While millions of Cubs fans prepare for the lap-sitting, smiling, happy-good-time feelings of the Cubs Convention, the front office and Rick Renteria have been meeting with Masahiro Tanaka. While the outcome of any Tanaka contract negotiations is still up in the air, Renteria is preparing himself for the opportunity to have Tanaka be the next Cubs ace.
“I actually ordered Rosetta Stone, the Japanese version,” Renteria said.
The Cubs do have pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa on the roster. Is Renteria that confident the team will sign Tanaka that he’s going to learn to speak Japanese?
“I’m going to be prepared if it does [happen],” Renteria said. “I’m going to try to learn a little Japanese and if it happens, good for us, and if not, there are a lot of Japanese players who are quality players who could come through the organization at some point in time and I hope I’m able to at least say ‘Hello,’ ‘Good night,’ and ‘Can I do anything for you?’”
I hope he manages to learn more than three phrases. Rosetta Stone costs $180. So how did the Cubs pitch their organization to Tanaka?
“The points to [Tanaka] were that we’re a club on the upside,” Renteria said. “We’re a club that has a lot of talent besides the guys who we have here presently, and that the organization has quality players coming up who will significantly impact the organization.”
Renteria went on to give us a bit more information on what to expect from him and the team this season.
“I think no one should enter into any season thinking they’re going to be the one that everybody is going to stomp on,” Renteria said. “I don’t take that attitude, I’m not going to take that attitude, my players are not going to take that attitude.
“When we go out there, we’re going out there to win a ballgame,” he said. “That means executing, that means being prepared, that means actually going in there and believing they can win a ballgame. That’s the result. We have to go in there and take care of nine innings of baseball, and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, and at the end of the day, we’ll figure out who will be on top.”
I feel like we’ve heard a lot of that talk recently. We’ll see if it happens.