy and cool,” said Nakajima, sending reporters into a laughing spree.”That’s definitely one of the reasons I signed here.”
And there was more. He cited the lack of bathtubs as his primary concern with adjusting to life in America, and saved his best for last, telling the media in English that he wanted to do the Bernie dance in Oakland.
The A’s may have found a nice gem with Nakajima. Not only did he have a batting average of above .300 during his career in Japan, but is appears as if he will fit right in to the loose, animated clubhouse in Oakland.