East meets West
The Cubs were happy to see Kosuke last Thursday, March 12, when they took on Team Japan from the World Baseball Classic. Cubs players were greeting him in the clubhouse and on the field. Kosuke was hanging out with the Japanese team, and he was one of their stars.
Watching Ichiro and Kosuke warm up with Team Japan before the game — they had a really different pre-game routine. They had full-time batting practice pitchers (instead of different coaches throwing). They had a catcher in the batting cage during BP.
Team Japan’s fans were just nuts over them. I’m told many of the fans came from the Valley area.
It was a competitive game that Team Japan ended up winning 3-2. They were playing hard. The Japanese wanted to beat the Cubs, and I think Lou Piniella wanted to beat Team Japan. He played it like a regular game.