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[7/23/2014] BC League: Akinori Otsuka suspended for slapping three players

by on Jul.24, 2014 @ 12:51 am, under Independent

The Shinano Grandserows Baseball Club of the BC League announced on Wednesday that player/manager Akinori Otsuka was suspended from all team activities, effective July 23.  According to a press release posted by the Grandserows, Otsuka went over the line with his coaching duties after a game against the Niigata Albirex Baseball Club on July 21.  The incident has been reported to the BC League.  A disciplinary hearing will be held on the 26th.

The Grandserows posted the following statement from Otsuka:

I went over the line with my duties as coach.  This kind of incident is unworthy of a coach and is something that should not be forgiven.  I regret from the bottom of my heart that it happened in front of children during a memorial game for Mikito Mizushima and his mother.

I would like to offer my deepest and sincerest apologies to all the fans and to the supporters of the league for breaking the BC League's Charter, which lists the league as being for the region and for the region's children.  I am very sorry.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 7/24 @ 10:01pm]

The BC League provided an update on what happened on the 21st: Otsuka slapped three players during a post-game meeting that was held in front of the dugout.  None of the players were hurt.  All three attended practices the following day.

A concerned fan contacted the league offices on the 22nd.  An internal investigation confirmed the incident.  The league will hold a disciplinary hearing on the 26th.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 7/27 @ 2:19am]

The BC League announced that Otsuka will be suspended for seven days (July 23-29) and fined 50,000 yen for his actions.  He will also have to participate in seven or more community service activities (outside of what the organization already does) and provide reports of his experiences.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 8/3 @ 12:51am]

Otsuka returned to the field for Friday's home game against the Gunma Diamond Pegasus.  He addressed the crowd before the game and apologized for his actions.

Source: Sponichi 8/2/2014