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[7/6/2015] Ishikawa Million Stars: News and notes on Julio Franco

by on Jul.06, 2015 @ 9:19 pm, under Independent
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Here are a couple odds and ends taken from media reports about Julio Franco (a little late, my apologies).

  • Franco is interested in managing in Japan.
  • He came to Japan because he wanted to learn more about Japanese baseball and for the opportunity to manage.
  • The Ishikawa Million Stars finished the first half in third place in the ADVANCE-West division with a 16-19-2 record. They are 1-2-0 so far in the second half, through July 6.
  • Through July 5, Franco is 19-for-67 with nine runs, four doubles, and fifteen RBI in twenty-one games.
  • He was invited to QVC Marine Field for a ceremonial first at bat on June 10 before a Chunichi-Lotte game. [Pa-League TV]

Source: Daily Sports 3/14/2015, Tokyo Sports 5/10/2015

Franco, Julio 14 INF .284 21 67 9 19 4 0 0 15 14 14 2 1 1 0 1 2 19

Stats through July 5, 22:00. (continue reading...)

[7/6/2015] Kochi Fighting Dogs: Kyuji Fujikawa’s relief appearance rained out

by on Jul.06, 2015 @ 7:38 pm, under Independent
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Kyuji Fujikawa was set to make an appearance in relief during an exhibition game against the Kagawa Olive Guyners at Kochi Stadium on July 4. The game was rained out. The Kochi Fighting Dogs announced on July 4 that a make-up exhibition game was scheduled for July 12. Fujikawa could pitch in the make-up game.

Source: Sanspo 7/5/2015, Daily Sports 7/5/2015

[6/27/2015] Kochi Fighting Dogs: Kyuji Fujikawa makes relief appearance against Ehime

by on Jun.28, 2015 @ 5:05 am, under Independent
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Kyuji Fujikawa made an appearance in relief during an exhibition game against the Ehime Mandarin Pirates on June 27. He entered the game in the 6th and tossed two shutout innings. He topped out at 150km/h.

Scouts from Hanshin, Yokohama, and Seibu were at the game.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Ehime 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
Kochi 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 0

Attendance: 726 | Time: 2h48m | Venue: Kochi Stadium


Date Role IP NP BF H BB SO R ER Max Vel Att Donation (yen)
06/20 SP 4.0 57 18 5 1 2 1 1 146km/h 2865 ~200,000
06/27 RP 2.0 34 6 0 1 3 0 0 150km/h 726  

Donation = the Kochi Fighting Dogs agreed to donated ten percent of the ticket sales to childcare facilities whenever Fujikawa pitches.


Source: official report, Daily Sports 6/27/2015, Nikkan Sports 6/27/2015, Sponichi 6/27/2015

[6/21/2015] Kochi Fighting Dogs: Kyuji Fujikawa pitches in an exhibition game

by on Jun.21, 2015 @ 2:38 pm, under Independent
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Kyuji Fujikawa made his Shikoku Island League debut on June 20. He started the game and gave up a run over four innings of work. He topped out at 146km/h. He was originally scheduled to pitch two or three innings, but he pushed to go four.

Scouts from Hanshin, Yokohama, Softbank, and Rakuten were at the game. About 140 members of the media were also at the game.

There was a long line in front of the ticket window, about 700 people, before gates at the stadium opened. Twenty security guards, ten times the usual number, watched over the game. Kochi police were also at the ready.

Fujikawa is slated to pitch against on June 27.

Fujikawa's line: 4.0 IP, 57 NP, 18 BF, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 R, 1 ER.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kagawa/Tokushima 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 8 1
Kochi 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 8 2

Attendance: 2865 | Time: 2h43m | Venue: Kochi Stadium

(continue reading...)

[6/19/2015] Toyama player arrested on charge of stealing

by on Jun.19, 2015 @ 12:17 am, under Independent

Toyama Thunderbird infielder Takuya Sasaki was arrested on suspicion of stealing a wallet.

The incident took place in the locker room of a gym in Toyama around 8:00pm on June 16. A wallet containing about 290,000 yen was taken from a locker belonging to a sixty-six-year-old man.

According to police, the man left his locker key with his clothes in a basket while taking a bath. Sasaki got into the man's locker and stole his wallet by taking the key from the basket. The man contacted police when he noticed his missing wallet near Sasaki.

