A Moment of Silence for Victims of the Japan Tsunami
As news of a horrific earthquake and tsunami on the Northeast shores of Japan rolled in late this morning, our prayers were with the victims and survivors of this terrible tragedy, while our thoughts moved toward Japanese players in their Spring Training camps in Florida and Arizona.
Hideki Matsui and Ryota Igarashi were awake all night, watching the devastation and praying for the victims and survivors in their faraway homeland. Meanwhile, Daisuke Matsuzaka reached his parents safely in Tokyo, but was unable to get in touch with his grandmother.
Boston Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima had this to say:
"It’s a tough situation. You can’t control nature, but when something like this happens, you really realize the power of nature."
Matsui shared the same sentiment:
"I am deeply concerned and affected by what is happening in Japan. I pray for the safety of all the people that have been affected and continue to be affected by this disaster."
Hundreds of people were killed or missing after Japan's magnitude-8.9 earthquake and the massive tsunami that followed early Friday morning. While the New York Yankees donated $100,000 for relief and rescue efforts in Japan to the Salvation Army and Red Cross, Bud Selig has vowed that Major League Baseball will also "provide aid with the relief efforts in the days and weeks ahead." He added that MLB "will do everything it can to help Japan."
The Oakland Athletics are also willing to help, by adding a fundraiser to the already scheduled Japanese Heritage Day on April 3, when Ichiro Suzuki and his Seattle Mariners visit the A’s at the Coliseum. Ichiro's interpreter Antony Suzuki, said the All-Star left fielder has chosen to decline comment to the media because he simply doesn't know enough to say anything and he doesn't want to say anything that would be wrong without knowing.
Minnesota Twins new second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka didn't hear about the news until arriving at the ballpark:
"I understand that I’m in an occupation where I can bring hope and energy back home to Japan. So I wanted to be on the field and think about people back home and give it all out on the field to try and give something back."
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this awful natural disaster. If you are interested in donating, here is a link to the Red Cross. U.S. citizens can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Every little bit helps.
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