Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Transcript: Stephen Fife introduced by the Lions

Stephen Fife introduced with Senior Director Hisanobu "Nabe-Q" Watanabe 
Stephen Fife was introduced by the Saitama Seibu Lions on Tuesday, June 20. He played catch with the NPB sized baseball with the ni-gun team on Monday and is expected to be contributing to the team immediately, according to reports.

The Lions put up a condensed interview video of his press conference on both their Facebook and YouTube pages. Here is a transcript of what he said:


"My name is Stephen Fife, I'm 30 years old from Arizona in the USA. I'm very happy to be here and contribute to this club and their efforts to win the Nippon Series."

On what kind of pitcher he is: 

"I pitch to contact for the most part. I throw a four-seam fastball that has a little cut. I throw a two-seam (fastball) that runs the other way, a curve ball, slider and changeup and try to get as many ground balls as possible."

On being in Japan:

"There's a lot of excitement. A lot of fans, positivity in terms of the atmosphere with the fans. Other than that, I haven't really seen a whole lot other than watching like Matt Murton's highlights and Josh Fields' highlights and their experience here so I think it's going to be fun. A lot to learn, but it should be exciting.

Note: Fife was teammates with former Hanshin Tiger Matt Murton in 2016 with the Chicago Cubs AAA affiliate, the Iowa Cubs. He was teammates with former Yomiuri Giant Josh Fields in 2012 with the Los Angeles Dodgers then-AAA affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes. 

On confidence and goals:

"I pitched pretty well in 2013 with the Dodgers and I was pretty consistent all year long. I hope to feel similar to that this year."

On the beard:

"*laughing* I try to groom it as much as possible and keep it in order, The wife doesn't like it when it gets too big."

On why signing with NPB:

"The opportunity was just better here. With the [Miami] Marlins I had a chance to continue to pitch in AAA and maybe get a chance to pitch in the big leagues, but for the opportunity to come here and pitch with the [ichi-gun] and experience a new culture and new style of game is more intriguing for me and I'm excited for it."

On what to look forward to with the Lions:

"I'm just looking forward to getting started, getting going here. Start in the [ni-gun] with the guys here over the next 5-10 days and hopefully get a chance to pitch with the [ichi-gun] and when I do, stay and win some games and enjoy the regular season, the playoffs and the Nippon Series."


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