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[11/28/2014] Rumors: Norihiro Nakamura, Wily Mo Pena, Jose Lopez

by on Nov.29, 2014 @ 2:57 am, under NPB
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Yokohama senryokugai Norihiro Nakamura (41) has not given up on playing in 2015. Source: Daily Sports 11/28/2014 ... "I'm not really thinking about skipping a year so I will have to make a decision when the time comes. Right now, I just want to play baseball next year," said Nakamura. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

The Hanshin Tigers could be in the market for two more foreign players (a pitcher and position). They are looking for insurance in case one or more of their main foreign players gets hurt or goes through a rough patch. Source: Daily Sports 11/28/2014

The Rakuten Eagles are planning to release Andruw Jones and Brian Falkenborg by leaving them off their reserved list because they are considering other options. If things do not pan out, they could try to re-sign one or both of the players. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

The Eagles are interested in Wily Mo Pena (32) and could offer him a multi-year deal. Source: Sports Hochi 11/28/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars are planning to leave Tony Blanco and Enyelbert Soto off their reserved list. The Bay Stars hold options for the 2015 season, but are not expected to exercise them. Yokohama is interested in Jose Lopez. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

Chunichi senryokugai Sang-Hoon Song (21) is planning to play for the Shinba baseball club (Industrial League Club Team). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/28/2014

[11/28/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Yakult Swallows

by on Nov.29, 2014 @ 2:53 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Kan Otake is hoping to lose about five kilograms during the off-season. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/28/2014
  • Yokohama senryokugai Shugo Fujii is planning to retire. He is expected to accept a job as pitching coach for the Giants. Source: Sanspo 11/28/2014
  • Former Giant Masumi Kuwata's son, Masaki Kuwata, was drafted by the Niigata Albirex Baseball Club (BC League) on Friday. Source: official announcement
  • Former Giant Alex Ramirez's son, Yonder Ramirez, was drafted by the Gunma Diamond Pegasus Baseball Club (BC League) on Friday. Source: official announcement

Hanshin Tigers

  • Takashi Toritani did not attend a team golf cup tournament on Thursday, most likely because he was busy preparing for next year. Source: Sanspo 11/28/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Players and staff attended a one-hour lecture given by mental training consultant Kyoko Imai on Thursday. Source: Sanspo 11/28/2014

[11/28/2014] Rakuten Eagles, Chiba Lotte Marines, Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Nov.29, 2014 @ 2:51 am, under NPB
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Rakuten Eagles

  • The Eagles announced that secondary Ni-gun spring camp will take place at Okuragahama Sogo Park in Hyuga, Miyazaki. Source: official announcement

Chiba Lotte Marines

Softbank Hawks

  • Yuya Hasegawa will have surgery on his right ankle on December 4. He will most likely require two months for a full recovery. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Hikaru Ito will become the next players chairman. He will take over the reigns from Tomotaka Sakaguchi. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • When Masahiro Yamamoto asked Shohei Otani if he would continue to pitch and hit in the Majosr if given the opportunity, he replied, "If possible, yes." When asked if he had to pick, he said, "They saw me as a pitcher so there is a good chance it will be as pitcher." Source: Sanspo 11/28/2014

[11/28/2014] Softbank Hawks interested in Rick VandenHurk

by on Nov.29, 2014 @ 2:42 am, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks are looking to sign twenty-nine-year-old pitcher Rick VandenHurk. A number of other NPB teams, including the Yomiuri Giants, are also said to be interested. The Hawks are expected to begin negotiations with VandenHurk when his ties with the Samsung Lions ends at the end of this month. They are said to be preparing a two-year deal worth an estimated 400 million yen.

Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

[11/28/2014] Japan Baseball Hall of Fame 2015 Candidates

by on Nov.28, 2014 @ 10:17 pm, under NPB

2015 Ballot - Players Division

  Name JPN Name ENG
  石毛 宏典 Ishige, Hiromichi
  伊東 勤 Ito, Tsutomu
  岡田 彰布 Okada, Akinobu
  郭 源治 Kaku, Genji
  川相 昌弘 Kawai, Masahiro
  清原 和博 Kiyohara, Kazuhiro
  桑田 真澄 Kuwata, Masumi
  斎藤 雅樹 Saito, Masaki
  佐々岡 真司 Sasaoka, Shinji
  佐藤 義則 Sato, Yoshinori
  野村 謙二郎 Nomura, Kenjiro
  原 辰徳 Hara, Tatsunori
  古田 敦也 Furuta, Atsuya
  松永 浩美 Matsunaga, Hiromi
* 赤星 憲広 Akahoshi, Norihiro
* 礒部 公一 Isobe, Koichi
* 江藤 智 Eto, Akira
* 緒方 孝市 Ogata, Koichi
* 小宮山 悟 Komiyama, Satoru
* 清水 崇行 Shimizu, Takayuki
* 立浪 和義 Tatsunami, Kazuyoshi
* 仁志 敏久 Nishi, Toshihisa
* T. ローズ Rhodes, Tuffy


