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Interview With CJ Nitkowski

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Interview With CJ Nitkowski
CJ Nitkowski was really great about this interview. Well, feel free to call it what you want, CJ and I pretty much just played e-mail tag on MySpace. I just heard back from him, and I have his responses to my questions.

Me: What motivated you to go to Japan? Was it because you saw potential success with SoftBank, or were there more reasons?

CJ: After spending the entire 2006 season in AAA I knew it was a good time. I have always been interested in playing here and the timing was right.

Me: How much different is Spring Training in Japan than it is in North America? Do you that if you return to Japan next season, you could handle the workouts?

CJ: Spring wasn't nearly as bad as I had heard. They let the foreigners go at their own place so it was pretty easy. I had a lot of fun at camp this season.

Me: How often and how much do you throw between appearances?

CJ: We have games almost everyday so if I don't warm up or pitch in the game I take it easy. It is a long season so you have to take care of yourself. The bullpen can be very tricky in that way.

Me: Aside from your other gaijin teammates (Hyzdu, Buchanan, Standridge), have you made any Japanese friends on the team? If so, are most of them on the pitching staff, or have you forged friendships with position players?

CJ: I have gotten along well with my teammates here. The language differences make it difficult to form strong bonds, but there are a few guys I have gotten to know well and like a lot.

Me: Speaking of Adam Hyzdu, has he said anything about being a part of the 2004 Red Sox World Series team?

CJ: Not that much.

Me: From reading your blog, Oh-kantoku sounds like a very nice man, but a hard taskmaster. Do players forge a friendship with the managers in Japan, or is it more of a "boss and employees" relationship?

CJ: Mr. Oh has been great to us, but he is still the boss so the relationship is more boss-employee.

Me: As a Hawks fan, I love watching Kazumi Saitoh and the rest of the staff pitch (when I can get up at 5AM and watch games, lol). What kind of guys are the starters on and off the mound, if you know.

CJ: The starters here are all great guys and hard workers. They handle themselves very well.

Me: From a baseball standpoint, have you "lived the dream," so to speak? By "living the dream," I mean you made it to The Show, and you're having success in Japan.

CJ: I certainly have lived the dream because of all my experiences. Playing for both NY teams and playing in the major leagues for parts of 10 seasons has what made that true for me.

Me: If your contract is not renewed by SoftBank at the end of the season, would you return to Japan, given the chance, would you try it again in Major League Baseball, or maybe call it a career?

CJ: I would probably try and come back here first. I like playing here a lot.

Me: If you do call it a career, would you want to keep on living in Japan, or would you return to the USA?

CJ: I will return home and live in the States.

Me: When your baseball career is over, what do you see yourself doing?

CJ: The first thing I will take a shot at is broadcasting. I have been doing some work over the years on radio and I really like it. I also like to write so I would like to incorporate that as well.

I would like to thank CJ for doing this interview, hopefully people like it. ^_^.
Re: Interview With CJ Nitkowski
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Jul 13, 2007 3:23 PM | HT Fan ]

Good effort, NH11. More!

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