Tag Archives: Ryoji Kuribayashi

Roki Sasaki, candyman

Forget “Rocket,” Roki Sasaki is now “The Candyman.” In addition, Japan announced two injuries, but opted for only one roster move ahead of Thursday’s quarterfinal with Italy.

Sweet act of contrition

The Lotte Marines pitcher, who on Saturday struck out eight Czech batters in 3-2/3 innings for Japan, visited the Czech Republic’s team base early Monday morning bearing gifts.

Two days hitting Willie Escala in the knee with a 100 mph fastball, Sasaki showed up with an autographed ball, and a bag full of snacks, ostensibly from the candy manufacturer that owns the Marine and offered his apology. Needless to say, his act was well received.

“That was a wow moment. The Japanese culture never stops to amaze me each day as we are here, this once again took it to another step, another level as a superstar that he is; that he took his time to come to the bus, meet Escala and send us a bunch of candy and sign a ball for Willie, it was a huge sign of respect. And we are so happy to be in Japan to experience this. This is something that is really close to our hearts, and we like this. We really like it. We truly enjoy this.”

–Czech Republic infielder Peter Zyma
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