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Matsuzaka, Okajima's Families OK After Earthquake Hits Japan

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The nation awoke yesterday morning to shocking news that there had been an 8.9 earthquake in North Japan, but none probably more petrified than Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima.

The two Red Sox pitchers that are from Japan awoke to several text messages and emails this morning regarding the earthquake.  Matsuzaka and Okajima's immeditate family are all in the United States, but most of their extended family are back in Japan.  Fortunately, the two both received confirmation that their families and friends in Japan were safe and were unharmed from the catastrophic event.  Also, the team has received confirmation from pitcher Junichi Tazawa that his family was also ok and safe from harm. 

All three players are from areas south of the affected region of Japan and have been in communication with their families all day yesterday, through email and phone.

Although Matsuzaka has yet to talk to his grandmother who lives a little bit farther north from his home town of Tokyo, but he says he will be in contact with her in the near future.

Okajima is from Kyodo, which is further south from the affected region and has been able to get in touch with his mother and father and has found out that they are safe.

Okajima decided to go ahead and pitch yesterday as planned--even with a lot on his mind.  Okajima pitched a scoreless inning in Yesterday's loss to the Minnesota Twins.

However, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe is reporting that former Red Sox pitcher Takashi Saito has been able to reach his wife and kids, but not his parents.  Saito, who now pitches for the Brewers was granted an indefinite leave from camp to try and track down his missing parents.

Certainly a sad day in the homeland of a lot of baseball players around the league today.  I'm certainly glad that Daisuke and Hideki have been able to track down their parents, and I certainly wish Takashi the best in finding his.