An all-dirt infield and 'authentic' ramen: MLB All-Stars share first impressions of Japan
The MLB All-Stars have landed on the other side of the Pacific, and they are pumped for the Japan All-Star Series, even after a long flight. Robinson Cano put it best: "When you're that kind of excited, you don't care about how long you gotta fly."
And based on first impressions, the All-Stars are excited.
The players are in Japan to play high-caliber baseball, sure, but they're also there to take in the sights and sounds of a country they might not visit all that often. In other words, this is the perfect time for some good old-fashioned explorin'.
With Japan as their oyster, what do the MLB All-Stars think of the country so far? Let's ask the Astros' Chris Carter, the Rockies' Justin Morneau, and the Angels' AL Rookie of the Year finalist Matt Shoemaker.
What was Carter's first impression of Japan?
"It's really clean, everything is immaculate here," he said. "All the bushes are well kept, everyone's real nice."
Congratulations, Japan. Carter gives you an exceptional review. And so the possibilities are endless in such a clean, well-landscaped country. "I'm going to try to see as much as I can, do as much as I can while I'm here and get out of the hotel as much as possible," Carter said.
What about Shoemaker? Does the rookie have any particular insights?
"So far it's everything I've heard -- it's an awesome country, lot of great people," Shoemaker said.
First clean, now "awesome." Japan is 2-for-2 with glowing reviews from MLB's All-Stars.
Has Shoemaker dabbled in any interesting cuisine so far?
"The ramen noodles and stuff -- the authentic stuff, so it was good," he said.
And what's on the docket for the rest of the trip?
"Just exploring, just seeing what the country has to offer," Shoemaker said. "Heard a lot of great things, and I want to take advantage of it."
For Morneau, one thing stood out in particular -- the ballpark.
"They say it's kind of like their Fenway Park, so it's a pretty cool place," Morneau said. "All-dirt infield's a little bit different, a little bit getting used to, a little bit faster-pace. … You just got to be ready, move your feet and try to make some plays."
And, like Carter, Shoemaker and the rest of the All-Stars, the experience is not lost on Morneau:
"To be able to come over here and play baseball, what we're doing, we're pretty fortunate."