Tampa Bay Devil Rays third baseman Akinori Iwamura agreed to share his thoughts on his first season in the Major Leagues in a weekly story on devilrays.com, entitled Aki's Diary. Here's the sixth installment:
Monday was a big night. I looked forward to coming back and playing again at Tropicana Field, then, to have everything go well made things even better, particularly since we won the game.
Of course that game had a pretty strange inning. The bases were loaded in the second inning with no outs when Detroit's Omar Infante hit a foul ball that drifted my way and toward the stands. I thought I had a real shot at catching the ball, but right when I prepared to make the catch, the ball disappeared. A fan wearing a baseball glove made the catch. After that they scored two runs in the inning before Edwin Jackson came back to strike out the side.
As much fun as Monday night was, you can't get too excited when you play baseball for a living. You have to try to stay on an even keel because you play so many games. Staying on an even keel allows you to find consistency more easily.
Before coming back for that first game I decided to get a haircut. We have a lot of guys on the team who buzz their hair -- like my friend Ty Wigginton. So I figured I would get a summer cut, too. But I don't call it a buzz cut, I call it "Florida style" to deal with the heat.
Away from the field I continue to pick up more and more of the language. I like it over here, everybody's been real nice, so I want to try to communicate with them the best I can.
My wife, Misaki, is pregnant with our first child, and the baby is due on July 4. I'm looking forward to becoming a father. Right now we just have a toy poodle named Nuts. I think it will be interesting to see how Nuts reacts to having a baby around the house.
Living in St. Petersburg has been wonderful. The townhouse we are living in is huge compared to where we come from. The living room in our townhouse is bigger than the whole apartment we live in in Japan.
Anyway, I hope we continue to win. We've had a lot of comeback wins this season and we never seem to give up. Keep rooting for us.
Until next time, Aki.
Akinori Iwamura is a contributor to MLB.com. As told through interpreter Masanobu Koyanagi. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.