PHOENIX -- Several Dodgers with strong ties to Japan were deeply concerned and personally touched when the earthquake hit the island on Friday.
"I was on the phone with a friend in Tokyo when the earthquake hit and he said, 'Oh, my God, that's the biggest earthquake I've ever felt.' My brother said the same thing," said Acey Kohrogi, the club's executive director of Asian operations and scouting. "The phone lines are clogged up going into Japan, but they seem to be making outgoing calls."
Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman, who managed for several years in Japan, was able to reach some of his friends on the island via Skype. He said he experienced three earthquakes while living in Japan but said the strongest was a 6.0 magnitude. Friday morning's earthquake measured 8.9.
"The second phone call I made was to Hawaii," said Hillman, who managed in Hawaii in 1995.
Hiroki Kuroda's wife and children live in Los Angeles. The pitcher said his extended family lives on the western side of the island and is fine. He tried unsuccessfully to reach his brother Friday morning but is optimistic that he is doing well.
"The Dodgers have a long history with Japan and we have deep concerns," Kohrogi said. "My family is OK, but we have a distant relative in the area that we haven't reached. ... The team that plays in Sendai was away playing exhibition games, which was fortunate. Our Japan scout is here in camp and his family is safe. We had been scouting in the area last year."