Fun not lost in translation

I’m knocking this out before our second game of the Red Sox because I won’t have any time later. We have to hustle to the airport right
after the game, but since I didn’t give you anything after last night’s game,
I’ll just kind of wrap the trip up for you from my perspective right now.I felt like I threw pretty well last night. My control
wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be; it’s not that I was throwing a lot of
balls, but some of my strikes weren’t the kind of quality pitches I’m looking
for.

Once I got to the park, there was a little jitters, but not
too bad. It was like consciously, I was fine, but subconsciously, I had a lot of
nerves — if that makes any sense. I had a lot of energy warming up and had a lot
of adrenaline when I first took the mound, but the biggest thing for me was
that first pitch of the game. Once I threw that, got a strike, I was just
locked in like I am for any other game. That first one was big, though.After our workout on the day before the game, me and
LeeAndra went to this big electronics district. It was probably three blocks,
and every building on both sides of the street was six floors of nothing but
gadgets and every kind of electronics you can think of. It was pretty cool to
check out, but I didn’t buy anything. I think I got overwhelmed by it all. Before that, we went to the concierge at hotel and told them
we wanted to go to a really good, authentic sushi place, so that’s where we
went after the electronics place, to get some dinner. It was about as authentic as you can get. I mean, it smelled like fish in that place, so you knew everything was
as fresh as you can get it. They just started bringing out stuff and we went to
work on it, but there were a couple of things that I couldn’t bring myself to
try. I’m a huge sushi and sashimi fan, and I consider myself pretty brave when
it comes to trying things, but I just wasn’t comfortable with a couple things
they brought out. One of them was a big piece of raw eel on rice, and the other
one was this giant clam-type thing. I just couldn’t do it. The restaurant was in this little neighborhood right near
the hotel, so after dinner we just walked around a little bit, down this one
street that was all lit up, checking everything out. It was a good night –
exactly what we were looking for.Now I’m looking forward to the ceremony before tonight’s
game. Rumor is that it’s going to be a samurai kind of deal, and I really want to
check that out and get some pictures to make up for missing most of the
ceremony last night. I’m pretty pumped about it, because I’ll actually get to
kick back and enjoy it. Before the trip over here, I knew it was going to be
important to balance all the cultural experiences we were going to get with this
also being a business trip for us, with games that count, and I think I did a
pretty decent job. When we first got here, I just got a lot of R&R so my
body could get used to the time zone, but these past few days, we’ve gotten out
and seen all the things you want to see when you travel. Blanton_2
LeeAndra’s had a good time, too. She likes to travel just
like I do, and I think the highlight of her trip — and mine, too — was that
dinner I told you about at the teppanyaki grill with Huston Street and his
wife. We had an awesome time that night.As a team, being over here and opening earlier than everyone
else, I think we got a jump on coming together. During Spring Training, a lot
of times, you’ve got a lot more than 25, 30 guys, and a lot of them are guys who
aren’t going to be on the team, and you’re never going to see them again that
year. But here, this is pretty much the core group that’s going to be here all
year.At Spring Training, you show up to the park and the hitters
and pitchers kind of split up into their own groups, and when the team goes on
the road, not everyone will travel. So you actually spend a lot of time
separated from your teammates. But here, we were all together all the time, we
were all in the same hotel, and I think we just got a chance to see each other
more, and that’s good for a team. A lot of guys have gotten to experience a lot of different
things here, and I’m pretty sure everyone’s had as good a time as I’ve had. I do miss home, though, and probably the thing I’m most
looking forward to getting back to is the simplicity of communication. The
whole language thing is part of the experience here, but when you can’t really
express exactly what you want or where you want to go, it does get a little
frustrating sometimes. It’ll be nice to get back home, and I’m already looking
forward to pitching again when we play our first regular-season game in the U.S. on April
1. Thanks for checking this out, and I’ll talk to y’all in a week or so.

