I mentioned it earlier, but here’s the official release from the Yankees regarding their donation to the relief efforts taking place in Japan, plus a couple of other notes about the situation and its connection to the Yankees.
The New York Yankees announced today that they have donated $100,000 to support rescue and relief efforts following the tragic earthquake in Japan. Of the total, $50,000 will be given to the Salvation Army and $50,000 to the Red Cross, both of which are already working in relief efforts on the ground in Japan.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the terrible earthquake in Japan,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “We hope that the international community does everything in its power to support and assist the Japanese people in their time of need.”
Brian Cashman spoke with some reporters in Tampa about Kei Igawa’s situation.
“Obviously he has family there and he’s trying to reach out to them,” Cashman said. “He’s trying to find out if everyone he knows is OK and so he’s home doing everything in his power trying to contact people. He’s obviously glued to the TV and trying to find out every which way he can because right now the phones are down as of this morning still. It’s a very difficult time.”
Cashman said he got a call this morning from Mark Newman who told him Igawa was leaving the minor league complex to try to reach his loved ones. Cashman said Igawa has permission to go back to Japan if he needs to or wants to. “No doubt about it,” Cashman said.
I know Igawa’s name is mud within the Yankees fan base, but take it from someone who’s been around the guy a lot the past few years, Igawa is an incredibly nice and funny guy. He’s a bit of a prankster and a goofball, but he was always well liked in the clubhouse. I’m obviously hoping everything is OK for him back home, or as OK as it could possibly be under the circumstances.
“Everybody’s got Japan in their prayers right now,” Cashman said. “We’re just going to have to wait and see and that’s the frustrating thing. I was up all night watching it on TV. I absolutely have a lot of passion and I love Tokyo, love going over there, love the people of Japan. To see the devastation that’s taking place is just tragic.”
Commissioner Bud Selig’s statement:
“All of us at Major League Baseball are thinking of our many dear friends and colleagues in Japan today. Major League Baseball extends its deepest condolences to all those who have been affected, and we have the families and friends of our players as well as our peers and business partners in our thoughts.
“We have been in communication with the members of our office in Tokyo. Through our shared love of baseball for more than a century, Japan is a particularly special place to us, and we are deeply saddened by the disaster that has confronted the nation.
“Major League Baseball will certainly provide aid with the relief efforts in the days and weeks ahead. We will do everything we can to help Japan.”
The Oakland A’s announced some fundraising efforts and released a statement from Hideki Matsui. Here’s the press release from the A’s.
In the wake of the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan Friday afternoon, the Oakland A’s announced today that the team will help raise funds to aid victims of the disaster. The A’s open the 2011 season with a three-game series at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum against the Seattle Mariners and plans are being made to add a fundraising component for Japanese Heritage Day, scheduled for the series’ final game Sunday, April 3.
Details of the benefit game, which will feature Japan’s two greatest modern-day players in Oakland’s Hideki Matsui and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, will be announced at a later date.
Matsui, a native of Ishikawa, Japan and resident of Tokyo in the offseason, issued a statement this morning about the devastation that occurred in the past 24 hours:
“I am deeply concerned and affected by what is happening in Japan. I pray for the safety of all the people that have been affected and continue to be affected by this disaster.”
The A’s said they will be working closely with Hiroshi Inomata, San Francisco’s Japanese Consul-General, and other community leaders in their efforts to support the tsunami victims.
Associated Press photos of Igawa and Matsui, top photo is from The Yomiuri Shimbun via the AP