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Unable to contact parents in Japan, Takashi Saito leaves Brewers camp

Mar 11, 2011, 12:53 PM EST

takashi-saito-brewers-spring Getty Images

Takashi Saito has been unable to get in touch with his parents in Japan following last night’s massive earthquake, so the veteran reliever has left Brewers camp after asking the team for an indefinite leave of absence.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Saito was able to contact his wife and three children, and teammates like Prince Fielder encouraged Saito to take as much time away from the team as he needs.

Saito was born and attended college in Sendai, where the 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit.

UPDATE: Good news, via McCalvy: Saito’s family is “safe and accounted for.”

  1. Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Mar 11, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Hope his parents are okay. There are not many places in the world where you an live and avoid natural disasters. And they are very hard to predict and prepare for.

  2. BC - Mar 11, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    I hope the heck his family lives in the Southern end of the country, and not in that town that got mowed by the tsunami. That thing looked as bad as the one in Indonesia a while back – can’t imagine how many people must have lost their lives. Terrible.

    • Old Gator - Mar 11, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      Saito is from Sendai, the city most massively damaged by the quake and tidal waves. I would guess from that, that his family lives in that area. Sendai airport was buried in mud from the waves. Hope he can get a flight close to home and find himself some drivable roads.

      • BC - Mar 11, 2011 at 1:54 PM

        Hopefully they had moved somewhere else. All you have to do is click the video link on this page to see how horrible this was:

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42023385/ns/world_news-asiapacific/

        There’s basically nothing left of that town. Who knows how many people died. Horrible stuff.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 11, 2011 at 4:13 PM

        Who the hell would give that comment a down vote?

  3. Utley's Hair - Mar 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Thoughts and prayers go out to Saito’s and any other families affected by this tragedy, especially those that lost their lives. What with the expansion of Asian—especially Japanese players in this case—in baseball over the last while, I would expect—but never hope, obviously, regardless of team affiliation—to hear more reports like this. Stuff like this kind of puts baseball and life in general right back in perspective.

    • Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Mar 11, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      You said it best. Sports is a great way to get some relief from everyday life and all but in the grand scheme of things is pretty insignificant.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 11, 2011 at 4:12 PM

        A lot of times, we as fans forget that these guys playing out there do have lives and families outside the game. We see baseball as an escape and a distraction from reality—like after 9/11. But in cases like this—or even the Padres guy (I think) whose brother was killed last year(?)—inevitably, some of these guys are going to be directly affected by forces outside the game. And we need to realize that.

  4. madaozeki - Mar 11, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    In case it wasn’t clear, Sendai isn’t just a “town”; it’s a city of over 1,000,000 people, the largest in the region…

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