For the past two years, five-time MLB All-Star Adam Jones has played for the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball, becoming the latest in a long line of players to go back-and-forth between the United States and Japan. Now in his second season, Jones and his Buffaloes have made it to the Nippon Series for the chance to become the best baseball team in Japan. And by now, Jones seems somewhat at home and prepared to try and bring a championship to Nishi-ku, Osaka.
During the Japan Series, Jones had a short conversation in Japanese with an interviewer, showing off some simple — but admirable — skills in a foreign tongue.
After receiving some instruction on how to ask for something, Jones is asked if he is kincho (緊張), or nervous for the upcoming game. Jones admits he is a little nervous, but states he is otherwise ready before he and the interviewer exchange some pleasantries.
A rough translation of the exchange is as follows:
“Are you nervous?”
“A little nervous. A little. But I’m ready.”
“Please do your best.”
“Please do your best!”
The Buffaloes are looking to win their first Nippon Series Championship since 1996, and they were able to get the jump in Game 1 over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in part thanks to Jones. Jones drew a crucial walk in the ninth-inning while pinch-hitting before Masataka Yoshida hit a double into center field, allowing the Buffaloes to win 4-3 on a three-run rally. The Swallows would bounce back with a 2-0 victory in Game 2, tying the series 1-1.