Darrell Rasner left the United States after the 2008 season to play for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League.
Their home city of Sendai, in Miyagi Prefecture, was hit hard by Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, but Rasner said he and his teammates are safe.
“We were not in town when that hit,” Rasner wrote in an e-mail. “The guys on the team were in Kobe and I was on the bullet train going to Tokyo when the earthquake hit. By the time the tsunami hit, I was in a hotel room glued to the TV, watching it unfold.”
Rasner said that his family is not currently in Japan, but he expressed sympathy for those who are suffering there.
“I just feel really bad for the people up there right now and what they are going through,” Rasner wrote. “I have a couple guys on the team I talked with last night that are up in Sendai right now. I talked to them for a couple minutes and [they] said all the power was out. They were staying in a big tent by the field with a whole bunch of people. It’s really too bad.”
Rasner pitched for three seasons with the Yankees beginning in 2006 after starting his career with the Montreal Expos.
Former Yankee Jonathan Albaladejo is also safe, he told Marc Carig
of the Newark Star-Ledger via e-mail. Now a member of the Yomiuri Giants in Nippon Professional Baseball, Albaladejo had just left Tokyo for Hiroshima, which was far from the epicenter. Albaladejo said he never felt the earthquake.