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Hichori Morimoto shows up as Ramenman at his press conference

by on Dec.11, 2010 @ 6:24 pm, under NPB

12/23/2010 4:28pm JST

Morimoto's Ramenman costume will go on display (beginning on the 12/26) at Yokohama Chukagai's (China Town) Kyuryuchinretsuso.

12/12/2010 3:15pm JST

The final number on his contract: it's apparently a 3-year deal worth a total 360M yen.

12/11/2010 6:24pm JST

The Yokohama Bay Stars held a press conference today to publicly introduce Hichori Morimoto as their latest addition (after he formally signed papers earlier in the day).  As reported in a previous post, the event was held at Masobyo in Yokohama's China Town district.  About 3,500 people were apparently on hand to catch a glimpse of Morimoto, who made a grand entrance dressed up like Ramenman.

8 comments on “Hichori Morimoto shows up as Ramenman at his press conference

  1. Gen Post author

    120M a year is a lot for Hichiro, but considering the turnout (albeit, that has nothing to do with actual fans) he might bring the team a little excitement.

    I also don’t think he’s such a terrible pick-up. Hichori isn’t much of a hitter, but I think he’s a good defender. I don’t know where the Bay Stars plan to bat him, but he’s a legitimate number 2 hitter that led the PL in sac hits 2 years in a row.

    Considering what was available and the fact that the team was losing a very popular player in Uchikawa, I don’t think going out and getting Hichori was a bad idea. The bad idea was giving Hichori so much money.

    Actually, the Bay Stars probably did have another option, which would have been to keep Uchikawa, but I think they really dropped the ball with him. I know the front office had their hands tied behind their backs with the parent company trying to sell the team, but I don’t see why someone from the team couldn’t contact Uchikawa and ask him to wait. Based on the news that came out, it doesn’t seem like the Bay Stars bothered with doing that.

    So then my question is, if you don’t think Hichori was the right option, what would have been the right thing for the Bay Stars to do? The FA market’s kind of thin and most players aren’t exactly banging down the doors to play in Yokohama. I think the Bay Stars did a pretty good job during the draft the last couple of seasons. On paper, the team isn’t that awful. And they do have some nice young arms.

  2. EJH

    Gen:

    I agree with you. Morimoto is a solid player and a good signing for any team. The BayStars made a good move, but the money is kind of ridiculous. After seeing Morimoto’s goofy show today (or was it yesterday; I have lost track), I realized that Yokohama signed him as much for his baseball skills as for his “entertainment” skills. I like Morimoto and am sorry he has left Ham, but I think a crap team like Yokohama expecting him to be a star and depending on his silly antics to put butts in seats is going to be disappointed. Hell of a bunter, though.

    1. Gen Post author

      Yeah, I think the Bay Stars overpaid. But I also think they felt the had to sign Morimoto with Uchikawa gone. Why they felt they had to pay so much though, I’m not entire sure. AFAIK, the Fighters were their only competition and I think their offer to Morimoto was a 1-year deal worth 800M yen.

      The initial rumors had the Bay Stars offering a 2-year deal worth 200M yen. That’s still a lot, but better than a 3-year deal worth 360M. Not sure why they felt they had to add a third year and an additional 20M per year. Unless of course they honestly thought the Fighters would submit a counter-offer if the deal was for 2 years. But then I think the Fighters said they had no intention of getting into a bidding war.

      I don’t know, doesn’t make much sense.

  3. Alex

    I’m sorry, you don’t that much for a guy who’s a “he’ll of a bunter”. I understand the BayStars needed to do something but I don’t see Morimoto adding anything to what’s already an offensively challenged lineup. The Baystars need a lot more than a slick-fielding outfielder with no bat whatsoever.

    1. Gen Post author

      I can’t speak for EJH, but based on what he has posted, I don’t think he agrees that the Bay Stars got Morimoto at a good price. I think they overpaid as well. And I’m guessing that there are more than a handful of people that were surprised when they heard of the amount and length Morimoto signed for.

      But leaving that portion of the argument to the side for a moment, I just don’t believe that adding Morimoto won’t be of any help to the Bay Stars. And like I said, the Bay Stars don’t exactly have a ton of options to choose from.

      If the Bay Stars had, for example, opted to sign Morimoto over a front-line starter or a player up the middle that could hit for power or average, then this deal would obviously be bad. But that isn’t the case. I suppose you could make the case for Uchikawa, but I already mentioned that the Bay Stars probably dropped the ball there.

      If you want to argue that the Bay Stars should have gone out and signed a foreign player with the money they spent on Morimoto, then I suppose you’d have an argument. But even then, you don’t know what you’re getting with a foreign player, so the risks could end up being higher. With Morimoto, at least you know what to expect.

      If the Bay Stars brought Morimoto on to hit for average and hit a bunch of homers, they’ll be disappointed, but I’m guessing that’s not why they signed him. Morimoto turns 30 and hasn’t hit more than 9 homers in a single season. His career high batting average is .300.

      So again, if Morimoto isn’t the option, perhaps you can point out moves the Bay Stars could have made instead, or could still make.

  4. Alex

    Those are some very good points and I agree with them. It just annoys me to see a bad team throw away money at a player who is 3 years removed from a good year and is a 4th outfielder on most teams. At least the Nationals got an all-star caliber player when they vastly overpaid Jayson Werth.

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