TORONTO – Munenori Kawasaki’s latest moment of mischief came in a media scrum Wednesday night with Esmil Rogers after the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in 10 innings.
The right-hander was about two minutes into his session with media when the Japanese infielder, reporter’s notebook and pen in hand, snuck into the back of the group and asked a question.
“Uh, yeah. Where are you from? Where are you from?”
A smiling Rogers replied: “Where am I from? From Japan.”
“Ah,” Kawasaki answered. “Good English.”
Everyone within ear shot had a good chuckle, and Rogers, who is close with Kawasaki, couldn’t stop laughing.
“Oh Kawa. Wow,” he said between guffaws. “This guy’s unbelievable. This guy tries to make everybody happy. He talks to me all the time about my English, and says ‘Oh my God, you’re not Dominican, you’re American.’ I tell him every time, ‘I’m not American, I’m Japanese.’”
Rogers allowed a run on five hits and a walk in six innings of work in a strong performance that earned him another start next Tuesday in New York during a doubleheader against the Yankees.
“We’ve been known to change our minds around here,” said manager John Gibbons, who on the weekend revealed Rogers was being shifted back to the bullpen. “Can’t really put him in the ‘pen after that, can we?”