Here’s what Prince Fielder had to say about Takashi Saito, who left camp this morning to gather information about family in earthquake-ravaged Japan:
“We love that guy, and we obviously wish him the best,” Fielder said. “He was able to contact his wife and kids, which is awesome. That’s a little bit of pressure off your chest. I wish him the best, and I hope he just takes his time and does whatever he needs to do to make sure the rest of his family alright. This [baseball] is secondary right now. We’re going to be fine. He needs to make sure everything is all right.”
Fielder knows the area hit by Friday’s earthquake well because he visited Japan during the offseason as part of a Major League Baseball goodwill tour.
Saito is a favorite of Fielder’s oldest son, Jadyn, who is a regular at Maryvale Baseball Park. One recent morning, Saito provided sound effects while Jadyn played with action figures.
By the way, I’m told that Saito’s translator, Kosuke Inaji, also has extended family in Japan but that they live on the country’s west coast, away from the worst of the damage.