Saito-san, we missed you

Takashi Saito looking resplendent at the 2016 winter meetings in National Harbor, Maryland.

One of the annual pleasures of the winter meetings has been a chat with former Takashi Saito. Currently with the San Diego Padres front office, we didn’t run into each other, so I think it’s well time to renew some of the great things he told me last year in Florida after the Padres lost the Shohei Ohtani derby.

Saito went from being unwanted by a marginal NPB franchise to becoming the Los Angeles Dodgers’ closer and a National League All-Star. A graduate of Sendai’s Tohoku Fukushi University, he’s one of the more eloquent and informative voices in the game.

“You never know what is going to happen, so being prepared for different possibilities is so important. That lesson really hit home. Really, so many things happened that year, 2006, that it was simply amazing. That year was one of the treasures of my life…it was valuable for my career and for my life. It was a life-enriching experience overall.”

San Diego Padres advisor Takashi Saito

See the story on Kyodo News here.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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