Twinkie Town Q&A with the Twins' Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Tsuyoshi Nishioka's exuberant reaction when being told he'd been submitted questions by none other than SB Nation's Minnesota Twins community Twinkie Town.

The most high-profile move the Minnesota Twins made this winter was bringing in Tsuyoshi Nishioka, star of the Japanese League and the Chiba Lotte Marines. After speaking at length with Rob Antony a couple of weeks ago about how the Twins went about finding, scouting and eventually winning the rights to Nishioka, the good PR folks at the Beverly Hills Sports Council were kind enough to offer us the unique opportunity to ask our new middle infielder a few questions. A great many thanks to Paul and BHSC, and of course to Nishioka and his translator Ryo as well.

To keep up with the latest news on and comments from "Nishi", you can catch up with him on Facebook here. You'll find a lot of links to different interviews and conversations about (and with) him, and you'll also find small quotes from him on baseball like this one from yesterday:

"Spring training games has started and I am enjoying playing in Major League Baseball games."

After the jump we'll get to our ten questions, and of course Nishioka's translated answers.

Twinkie Town: I know putting on your Twins uniform for the first time was a special event. Was was that like for you?

Tsuyoshi Nishioka: It was a dream come true moment and a special moment for me.

TT: How strange is it to be wearing a uniform which doesn't belong to the Chiba Lotte Marines?

Nishi: It felt like a fresh start and a new beginning.

TT: What was your first impression of the Minnesota Twins organization?

Nishi: A very warm team with a family type atmosphere.

TT: Have you spoken with any other former Japanese league players about the transition from there to here?

Nishi: Yes, Tadahito Iguchi and Kazuo Matsui.

TT: One of the nice things about your transition to America is that baseball is still baseball, no matter where you are or where you come from, so you will have something in common with the guys you play with. But what do you expect to be the biggest challenge in acclimating to Major League baseball?

Nishi: Everything will be a challenge.

TT: You've been in camp for close to a week now, any observations/things that have stuck out for you?

Nishi: That everybody practices very hard.

TT: It's my understanding that Japanese baseballs are a slightly different size to Major League baseballs. How are you finding the transition to the new ball, both in terms of fielding and hitting?

Nishi: I haven't really focused too much on the differences of the ball and it hasn't bothered me.

TT: What is your biggest strength as a baseball player, and what do you think you still need to work on?

Nishi: I feel I need to work on every aspect of my game to make it a bigger strength.

TT: What are you the most looking forward to with your new team?

Nishi: I am looking forward to becoming friends with all my teammates.

TT: Is there a team you're really looking forward to playing against/city to visit?

Nishi: I am looking forward to playing against every team and going to every city

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