2015 Ballot - Expert Division

  Name JPN Name ENG
  足立 光宏 Adachi, Mitsuhiro
  荒川 博 Arakawa, Hiroshi
  榎本 喜八 Enomoto, Kihachi
  大沢 啓二 Osawa, Keiji
  加藤 英司 Kato, Hideji
  権藤 博 Gondo, Hiroshi
  田淵 幸一 Tabuchi, Koichi
  土橋 正幸 Dobashi, Masayuki
  長池 徳士 Nagaike, Atsushi
  ランディ・バース Bass, Randy
  平松 政次 Hiramatsu, Masaji
  ブーマー・ウェルズ Wells, Greg "Boomer"
  藤田 平 Fujita, Taira
  村上 雅則 Murakami, Masanori
* 伊原 春樹 Ihara, Haruki
* 大島 康徳 Oshima, Yasunori
* 篠塚 和典 Shinozuka, Kazunori
* 星野 仙一 Hoshino, Senichi
* 水谷 実雄 Mizutani, Jitsuo


* new candidates


Source: official announcement

[11/28/2014] Japan will be one of twelve teams competing in Premier 12

by on Nov.28, 2014 @ 9:58 pm, under International, NPB, Samurai Japan

The top twelve nations in the 2014 WBSC World Baseball Rankings will have spots at the first Premier 12 in 2015. Japan secured the top spot with a first place finish in the rankings.

The Premier 12 logo and schedule will be released at a later date.

Source: official announcement

Top Twelve Nations (Full list)

Rank Member Federation Total Points Continent
1 Japan 785.18 Asia
2 USA 766.02 Americas
3 Cuba 662.98 Americas
4 Chinese Taipei 605.48 Asia
5 Netherlands 433.50 Europe
6 Dominican Republic 379.18 Americas
7 Canada 353.52 Americas
8 South Korea 340.90 Asia
9 Puerto Rico 291.50 Americas
10 Venezuela 269.00 Americas
11 Italy 196.18 Europe
12 Mexico 136.78 Americas


NPB commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki told reporters on the 21st that they received a request from the MLB about holding an opening day series in Japan in 2016. The idea was proposed during a meeting with MLB's Rob Manfred. Games against Samurai Japan are also being planned.

Source: Sponichi 11/21/2014, Sponichi 11/22/2014

Nippon TV executive Tsukasa Imamura was named president of the newly formed NPB Enterprise during a meeting on the 21st. Imamura will begin serving as president on January 1, 2015. His term will end in 2017.

The NPB confirmed that the fiscal year 2013 (October 2013 to September 2014) finished in the black (960 million yen) for the third consecutive year.

Source: Daily Sports 11/21/2014

[11/28/2014] Tie-Breaker rules to be implemented during high school spring regional tournaments

by on Nov.28, 2014 @ 7:32 pm, under High School

The Japan High School Baseball Federation (JHBF) held a board meeting in Osaka on Thursday and decided to implement tie-breaker rules during the spring regional tournaments next year. Details will be worked out during another meeting in January. Outcomes of the spring regional tournaments have no direct ties to the Spring and Summer Koshien tournaments.

Plans to slowly implement tie-breaker rules over time were considered during a technical committee meeting in October. The intial plan was to add tie-breaker rules to regional and prefectural tournaments during the spring that had no direct ties to the Spring and Summer Koshien tournaments. However, earlier this month, representatives from the nine regions and Tokyo met and could not agree to including tie-breaker rules in individual prefectural tournaments because of timing issues. Tie-breaker rules were implemented during Kanto and Hokushinetsu regional tournaments this year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/27/2014, Sponichi 11/27/2014


The Japan High School Baseball Federation chairman Takayasu Okushima (75) is planning to step down from his post after the 18U World Cup tournament next year. A replacement has not yet been selected.

