The Status of the Sendai-Based Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball
Hereâ€™s some of a story from the Daily Yomiuri on whatâ€™s happening with the Eagles following the massive damage to Sendai and the rest of Miyagi Prefecture in Fridayâ€™s earthquake and tsunami:
After holding meetings on Sunday morning at their hotel, the Eagles held a somber workout at the Yomiuri Giants’ minor league facility in Kawasaki.
All of Nippon Professional Baseball’s weekend exhibition games were canceled following Friday’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the Tohoku Region.
“We were in Sendai a week and a half ago, it’s tough to see people in a city you play for professionally, see a big tragedy like that,” Eagles slugger Randy Ruiz said. “It hurts me.” . . .
“We just have to get in the best condition we can and adjust the best we can,” Rakuten team representative Jun Yoneda said Sunday.
“We want to get playing so we can bolster the spirits of the people of the Tohoku region.”
The Eagles’ ballpark, Nippon Seishi Kleenex Stadium was inspected by team officials on Saturday and the club reported damage to the field, water pipes and the bridge connecting the stadium to the clubhouse.
“As for when it will be repaired, we’ll have specialists in to examine it,” Yoneda said. “We will then report the situation to the [Pacific League] board of directors meeting on the 15th. That’s when we’ll make a decision.”
More somberly, the Brisbane Times reports that Marty Kuehnert, the Eaglesâ€™ general manager, a long-time Japanese baseball man, and a former Stanford baseball player, is apparently missing from Sendai:
Mr Kuehnert is known in Queensland business circles through the Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce as a friend of the chamber’s president, Ling Raines.
Ms Raines said the baseball community and some Queensland and US business figures were worried after being unable to contact Mr Kuehnert since Fridayâ€™s earthquake.
Ms Raines said she planned to introduce him next month to the new CEO of the new Australian Baseball League, Peter Wermuth, who now lives on the Gold Coast.
â€˜â€˜He and his family live in Sendai and we havenâ€™t been able to contact them at all,â€™â€™ Ms Raines said.
Her husband, James Raines said he was worried because Mr Kuehnert had not responded to emails, landline calls or mobile phone messages since Friday.
â€˜â€˜He has two reasonably young children as well,â€™â€™ Mr Raines said.
â€˜â€˜I have probably tried to get hold of him on 20 different occasions, but there was no answer whatsoever early in the piece,â€™â€™ he said.
â€˜â€˜Then I was able to get through and leave a message on his phone. That was about a day and half ago.
â€˜â€˜And I have continued since to get through, but the phone itself is full. It cannot take any more messages.
â€˜â€˜I have also sent him – because we go back a long way – and he was a friend of the Premier of Japan – emails to him and there has been no reply at this point in time.
â€˜â€˜So obviously we are very concerned.â€™â€™
He said the pair last exchanged emails a week ago.
â€˜â€˜We were going to invite him to meet with the new CEO of the Australian Baseball League next month,â€™â€™ he said.