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Rob Smaal

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It was 'pretty scary'

by Rob Smaal (Jun 19, 2008)

Like any professional pitcher, Seth Greisinger has been rocked on occasion. But that still didn't prepare him for what he went through on Saturday in Sendai when he was awakened by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake centered in the neighboring prefecture of Iwate.

"That was pretty scary," said Greisinger, a Yomiuri Giants right-hander with a 6-5 record. "It happened at 8:45 in the morning and I was still in bed in my hotel room on the 11th floor. At first I thought there was some construction going on on the outside of my room because the window was really rattling and it was loud. Then the whole room was shaking and things started to fall over and I knew it was a pretty big earthquake."

Big enough, in fact, that as of Wednesday, 11 people had died and 11 more are still missing.

Greisinger and the Giants were in Sendai for a two-game interleague series against the Rakuten Eagles. As a result of the quake, NPB postponed Saturday's game, a first for Japanese baseball.

Although Kleenex Stadium was not damaged in the quake, authorities were worried that possible aftershocks (of which there have been close to 500) would disrupt transportation to and from the game.

Greisinger had experienced a few minor earthquakes while in Asia, but this one left him shaken--literally.

"At one point I noticed the newspaper under the door to the room, so I got up and went over to open the door and pick it up," recalled Greisinger. "A bunch of Giants' players and coaches were all staying on the same floor and when I opened the door I saw one of our coaches standing in the doorway of his room right across the hall. He was wearing nothing but his boxer shorts, with his hands and feet braced against the door frame. He looked a little nervous but when he saw me we just looked at each and both said 'ohayo gozaimasu,' and then I went back into my room.

"It was quite an experience and something I'll never forget."

--Rob Smaal

(IHT/Asahi: June 19,2008)


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