Kida leaves the US for Japan Masao Kida was back playing for his former Japanese team the Orix BlueWave after spending some time in the triple A in the US. He formally joined the Blue Wave on June 10. He made his comeback in Japan on June 11, pitching just the 9th inning.
Kida back in the Majors but... Kida was demoted to AAA level during the beginning of the season. At last he was called to joing the Detroit Tigers in the beginning of May. And on May 10, the day Nomo started, he was ready. He took over in the 7th and finished the 8th too without problem. But it was a losing game for the Tigers finishing 0 to 6 against the Kansas City Royals. On May 17, Kida faced the Cleveland Indians from the 5th inning. In the 6th he succumbed to a 3 run homer by S. Alomar and in the end the Tigers lost 2 to 7. On May 19, Kida was again demoted to triple A.
Kida with new teammate Nomo
Kida and his new teammate Hideo Nomo is reported to have had dinner together on Feb. 1. On Feb. 7, they both left for the US, but for different destinations. Nomo flew to LA where he's been training for years, while Kida headed for Detroit. The two will reunite on Feb. 17 in Florida at the site of Tigers'camp.
Kida wins at last
With the score tied with the Seattle Mariners in the 9th inning, Kida was given a chance to pitch. He held out, and in the bottom of that inning, the Tigers drove in a game winning run clinching the game 8 to 7. Kida was happily awarded a win--his first in the U.S and the 8th Japanese.
Kida earns his first save
On May 16, Kida hurled 3 innings against the Cleveland Indians. He lost only one run. As the Tigers successfully won with his help, Kida marked his first save in the U.S in the 17th game he's pitched.
Kida's debut a disappointment
On April 5, the day the U.S. Major League opened, Masao Kida welcomed his debut day too. But it was not a time of celebration for him. The Detroit Tigers were leading 11 to 1 over the Texas Rangers when Kida was called to pitch. It was in the 8th inning. Kida hurled salt around him like a sumo wrestler to purify himself before his first Major League challenge. The result was, he lost 2 base hits, walked 2 and 3 runs. His team though won 11 to 5.
Kida surprises in traditional Japanese outfit
Masao Kida appeared before the press on Dec. 9 in Detroit wearing a haori and a hakama. That's a black kimono top and a kind of a formal skirt. In that attire, he toured the stadium of his team. Kida is believed to have tied the knot with the Tigers for a 2 year contract of 3 million U.S. dollars.
Michiyo's Note: I bet the American press was not expecting Kida to be dressed as he did. It is reported that Kida who is very close to household comedian Sanman Akashiya had kept his promise with the star.
Kida to formalize talks with Detroit Tigers
It was learned on Nov.22 that pitcher Masao Kida of the Orix Blue Wave has decided to sign with the Detroit Tigers. 30-year old Kida had met with representatives of 5 Major League teams. In fact he was initially approached by 9. Kida is only the second Japanese after Masato Yoshii of the Mets to play in the Major Leagues after gaining a free agent status. Kida lead in strike outs in the Central League at 182 in 1990 when he was with the Tokyo Giants. He has not been in the starting rotation on a consistent basis during the past few years.
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