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2014 SMBC Nippon Series – Softbank wins sixth Nippon Series

by on Oct.21, 2014 @ 12:57 am, under NPB
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SMBC Nippon Series

Nippon Series MVP: Seiichi Uchikawa

Best of seven.

Softbank takes series, 4-1.

Date Time Gm Venue Away Score Home Attendance Time
10/25 Sat 18:15 1 Koshien Stadium Softbank
SP: Standridge
L: Standridge
2-6 Hanshin
SP: Messenger
W: Messenger
45293 3:26
10/26 Sun 18:15 2 Koshien Stadium Softbank
SP: Takeda
W: Takeda
2-1 Hanshin
SP: Nomi
L: Nomi
45259 2:57
10/27 Mon     Travel Day
10/28 Tue 18:30 3 YafuOku Dome Hanshin
SP: Fujinami
L: Fujinami
1-5 Softbank
SP: Otonari
W: Otonari
35527 3:30
10/29 Wed 18:30 4 YafuOku Dome Hanshin
SP: Iwata
L: Ando
2-5 Softbank
SP: Nakata
W: Sarfate
35861 3:56
10/30 Thu 18:30 5 YafuOku Dome Hanshin
SP: Messenger
L: Messenger
0-1 Softbank
SP: Settsu
W: Igarashi
36068 3:31
10/31 Fri     Travel Day
11/01 Sat 18:15 6 Koshien Stadium Softbank   Hanshin    
11/02 Sun 18:15 7 Koshien Stadium Softbank   Hanshin    

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[10/31/2014] Yakult Swallows name Junji Ogawa senior director

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 11:29 pm, under NPB
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The Yakult Swallows announced today that Junji Ogawa will remain in the organization as a senior director, effective January 1, 2015.

"I would like to do what I can to help the team get stronger. I have experience managing at Ichi-gun and Ni-gun, so it will be a matter of how I balance what I know with what the players and coaches are thinking," said Ogawa.

The two sides will finalize a contract in November.

Source: official announcement, Sports Hochi 10/31/2014, Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014

[10/31/2014] Koji Uehara, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 11:17 pm, under MLB
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The MLB released a list of free agents on Thursday. Hiroyuki Nakajima (Athletics), Kyuji Fujikawa (Cubs), Hisashi Iwakuma (Mariners), Daisuke Matsuzaka (Mets), Norichika Aoki (Royals), Hiroki Kuroda (Yankees), and Ichiro Suzuki (Yankees) were included on the list. Fujikawa and Iwakuma have options.

Source: MLB.com 10/30/2014

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The Boston Red Sox signed Koji Uehara (39) to a two-year deal worth eighteen million US dollars. From ESPN's Gordon Edes:

... The Red Sox signed Uehara before he became eligible to negotiate with other clubs Tuesday. His deal nearly doubles the two-year, $9.25 million contract he signed with the Red Sox before the 2013 season, before he had been identified as the club's closer. It is $2 million less than last's winter's two-year, $20 million deal the Detroit Tigers gave to free agent Joe Nathan, who is perhaps the closest comparison to Uehara, given that he was 38, a year younger than the Japanese right-hander.

... "You're really looking at a guy who has been one of the elite relievers in baseball for several years," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "And again, based on our evaluation at the end of the year and what he did, we did not see any reason why that can't continue.''

... "From a health standpoint, he had a little lower back issue at the end of the year, but that was resolved and wasn't really a concern going forward," Cherington said, making the first mention by any Red Sox official that the pitcher's back had been bothering him.

Source: ESPN 10/30/2014

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Hisashi Iwakuma (33) will be back in Seattle next year. From The Seattle Times' Ryan Divish:

... The Mariners announced that [Iwakuma's] $7 million option for 2015 has been exercised. However, they didn't decide on the option. Per a source, Iwakuma did enough in 2014 — 15-9 with a 3.52 ERA in 28 starts — and last season to have the option vest automatically. So there was no decision to be made.

Source: The Seattle Times 10/30/2014

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The Chicago Cubs declined Kyuji Fujikawa's (34) option. From The Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales:

The Chicago Cubs' 40-man roster shrunk to 35 Thursday as reliever Carlos Villanueva filed for free agency, and the team declined the 2015 option on reliever Kyuji Fujikawa.

... Fujikawa will receive a $500,000 buyout and becomes a free agent.

