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[9/21/2015] Seibu Lions: Hichori Morimoto announces retirement

by on Sep.22, 2015 @ 6:30 am, under NPB
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Hichori Morimoto held a press conference at the Seibu Lions' offices in Tokorozawa, Saitama on September 21 to announce his decision to retire after the season.

A few notes taken from various sources:

  • He had a difficult childhood because of a hair loss disorder. Baseball turned his life around and gave him confidence. It is the most important thing in his life.
  • He thinks baseball is great sport because players are allowed to make a fair number of mistakes and fans still cheer.
  • Shinjo had a big influence on his career.
  • He started thinking now might be the time to retire after he struggled and failed to secure a spot on the active roster in August.
  • He was healthy this year and was trying his best, but still could not perform to his expectations.
  • He has lots of regrets, like not practicing more when he was younger, but is overall satisfied with how he was able to approach the game and have fun over the last few years.
  • He currently has no plans for what comes next.
  • Always the entertainer: he said that he wanted to bring eye drops to the press conference because he thought it might make for better photos if he cried, but he forgot the eye drops.
  • Memorable moments: winning a championship with Nippon Ham, winning an opening day game with Yokohama, hearing the cheering fans after he collected his first hit with Seibu.

Source: official announcement, Sports Hochi 9/21/2015, Sponichi 9/21/2015, Tokyo Sports 9/21/2015, Nikkan Sports 9/21/2015

[UPDATE 9/27 @ 11:03pm]

The Lions added Morimoto to the active roster on September 27. He was called into the Rakuten game as a defensive replacement in right in the top of the 8th inning. He grounded out to third with runners on first and second and two out in the bottom of the 8th. There was a retirement ceremony after the game. Naoto Watanabe, Kazuya Fujita, and former Nippon Ham teammate Atsunori Inaba presented him with flowers. He was tossed into the air by teammates ten times.

Source: Nikkan Spots 9/27/2015

[UPDATE 9/28 @ 5:40pm]

Morimoto was taken off the active roster on September 28.

The Pacific League's Youtube videos from the game:

(continue reading...)

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[11/19/2013] Seibu Lions: Hichori Morimoto passes tryouts, gets an offer

by on Nov.19, 2013 @ 3:54 pm, under NPB
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The Seibu Lions announced today that Hichori Morimoto (32) passed his tryout during fall camp and was offered a contract.  They provided the following comment from Morimoto.

I received an offer and I feel both at ease and very thankful for the opportunity.

When I was released, I was exposed to the idea that I might not be able to play baseball again and it made me think of a lot of things.  I am very grateful to the Lions front office for giving me a call.

Since I was able to make the team, my goal now is to make sure I properly do my job.  I will do my best so that I can play at Seibu Dome for as long as possible and will try to execute plays that will make fans want to come out and watch another game.

Source: official announcement

An official contract will likely be signed in December.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/19/2013

[UPDATE 12/4 @ 8:00pm]

The Lions held a press conference for Morimoto today.  They assigned him the number zero.  His salary for 2014 will be an estimated twenty million yen.

Source: official announcement, Sponichi 12/4/2013

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[10/15/2013] Rumors: Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows, Hanshin Tigers, Hichori Morimoto

by on Oct.16, 2013 @ 1:05 am, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Kenichi Nakata is open to meeting with the Dragons about an extension.  If he exercises his FA option, a number of teams, including Hanshin, Yakult, and Yokohama, will likely be interested in his services.

Source: Daily Sports 10/15/2013

Hiromitsu Ochiai is planning to get involved in negotiations.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/15/2013

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The Dragons are looking into Kazuhiko Ishimine (Orix's batting coach this past season) and Teruyoshi Kuji (Hanshin's INF/base-running coach).

Source: Sports Hochi 10/15/2013, Sponichi 10/15/2013

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows are looking into Hajime Miki as a possible Ni-gun fielding/base-running coach.

Source: Daily Sports 10/15/2013

Hanshin Tigers

According to Daily Sports, the Tigers are planning to offer Matt Murton and Randy Messenger large multi-year deals.

Source: Daily Sports 10/15/2013

The Hawks are interested in Messenger.

MLB teams might be willing to pay him about one billion yen over three years.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/15/2013

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The Tigers are expected to begin discussions with Takashi Toritani (32, international), Shinobu Fukuhara (36, international), and Yasutomo Kubo (33, domestic) shortly.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/15/2013

Yuya Ando (international) and Ryo Asai (domestic) also have options.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/15/2013

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If Seung Hwan Oh is cleared to play in Japan, the front office has the green light to negotiate with him.  They will most likely offer a multi-year deal.

