03/11/11 1:18 PM ET
Dodgers' Kuroda stunned by Japan quake
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Kuroda first read about the powerful earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan while reading online and was overwhelmed with the images he saw when he turned on the television news. The pitcher said his immediate family is safe at home in Los Angeles and his extended family -- many of whom reside on the western part of Japan -- are fine. However, he's been unable to reach his brother, who lives near Tokyo and travels north for business.
"I think he is OK, but I don't know where his whereabouts are," Kuroda said through translator Kenji Nimura. "I'm trying to contact him."
Kuroda said it's been impossible to call Japan, and he has been met with a busy signal on every attempt. He's going to keep trying.
"When I first heard, I thought it was just an earthquake. But when I saw the pictures and on TV, I was shocked," Kuroda said. "It was devastating."
There were 200 to 300 bodies found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai, according to the Associated Press. Kuroda played in Hiroshima, about a 90-minute plane ride from Sendai.
"I'm worried, because there is a baseball team in Sendai and there are a lot of friends on that team," Kuroda said. "I worry about them and their families."
Kuroda said former Major League players Kaz Matsui and Akinori Iwamura play for Sendai's Rakuten Golden Eagles.
"I can only pray that there won't be any more casualties and people will be safe," Kuroda said.
The Dodgers' Minor League staff and Minor League players have been able to make contact with their families in Japan.
"The whole thing is devastating," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It's scary."