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`Suzuki jolted by pitcher Park’s move to Japan`s Orix`

Posted December. 22, 2010 10:33,   


Japanese media carried stories Tuesday on Korean pitcher Park Chan-ho`s shock move to the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese pro league.

Park, 37, holds the record for most U.S. Major League wins by an Asian-born pitcher with 124.

Attracting keen attention is the reaction of Ichiro Suzuki, 37, of the Seattle Mariners to the move as well as Takahiro Okada, 22, who will become Park’s teammate.

According to Nikkan Sports, Suzuki, who played cleanup hitter for the Japanese team, talked to Orix Buffaloes` general manager Yoshio Murayama while privately training at Sky Park Stadium in Kobe. Suzuki said about Park`s signing, “Is it true? It`s really great,” conveying a congratulatory message.

Murayama joked in saying, “I`m pleased to bring No. 61 (Park), but it would be great if we could bring No. 51 (Suzuki) to our team as well.”

While attending a year-end party at an Osaka hotel Monday night, Okada said, “I don’t know who he is,” after hearing that Park would join Orix, Sports Nippon said. Okada led the Pacific League in homers this past season.

Okada added, however, “After all, we have the same goal: victory. I`ll help him with my batting capacity. I`d also like to learn from him how to raise stamina and play until age 37.”

Sports Hochi carried several stories on Park, including a story headlined, “Park played in the first World Baseball Classic in 2006 to help his juniors win exemption from military service,” as well as details on his Major League records and pitching ability.