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Nippon Series: Kazuhito Tadano tossed for throwing a dangerous pitch at Ken Kato

by on Nov.02, 2012 @ 12:17 am, under NPB

Kazuhito Tadano (HAM) was tossed after he threw a pitch up and in at Ken Kato (YOM) in the 4th inning.  Kato fell backward as his helmet flew off.  He was given first base and Tadano was tossed for throwing a dangerous pitch.

Nippon Ham Fighters' manager Hideki Kuriyama rushed onto the field in attempt to get the call reversed, but failed.  He gave up the argument because he did not want to be tossed for a delay of game (one of the umpires came over to him to let him know he was getting close to the time limit).

Home plate umpire Koichi Yanada later told reporters that he judged the ball as hitting Kato's helmet.  Source: Sanspo 11/1/2012

Fans at Sapporo Dome booed Kato during his next at bat in the 5th inning.  It did little to rattle him as he hit a two-run double to left.

Not sure how long they will be up, but there are a few vids over at YouTube.


Someone also posted some videos of fan reactions at 2-chan and NicoDo.


And videos of the fans booing Kato



UPDATE 11/2 @ 8:14am - Some updates...

Kato on the play: "I was so absorbed in the moment, I had no idea what was going on.  I saw [the ball] come near my face...  I was hit in the head once before.  I felt like I did not know what was going on."  Source: Sanspo 11/2/2012

FYI: Kato took an HBP off his head on September 4, 2009.  Source: Sponichi 11/2/2012


When the umpire explained why he made the call as he did, Kuriyama was not satisfied with the answer and continued to ask "What exactly did you see?"  When reporters later ask what the umpire said, he replied, "I cannot say.  Just that his opinion and the opinion of the people in our dugout was different, so I asked him what he saw.  If he had just said he saw the ball hit him, then I would have walked away.  But he said something else so..."

Kuriyama also apologized for the disruption, but not necessarily for arguing a call he was not satisfied with.

Source: Sanspo 11/2/2012

Sports Hochi has some slightly different quotes.

Kuriyama: "His bat was out, so even if it hit him in the head, it should be a strike.  Eject me if you like!"

Yanada: "It hit his helmet.  This is not something for instant replay.  It was a difficult call and I made it in that exactly moment.  I do not think it was over the plate."

Source: Sports Hochi 11/2/2012


Catcher Shinya Tsuruoka on what he saw/heard: "It did not sound like the ball hit a helmet. ... It sounded like it hit the bat.  I am not sure what to say."

He continued, "Yanada-san first said it was a foul, but that changed after [Tatsunori] Hara came [out of the dugout].  I can not really comment on the ruling."

Source: Daily Sports 11/2/2012

16 comments on “Nippon Series: Kazuhito Tadano tossed for throwing a dangerous pitch at Ken Kato

  1. Felix Quiros

    If Koichi Yamada made that call based on his judgement that the ball hit Kato’s helmet he urgently needs to go to an optometrist. I guessed he had followed his hearing. It was even worst that I’d thought.

  2. Arthur

    Kato’s lucky we’re not in the states, his helmet would have been flying off in the 5th for real this time.

    Baseball players diving… I never thought I’d see the day. What a horrible little worm that man is. I’d like to see NPB slap him with an enormous fine and ban, but I’m quite sure they won’t.

    1. Steve Novosel

      Of course they won’t – he plays for Gomiuri.

      What an awful call and a total lack of sportsmanship by Kato. He and his organization should be ashamed.

    2. Felix Quiros

      The states? Isn’t there where Barry Bonds keep the all time homerun record? Didn’t Roger Clemens pitch there? Isn’t McGwire keep a record for more homeruns during a season? Sorry. Barry Bonds broke it.

    3. Felix Quiros

      I think that the main responsible is the umpire for his lack of judgement.
      Who remembers the shoe polish play in 1969? With Mets losing 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth at Shea Stadium, Gil Hodges argued that Cleon Jones was hit on the foot by a pitch from Dave McNally. The umpire called he wasn’t struck. Hodges showed a shoe polish mark on the ball to the umpire and he awarded Jones the first base. Clendennon hit a two-run homer and the Mets came from behind to win the game and clinch the World Series. In fact, that shoe polish belonged to a bench player’s shoe.
      Who apologizad for it? Still they are the Miracle Mets.

    4. Felix Quiros

      Sorry but I don’t understad what Alex Cabrera has to do with “Kato’s lucky we’re not in the states”. NPB recordman is Sadaharu Oh. Single season and alltimer. Cabrera’s venezuelan. The Mitchell Report mentioned him from the days he played for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I guess that team plays in MLB not in NPB.

    5. Arthur

      Felix, I really don’t understand your point. That it’s part of the game? I don’t think Kato should have been plunked, but he might have in some situations. I think he should receive a hefty fine and ban, but unfortunately I’m sure he won’t.

      Actually I don’t feel so annoyed after reading Kato’s commens. When I don’t know what’s going on (at work, in the supermarket) I too hurl myself to the ground and clutch my face. It’s a natural reaction.

    6. IM

      Your point seemed to be that the MLB is a joke because of the juicers, just saying it’s probably not the only league where players have prospered from PEDs. Orix could barely find a uniform that fit over his arms.

  3. fighting ham

    The plate umpire was a former Swallow who took the center position from Kuriyama. Atsuya Furuta was in the broadcasting booth. Anyone noticed the way Furuta spoke really changed after the play?

  4. Felix Quiros

    Arthur: I wish you better luck tonight. I apologize to you because I misunderstood from your statement that Kato should have been hit in the head the next time he was up at the plate. It reminded me when Clemens hit Piazza in the head. Dicky Thon never was the same after he was hit by a pitch on his head. I think that MLB can´t teach NPB about “not cheating”. I’ve been following MLB since 1965 when Dodgers beat the Twins in the World Series and I remember a lot of cheating attempts. Some worked, some didn’t.
    My point is that Koichi Yamada is the main responsible for the whole situation. He shouldn’t be on the field tonight. He made an awful call. BTW I don’t like Kato’s faking but I don’t think he has to be crucified for it. Ultimatey, Kato’s fake cost the Fighters one run but booing Kato cost them two. Also I’m sure he won’t be fined.

    1. Arthur

      No problem, I certainly don’t agree with deliberately throwing at batters (especially their heads), it’s dangerous bush league rubbish.

      I think he’s being crucified because although we see all sorts of deception in baseball, we aren’t used to seeing such blatant cheating. It could also set a bad precedent for players attempting to bunt putting their entire upper body over the plate and throwing themselves to the ground every pitch.

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