Source: ESPN 10/30/2014

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Daisuke Matsuzaka is planning to return to his home in Boston to begin workouts for next season in November. Source: Sponichi 10/31/2014

Softbank Hawks Senryokugai – October 31, 2014

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 6:39 pm, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks announced that they will not offer the following players contract for the 2015 season:

  • Ejiri, Shintaro P (37)
  • Yoshimoto, Shoji P (21)
  • Okajima, Hideki P (38)
  • Shirane, Naoki INF (21)
  • Suzuki, Shunya P-Ikusei (23)
  • Miura, Shota P-Ikusei (24)
  • Yagi, Takeshi C-Ikusei (24)
  • Nakahara, Daiki INF-Ikusei (22)
  • Arasaki, Shinya INF-Ikusei (22)
  • Yasuda, Keisuke OF-Ikusei (27)

Source: official announcement

[10/31/2014] Yokohama Bay Stars 2015 Coaching Staff

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 6:27 pm, under NPB
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Ichi-gun Coaching Staff

Position Uni Name JPN Name ENG Age
Manager 70 中畑 清 Nakahata, Kiyoshi 60
Head Coach 78 進藤 達哉 Shindo, Tatsuya 44
Hitting Coach 90 大村 巌 Omura, Iwao 45
Hitting Coach 77 坪井 智哉 Tsuboi, Tomochika 40
Pitching Coach 75 川村 丈夫 Kawamura, Takeo 42
Pitching Coach 76 篠原 貴行 Shinohara, Takayuki 38
Infield/Base Coach 83 馬場 敏史 Baba, Toshifumi 49
Outfield/Base Coach 71 小池 正晃 Koike, Masaaki 34
Battery Coach 79 新沼 慎二 Niinuma, Shinji 35

Ni-gun Coaching Staff

Position Uni Name JPN Name ENG Age
Manager 88 山下 大輔 Yamashita, Daisuke 62
General/Outfield/Base Coach 72 二宮 至 Ninomiya, Itaru 61
Hitting Coach 87 高須 洋介 Takasu, Yosuke 38
Hitting/Ikusei Coach 84 嶋村 一輝 Shimamura, Ikki 33
Pitching Coach 81 島田 直也 Shimada, Naoya 44
Pitching/Ikusei Coach 86 有働 克也 Udo, Katsuya 45
Infield/Base Coach 82 万永 貴司 Manei, Takashi 42
Battery Coach 85 山下 和彦 Yamashita, Kazuhiko 52
Battery Coach Assitant/Ikusei Coach 89 藤田 和男 Fujita, Kazuo 34

===

Source: official announcement

[10/31/2014] Chiba Lotte Marines will not offer contract extensions to Greisinger, Brazell

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 3:57 pm, under NPB
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The Chiba Lotte Marines announced that they will not offer Seth Greisinger (39) and Craig Brazell (34) contracts for the 2015 season.

Greisinger was in the final year of a two-year deal this season. Right shoulder problems kept him off the mound this year.

Brazell joined the organization partway though the 2013 season. He was limited to thirty-five games this year and returned to the United States on July 30 to get treatment for an inguinal hernia.

Source: official announcement, Sponichi 10/31/2014, Sports Hochi 10/31/2014

[10/31/2014] Yokohama Bay Stars: Fall camp roster

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 2:45 pm, under NPB
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The Yokohama Bay Stars will hold fall camp in Amamioshima, Kagoshima between November 6 and 19. Rosters for fall camp were released today.

Pos Name JPN Name ENG
P 小林 寛 Kobayashi, Hiroshi
P 柿田 裕太 Kakita, Yuta
P 三嶋 一輝 Mishima, Kazuki
P 加賀美 希昇 Kagami, Kisho
P 平田 真吾 Hirata, Shingo
P 三上 朋也 Mikami, Tomoya
P 田中 健二朗 Tanaka, Kenjiro
P 大田 阿斗里 Ota, Atori
P 国吉 佑樹 Kuniyoshi, Yuki
P 砂田 毅樹 Sunada, Yoshiki
C 黒羽根 利規 Kurobane, Toshiki
C 嶺井 博希 Minei, Hiroki
C 西森 将司 Nishimori, Masashi
INF 山崎 憲晴 Yamazaki, Noriharu
INF 石川 雄洋 Ishikawa, Takehiro
INF 筒香 嘉智 Tsutsugo, Yoshitomo
INF 白崎 浩之 Shirasaki, Hiroyuki
INF 飛雄馬 Matsui, Hyuma
INF 加藤 政義 Kato, Masayoshi
OF 梶谷 隆幸 Kajitani, Takayuki
OF 松本 啓二朗 Matsumoto, Keijiro
OF 赤堀 大智 Akahori, Daichi
OF 乙坂 智 Otosaka, Tomo
OF 桑原 将志 Kuwahara, Masayuki
OF 関根 大気 Sekine, Taiki

===

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014, official announcement

[10/31/2014] Hanshin Tigers: Toritani seriously considering international FA option

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 9:41 am, under NPB
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According to a number of reporters, Takashi Toritani is planning to exercise his FA option to test the international waters. Toritani has had an interest in the Majors since he played baseball in college, and could have headed overseas after earning his international option during the 2012 season, but likely held off because the market was thin. This year could be his last shot at playing in the Majors, since he turns thirty-four next year.