Source: Sponichi 6/17/2015, Daily Sports 6/17/2015

[6/9/2015] Kyuji Fujikawa News and Notes

by on Jun.09, 2015 @ 5:19 pm, under Independent
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The Kochi Fighting Dogs held a press conference on June 8 to introduce their latest addition, Kyuji Fujikawa. About 100 members of the media and fifteen television cameras covered the event.

Some notes from various updates over the last two to three days:

  • Fujikawa visited Kochi Governor Masanao Ozaki before his press conference on June 8.
  • The two sides agreed to a game-to-game contract worth zero yen (meaning he can opt out at any time).
  • When he pitches: ten percent of ticket sales to be donated to child support facilities, free admission to fans up through to high school
  • Fujikawa was assigned the uniform number 11.
  • Fujikawa is set to make his debut (as a starting pitcher) on June 20.
  • Fujikawa may have turned down Hanshin because he felt they were not serious about him. There have been reports that the front office may have been split about offering him a contract (there were concerns about his elbow). The Tigers may have offered a two year deal worth an estimated 100 to 200 milion yen (may have been closer to 100 than 200). They are still interested in the veteran and are planning to keep an eye on his outings.
  • Fujikawa is still interested in returning to the NPB, under the right conditions.
  • The Fighting Dogs have received a lot of media requests for Fujikawa. They have also received commercial offers.
  • News coverage via YouTube: FNN News, FNN News, Kyodo News

Source: Fighting Dogs Facebook Post, Chunichi Sports 6/9/2015, ZakZak 6/9/2015, ZakZak 6/3/2015, Sanspo 6/2/2015, Nikkan Sports 6/9/2015, Nikkan Sports 6/8/2015, Sponichi 6/9/2015, Sponichi 6/9/2015, Sponichi 6/8/2015, Sponichi 6/8/2015, Sponichi 6/3/2015, Sponichi 6/3/2015, Sponichi 6/2/2015, Sponichi 6/2/2015, Sanspo 6/3/2015, Daily Sports 6/9/2015, Daily Sports 6/9/2015, Tokyo Sports 6/3/2015

(continue reading...)

[6/6/2015] Tuffy Rhodes makes his debut with Toyama, goes 1-for-3

by on Jun.07, 2015 @ 3:35 am, under Independent
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Tuffy Rhodes played in his first game with the Toyama GRN Thunderbirds on June 6. It was a game against the San-gun Softbank Hawks at Takaoka Seibu Sogo Koen Stadium. Rhodes was the starting designated hitter and batted clean-up. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (Ks, 2B9, BB, Ks). There were 1,936 fans on hand to watch Rhodes' debut game.

Source: Sponichi 6/6/2015

I found a couple Youtube clips that might be of some interest:


And for those wondering about Julio Franco, the Ishikawa Million Stars are currently in last place in the ADVANCE-West with a record of 7-18-1. As a player, Franco is 18-for-57 with four doubles, nine runs, fifteen RBI, ten strikeouts, and thirteen walks in eighteen games. (Through June 6)

Franco's Million Stars and Rhodes' Thunderbirds are in the same division. The two teams are next scheduled to play each other on June 12 at Takaoka.

[6/1/2015] Kyuji Fujikawa lands with the Kochi Fighting Dogs

by on Jun.02, 2015 @ 12:05 am, under Independent
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The Kochi Fightings Dogs (Shikoku Island League) announced on June 1 that they reached an agreement with former Hanshin Tiger Kyuji Fujikawa.

Fujikawa posted a message on his blog about his decision and told fans that he decided to sign with the Fighting Dogs for two main reasons: he wanted to play for a team that needed him and he wanted to be close to his family. Fujikawa and his wife are both from Kochi.

And I arrived at my answer today.
My wife and I are from Kochi. I want to help children that have a chance at becoming superstars by pitching in front of them.
I want to see the faces of people that enjoy watching me pitch.
Those people that cheered for me,
I decided to start my baseball career over in the place that helped raise me, Kochi.

The two sides have yet to formally sign a contract. A press conference is scheduled for June 8. He could join the team on June 9.

It should be noted that Fuijkawa has mentioned that he received offers from both MLB and NPB teams. Additionally, it was Fujikawa that reached out to the Kochi Fighting Dogs.

Source: official announcement, Fujikawa blog post, Chunichi Sports 6/1/2015, Daily Sports 6/1/2015, Daily Sports 6/1/2015