Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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The man don’t lie
Posted Feb 17, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Feb 17, 2008 at 09:57 AM
Just had our first Q&A session of the year with the Aki Iwamura, whose grasp of English seems to have improved even since the end of the season despite him spending all winter in Japan. He does have a new interpreter this season, Tateki “Bori” Uchibori, a 35-year-old graduate of Western Kentucky University who has interpreted for American players in the Japanese leagues the past 10 years.
Of course most of the talk was about his move to second base, and he said he spent two months working exclusively on defense before getting back in the batting cages at the start of January. He once again said he’s happy to help the team however he can, then came up with the line of the day and an early favorite for quote of the spring:
“Wiggy can do it, so I can do it.”
When that was relayed to infield coach Tom Foley, he doubled over in laughter and said he’d make sure that quote found its way to Ty Wigginton in Astros camp.
One notable absence from last season: No entourage of Japanese media following Iwamura around. In fact, there wasn’t a single media member from his home country here. He said he was fine sticking with us.