Toritani may have already spoken to the Hanshin Tigers a number of times and expressed a serious interest in exercising his FA option. He may have already started, or perhaps has already found, an agent to represent him in the United States.

There are a number of things about Toritani that could be appealing to an MLB team, like his durability and his on base percentage (particularly the last two seasons). The fact that he also plays a lot of games at Koshien Stadium, where the field is not artificial turf, could also be a plus.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014, Sponichi 10/31/2014, Sanspo 10/31/2014

[10/30/2014] Nippon Series: Hanshin Tigers, Softbank Hawks

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 4:21 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Seung-Hwan Oh joined Masaaki Koyama (1962, Game 5) and Minoru Murayama (1964, Game 4) as the only pitchers in franchise history to give up a walk-off home run. The Tigers dropped their eighth straight Nippon Series road game on Wednesday (and extended it to nine on Thursday). The record of ten was set by Seibu between 1994 and 2002. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/30/2014
  • The Tigers have not hit a home run in their first four Nippon Series games (five after Thursday's game). That tied five other teams in NPB history for most games to start a Nippon Series without a home run. The Dragons hold the record for most consecutive Nippon Series games without a home run, regardless of whether or not the streak began in the first game: six games in 2011, between Games 2 and 7. Source: Sponichi 10/30/2014
  • The Tigers are planning to offer Isao Koda (49) a job as Ni-gun pitching coach. An announcement will most likely be made after the Nippon Series. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/30/2014, Sponichi 10/30/2014
  • Fall camp will take place in Aki, Kochi between November 1 and 20. Source: Sponichi 10/30/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • The Hawks recorded their fifth Nippon Series walk-off victory on Wednesday, first since 2003 (vs Hanshin, Game 1). Source: Nikkan Sports 10/30/2014
  • Akira Nakamura became the fourteenth player to hit a Nippon Series walk-off home run on Wednesday, first since Shinnosuke Abe in 2009 (Game 5). He joined Kent Hadley (1964, 1966) as the only players in franchise history to hit a Nippon Series walk-off home run. Source: Sponichi 10/30/2014
  • Kenichi Nakata walked three in a row in the 1st and 3rd inning of Wednesday's game against Hanshin and became the eighth pitcher in Nippon Series history to walk three in a row in one inning, first since Shun Tono in 2008 (4th inning, Game 6); and the first pitcher in Nippon Series history to do it twice in one game. The pitching staff gave up eight runs on Wednesday, a first since Yakult in 1995 during Game 3. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/30/2014
  • Nobuhiro Matsuda lost track of his game helmet and had to use his practice helmet during Game 3. The missing helmet was found in time for Game 4. Source: Sponichi 10/30/2014

[10/30/2014] Rumors: Motohiro Shima (Rakuten), Miguel Mejia

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 4:15 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers are planning to ask Tsuyoshi Nishioka to return next year. Nishioka has apparently expressed an interest in staying. Hanshin is also most likely planning to ask Matt Murton and Mauro Gomez to return in 2015. Takashi Toritani told reporters he wanted time to think through his options. Atsushi Nomi is not thinking about exercising his FA option. Source: Sponichi 10/31/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Shogo Kimura met with team officials for contract negotiations on Thursday. Kimura was presented with terms, but told Hiroshima he needed more time to think. Source: Daily Sports 10/30/2014

Rakuten Eagles

  • Motohiro Shima told reporters he was going to spend as much time as he has to consider his options. Source: Sports Hochi 10/30/2014

Seibu Lions

  • The Lions are planning to give Miguel Mejia (26) a tryout. He is scheduled to arrive in Japan in November and will partcipate in fall practices at Seibu Dome. Mejia attended a tryout with Nippon Ham last October, but failed to make the team. He played for the Lamigo Monkeys this past season (55 G, 5-1, 35 Sv, 1.24 ERA). Source: Nikkan Sports 10/30/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Takahiro Mahara was reportedly offered a multi-year contract, but agreed to a one-year deal. Source: Sports Hochi 10/30/2014