Koji Uehara always will be remembered by Red Sox fans for helping bring another World Series title back to Boston in 2013.
But it also appears he had some influence on Hirokazu Sawamura.
Sawamura officially signed a two-year deal with the Red Sox on Tuesday after spending 10 seasons playing for Japan?s Nippon Professional Baseball.
The pitcher spoke via a translator to the media Wednesday from Japan (so, Thursday morning there) and said Uehara played a role in his signing with Boston.
“He told me a lot of good stuff about the Red Sox and his experience,” Sawamura said.
Uehara had much more of an influence on Sawamura than just this year, though. The 33-year-old started using “Sandstorm” by Darude for his entrance music — the same song Uehara used.
While Sawamura isn’t quite sure just what his role will be with the team just yet, he is excited to get out there, try new things and test himself.
“There is an expression: when you’re in Rome, do as Romans do,” he said. “When I’m in Boston, I’ll just go the Boston way.”
The Red Sox have approved Sawamura’s late arrival to spring training, and he said he has been working out in Japan.
“When I get there, I’ll be ready,” he said.