12 Comments

Joe, you pitched a great game. No doubt we should have won that one. But I am thrilled to have taken today’s game. I am from Boston and am a HUGE A’s fan! Huge! I really despise the Sox, and living here you can just imagine the abuse I take from OBNOXIOUS Sox fans…. I think you guy’s are going to have a great season and surprise alot of people. I’ll be driving around displaying my A’s license plate proudly in my truck all season! You pitched a good game yesterday and here’s hoping for 30 more. Go A’s!!!!!!

hi brian.king how ru doing? i am from lynn,mass, probably heard of that city, 30 minutes from boston, only a few of red sox fans are OBNOXIOUS and it spoils the fun for everyone, there are a lot of great redsox fans brain, believe on thaT!!! i am friends with one of the red sox players , he is very nice to me. i am glad that joe is a normalguy who writes this blog and that is very nice of joe to do that!! don’t u think brian? my name brian is joe also. even though players are on different teams their r great players on every team who r nice, and the players get to be friends with each other but when the game begins the friendship goes out the door. glad i can write to joe blanton on this blog, takecare brian and joe blanton, joe

Hi Joe, I got up early and watched both games at 3:00 a.m. I have to say the chemistry on the team looks great. I thought Emil Brown had a great 2 games at the plate. Even though he did have that running error. I thought you pitched great against that tough lineup. I really hope you don’t get traded.

I also have to say Harden looked awesome. He had the slider moving.

I’m in Korea so I saw the game LIVE. YAY! I am SO happy you guys had your first 2 opening games in Japan! I haven’t seen you boys play for months! and since I’m living here now I won’t see you guys at all this season. So the 2 games really made my day! and probably the entire baseball season.

Anyway, I’m really happy that you got to open the season. Yay!

About the sushi restaurant. Did you have any raw fatty tuna? or seared fatty tuna? WOW! They are the BEST! ever!

I feel you on the language thing. I don’t speak any Korea and it’s hard, BUT the luckily most Koreans know a little English or a lot of English. Not like Japan. I heard that no one really really speaks English there, which I find sort of weird because I thought that spoke some English.

Anyway, have a wonderful season!

-food.queen

p.s It was hard to keep up with who’s who during the game because you and Ellis were the only guys I remember from last year (and Suzuki and Crosby and Buck)…bye!

****, I have a lot of typos in the comment I just left…I sound like I’m the one who doesn’t speak English. hehe. Well, as long as you understand most of it I’m fine.

Hope you win your next game.

I’m in China. I didn’t get to watch the games, but I’m excited about you guys having been in Japan. I’d just like to suggest that a game be played in China sometime. When I ask my students, “How do you play baseball?” They say, “Nooooooo!!!!!!!” There’s an open market here.

hi tornadotoes, i donot think they will be playing games in china because of the way the COMMUNIST government run things, people donot like what is going on there in the world, the government has to SHAPE UP!!!! people donot want to go to the olympics this year because of the government!!!

Hello Joe, I’m happy to hear that you and your wife had a good time in Japan. I’m Japanese, but I had never heard of sushi with ‘raw eel’ in my life. As long as I know, eel is always boiled and/or grilled before serving. I’m a big fan of A’s, and hope to visit Oakland someday. I wish you have a great season.

Hey Joe,

A little late, but i was up at 3 am to watch the games and you did so good! I was also there on April 1st where you also did amazing. I am a fan from the Oakland area so im out at the Coliseum a lot! Just a few days ago you threw me a ball! Thank you so much!! haha me and my friends are always by the bullpen before the game. We tried to cheer over the red sox fans opening night, but it was hard there were a lot of them there. I wish you an awesome season and my friends and i will always be out there in the RF bleachers cheering you on!

–Rachel

Hi Joe,

Don’t leave us hanging! Please post more:)

-Becca

http://bullpenbaker.mlblogs.com

Hi Joe,

Keep posting! I really enjoy reading your updates and thoughts re: the ’08 season. What was it like adjusting back to the US and the time change? Do you prefer pitching day or evening games? And… do you have a favorite cookie?

-Becca
http://bullpenbaker.mlblogs.com

hi rachie how ru doing? the reason there were so many red sox fans , it is called red sox nation!!!! the fans go everywhere to see red sox play and most everywhere the fans outnumber the oppsing team fans!!!!! because it is so hard to get tixs at fenway park, so fans travel the world and country to see them play, i am glad i can blog on joe blanton’s blog, takecare, joe

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