Next year will be a milestone year: It will be 100 years since the first Summer Koshien tournament and the 18U World Cup tournament will be held in Japan for the first time. Okushima felt the time was right for him to step down.

Okushima replaced Haruo Wakimura as the sixth chairman of the Japan High School Baseball Federation in November 2008.

Note: Ninety-six Summer Koshien tournaments have been completed. Next year will be ninety-seven. No tournaments were schededule betweeen 1942 and 1945 because of the war. Two tournaments (1918 and 1941) were canceled due to the war, but are included in the ninety-six. The first tournament was played in 1915.

Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014

[11/27/2014] Free Agents: Takashi Toritani, Chihiro Kaneko

by on Nov.28, 2014 @ 3:45 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • Toritani is letting his agent handle everything in the United States while he focuses on his training and conditioning. He wants to do what he can to make sure he is ready to play a full MLB season. Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Orix Buffaloes want Kaneko to focus on his right elbow for the time being. Negotiations will likely be put on hold for the time being (until he is ready). Source: Sponichi 11/26/2014
  • The Hanshin Tigers are interested in Kaneko, but are not ready to make an offer because they feel they still need more information. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014, Sports Hochi 11/26/2014, Daily Sports 11/26/2014 ... The Tigers want to give Kaneko space as he works out a plan for his right elbow. They are also curious to see how things turn out. Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014 ... The Tigers are planning to hold another meeting on Kaneko early next week. They will not be able to put an offer together until they know what kind of condition Kaneko is in after he goes under the knife, assuming he goes through with the procedure. Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2014 ... Kaneko's agent reached out to the Tigers to assure them that there should be more than enough time for Kaneko to have surgery, go through rehab, and be ready for opening day next year. Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014
  • Yokohama Bay Stars general manager Shigeru Takada told reporters he found out about Kaneko's elbow before he made the announcement. He does not appear to be too concerned about the possibility of surgery. Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014 ... Takada on posting players: "We are not fully against it. As an organization, it isn't a definitive no." Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014
  • Softbank Hawks' chairman Sadaharu Oh indicated on Tuesday that the Hawks will pass on Kaneko if he is hoping to be posted after one year (or wants that option). Source: Sports Hochi 11/26/2014


The Yakult Swallows officially signed Yoshihisa Naruse (29) to a three-year deal worth an estimated 600 million yen on Tuesday. He was assigned the number seventeen. The Swallows will introduce him during a press conference on December 9. Yakult is still looking for a pitcher on the overseas market. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/2014

[11/27/2014] Rumors: Kam Mickolio, Wily Mo Pena, Yunielkis Gourriel

by on Nov.28, 2014 @ 3:39 am, under NPB
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The Rakuten Eagles are interested in Kam Mickolio (30). They may be moving away from re-signing Brian Falkenborg (36). Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014

The Seibu Lions have been checking the overseas market for a third baseman. They have so far narrowed their list down to five or six candidates. Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014

The Orix Buffaloes will most likely part ways with Wily Mo Pena (32). There was reportedly over a 100 million yen difference between what Orix was offering and what Pena wanted. The slugger was also said to be looking for a multi-year deal. The Rakuten Eagles are interested in Pena. The Buffaloes are looking into Tony Blanco (34) as a possible replacement. They could offer him a two-year deal worth about 400 million yen. Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014, Sports Hochi 11/27/2014

The Hanshin Tigers' quartet of foreign players, Randy Messenger (33), Seung-Hwan Oh (32), Matt Murton (33), and Mauro Gomez (30), should all be signed to contracts for the 2015 season by some time around December 10. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/27/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars general manager Shigeru Takada spoke to reporters on Wednesday and said that he was informed negotiations with Cuban players will begin after the 9th. Yokohama will most likely prepare about 300 million yen for Yulieski Gourriel (30). Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014

The Bay Stars are looking into Gourriel's brother, Yunielkis Gourriel (22). Source: Sports Hochi 11/27/2014

Yomiuri's Tomoyuki Sugano agreed to a forty-million yen raise on Wednesday. His salary for the 2015 season will be an estimated 110 million yen. He joined Yoshinobu Takahashi, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Micheal Nakamura as the only players in NPB history to reach 100 million yen in their third year. Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014

Kentaro Nishimura signed a two-year contract with the Giants on Wednesday. Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2014

The Softbank Hawks re-signed Shoji Yoshimoto (21) to an Ikusei contract. His uniform number will change from 33 to 121. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/27/2014