Dodgers Video: Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s Press Conference & Best Quotes

The Los Angeles Dodgers formally introduced Yoshinobu Yamamoto on Wednesday with another press conference held in the center field plaza at Dodger Stadium.

Yamamoto’s first comments and appearance since agreeing to sign with the Dodgers came just a few hours after his record-setting 12-year, $325 million contract was made official.

Dodgers play-by-play voice Joe Davis emceed the press conference, which was attended by president and CEO Stan Kasten, general manager Brandon Gomes and manager Dave Roberts, among others.

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“It has been an exciting couple of weeks for the Dodgers community, and being able to add a starting pitcher as decorated and talented as Yoshinobu Yamamoto is a great way to wrap up 2023 and add to what we expect to be a thrilling 2024 season,” Gomes said as part of his opening remarks.

Among other details, Yamamoto discussed the importance of the Dodgers’ culture, wanting to compete for a World Series, visiting Dodger Stadium for a postseason game in 2019, and more.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto press conference highlights

World Series focus

Yamamoto on multiple instances mentioned wanting to win a World Series.

“From toady moving forward, I promise to all the fans of L.A. that I will focus my everything to become a better player and become a world champion as a member of the Dodgers,” he said through interpreter Mako Allbee.

“I will stop simply admiring the players that I looked up to but rather strive to become the player that others want to become.”

Rooting for Dodgers

Much has been reported of Yamamoto long having an affinity for the Dodgers, which he confirmed but also downplayed.

“Did I like the Dodgers? Yes. But was I a Dodgers fan? No, not necessarily,” Yamamoto said.

What role Shohei Ohtani played

Ohtani’s $700 million contract includes a staggering $680 million of deferred salary, which the two-way star arranged for in order to aid the Dodgers’ pursuit of Yamamoto and other players. Ohtani signing with the Dodgers was believed to have been a big selling point for Yamamoto, who confirmed as much but stopped short of calling it a defining factor.

“I wouldn’t say he was the sole reason I decided to come here. Even if he went somewhere else, I probably still would’ve ended up in L.A. as a Dodger,” Yamamoto said.

“But Shohei is obviously not only one of the best Japanese players, but he’s one of the best players period in all of MLB. So to be able to play with him from here on out definitely means a lot to me.”

Dodgers culture

When the Dodgers hosted Yamamoto at Dodger Stadium, Ohtani, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Bobby Miller and Will Smith reportedly were part of the meeting.

“I’m sure you probably all saw it on social media, but the Dodgers brought out some of their key players to meet with me. I was really able to feel the clubhouse atmosphere within the meeting, and that really resonated with me,” he said.

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