Source: Sponichi 10/15/2013

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Masayuki Kakefu met with team president Nobuo Minami at a hotel in Osaka on Tuesday and reportedly accepted the team's offer to become a hitting adviser.  His duties will begin this fall.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/15/2013, Daily Sports 10/15/2013

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The Tigers are looking at Nobuhiro Takashiro as a possible candidate for INF/base-running coach.  They are not planning to re-hire a third batting coach to replace Jitsuo Mizutani and will likely stick with two batting coaches -- Koichi Sekikawa and Mitsunobu Takahashi.  Eiji Kanamori, Takao Ise, and Masahiro Doi are being considered for the open Ni-gun batting coach position.  Ryuji Tachibana is among possibilities for conditioning coach.

Source: Daily Sports 10/15/2013, Sports Hochi 10/15/2013

Sanspo adds that the Tigers might be looking at Ise as a batting coach.

Source: Sanspo 10/15/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

Hichori Morimoto wants to continue playing next season and may be open to both domestic and international opportunities.  He is planning to attend the twelve-team tryouts in November.

Source: Sponichi 10/15/2013

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[10/6/2013] Rumors: Morimoto (YOK), Otake (HIR), K. Nakata (CHU), Matsunaka (SOF), Rottino, Ming-Chieh (ORI)

by on Oct.06, 2013 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Yokohama Bay Stars

Hichori Morimoto was senryokugai'ed on the 4th.  He took to Twitter today and told fans he was going to do his best next year.  People close to the situation have also said that Morimoto is hoping to play next year.

Source: Tweet 10/6/2013, Sponichi 10/6/2013

Softbank Hawks

The Hawks have their eye on potential free agents Kan Otake (Hiroshima) and Kenichi Nakata (Chunichi).  They may also be looking to the foreign market for another big bat.

Source: Sanspo 10/6/2013

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Thirty-nine-year-old Nobuhiko Matsunaka would like to continue playing next year and help the team work its way back to the top.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/6/2013

Orix Buffaloes

Vinny Rottino returned to the US on Saturday.  The Buffaloes will most likely part ways with the thirty-three-year-old.

The Buffaloes announced that Ming-Chieh Hsu will not be returning in 2014 on Saturday.  He would like to continue playing and is open to playing anywhere.

Source: Sponichi 10/6/2013

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[10/5/2013] Rumors: Katsuki Yamazaki, Hichori Morimoto

by on Oct.05, 2013 @ 11:52 pm, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

The Orix Buffaloes are interested in Softbank's Katsuki Yamazaki.  They are looking into him in case he decides to exercise his FA option this winter.  He will be a class C free agent and will not require any compensation.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/5/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

Hichori Morimoto is confident he still has something left in the tank and would like to continue playing next season, if there is a team that wants him.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/5/2013

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[10/1/2013] Soon to be Senryokugai: Shima (SEI), Nioka (HAM), Morimoto (YOK)

by on Oct.02, 2013 @ 12:41 am, under NPB
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The media learned on Monday that the Seibu Lions are not planning to offer Shigenobu Shima a contract for the 2014 season.

Shima appeared in just nine games this season as a pinch-hitter and went 1-for-7 with a walk.  Seibu is expected to meet with Shima to inform him of their decision over the next couple of days.

"I have not made made the active roster since the spring.  It feels as though they no longer need me.  I would like to continue playing if there are other opportunities," Shima said.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/1/2013, Daily Sports 10/1/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/1/2013

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The Nippon Ham Fighters were expected to inform Tomohiro Nioka that they were not planning to sign him to a contract for the 2014 today, but no formal announcement was made.  A number of teams are reported to be interested in the veteran, but it is uncertain if he is still wants to continue playing.

The Fighters are planning to give Nioka one last at bat at Sapporo Dome before the end of the regular season.

Source: Sponichi 10/1/2013

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The Yokohama Bay Stars are expected to inform Hichori Morimoto that he is not included in the organization's plans for the 2014 season.

Source: Sponichi 10/1/2013

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Yokohama Bay Stars: Hichori Morimoto has a fracture in his left hamate bone

by on Sep.28, 2012 @ 8:48 pm, under NPB
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The Bay Stars announced today that Hichori Morimoto was taken off the active roster with a fracture in his left hamate bone and will go under the knife within the next few days.  He will likely require about a month for a full recovery.

Morimoto felt discomfort in his left hand after Wednesday's game against the Chunichi Dragons and was evaluated at a hospital today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/28/2012

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Yokohama Bay Stars: March 8, 2012

by on Mar.08, 2012 @ 11:48 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Thursday

  • Yuki Kuniyoshi threw 53 pitches in the bullpen. (Nikkan Sports)

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Yuki Kuniyoshi tossed a bullpen session today at Yokohama Stadium in preparation for an exhibition game start against the Seibu Lions on Saturday.

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The Bay Stars are taking advantage of NTT Docomo's real-time translation service.

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Hichori Morimoto announced today, through the Yokohama Bay Stars, that he filed marriage papers with model Yuumi.

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Team mascot Hosshey informed the media today that he will be making an important announcement before the Bay Stars' exhibition game against the Orix Buffaloes at Yokohama Stadium on March 17.