Tag: Hideki Matsui
Various notes about the ceremonies for Shigeo Nagashima and Hideki Matsui on Sunday.
- Police checked the seats and various other sections at Tokyo Dome before the game. [Nikkan Sports 5/5/2013]
- Over 600 people were reportedly on hand to maintain security at Tokyo Dome today. [Sanspo 5/5/2013]
- 1,360 people viewed the Shigeo Nagashima/Hideki Matsui exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Tokyo on Saturday. The last time the museum drew more than 1,000 visitors in one day was when the Giants played the Seattle Mariners in an exhibition game on April 26, 2012 (1,184). [Sponichi 5/5/2013]
- Matsui visited Nagashima on Saturday. [Sanspo 5/5/2013]
- Nagashima had a special 600 gram bat made so that he could swing the bat with just his left arm (he still has problems with this right). The Giants prepared a bat and a large batting helmet for Matsui, just in case he needed it. [Sponichi 5/5/2013, Sanspo 5/5/2013]
- Matsui wore the number fifty-five, Nagashima the number three, Tatsunori Hara the number eighty-eight, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the number ninety-six.
- Tokyo Dome was packed on Sunday: the reported attendance was 46,707.
- Ten children that evacuated to Tokyo from Futaba in Fukushima because of the nuclear plant incidents after the Tohoku Earthquake were invited to the game. [Sponichi 5/5/2013]
- Sanspo has posted photos from the ceremony. [Sanspo 5/5/2013]
- Nagashima and Matsui attended a press conference at a hotel after the ceremonies. [Sanspo 5/5/2013]
- Yomiuri Giants chairman Tsuneo Watanabe told reporters on Sunday that he has plans to meet Matsui in the near future. [Nikkan Sports 5/5/2013]
- The gold-plated bat that was presented to Nagashima and Matsui as part of the People's Honor Award will be on display at Tokyo Dome near Gate 22 between May 6 and 8. The bat is about eighty-six centimeters long and weighs roughly two kilograms. Nagashima's name and uniform number, Matsui's name and uniform number, and a number of other things like the date of the ceremony, were carved into the bt. [Nikkan Sports 5/5/2013, Sponichi 5/5/2013]
Sponichi has posted portions of the post-ceremony press conference.
What are you feeling right now?
It was a ceremony like no other. I wish to express thanks that I was able enjoy it with all the fans.
Are there any Matsui memories that stand out?
I remember his first year the most. We did a 1,000-day exercise to help him build his swing. That left a lasting impression.
On facing Matsui during the ceremonial first pitch.
I was really excited at the time and wanted to hit his pitch. The ball came up near my head, so I could not hit it, but it made me happy that I was able to swing the bat. I think I would have made contact if it was a good pitch.
What kind of path would you like Matsui to go down?
I think baseball is his life. If he is going to do this as a Japanese person, then he needs to approach it in a way that supports the people of Japan. I would like him to focus on baseball like that.
Your thoughts on baseball's future in Japan.
We need to begin at an early age. I think children will be very important.
Source: Sponichi 5/5/2013
What does it feel like to receive the award?
My responsibilities have increased. It has provided a wake-up call. I feel strange to have received the award at the same time as my life's mentor, but I would like to continue chasing after him. I think it has provided me with that wonderful opportunity.
On Nagashima receiving the award.
I think I am the most happy for him, more than any other Japanese person.
You are wearing the same suit.
I suggested it and Nagashima-kantoku picked [the suit]. They made wonderful suits. I will take care of this suit for the rest of my life.
Any particular memories with Nagashima?
It was like he guided me on a daily basis. The thing I remember most is the moment we were able to toss him into the air after a game on October 8, 1994. That still feels like it just happened.
On throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in a Yomiuri uniform.
I [wore the uniform] for the first time since 2002. It filled my heart and made me remember a lot of things. It made me remember how I felt when I played [here]. I could feel Nagashima-kantoku's desire to hit the ball during the ceremonial first pitch. He always told me to work on the pitches up and in, so that is where I threw it.
What did you learn from baseball?
There are some many things I cannot count them. Nagashima-kantoku said that baseball is life. I think that is the truth.
Source: Sponichi 5/5/2013
Nikkan Sports has posted the full speeches made by Matsui for his retirement ceremony and his People's Honor Award ceremony. I do not have enough time to sit down and translate them, so I will just provide the links: retirement speech, People's Honor Award speech.
A number of YouTube videos have been posted. Here are a few direct links:
- People's Honor Award ceremony
- Matsui retirement ceremony part 1
- Matsui retirement ceremony part 2
- Matsui retirement ceremony
- Ceremonial first pitch
- Car ride around the field
- Car ride around the field
- Matsui cheer song
UPDATE 5/7 @ 3:05am - Some additional updates from the 6th.
- The exhibition area at Tokyo Dome for Nagashima and Matsui has been a big hit among fans. [Sanspo 5/6/2013]
- Matsui is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Abe for a meal on the 8th before returning to the US on the 9th. He may also meet with Yomiuri Giants' chairman Watanabe before he leaves Japan. [Sanspo 5/6/2013]
- To clarify, Nagashima and Matsui each received one gold-plated bat. Their names and uniform numbers were etched into the barrel. The name of the award, date, and the name of the prime minister were etched into he grip area. Both bats will be on display at Tokyo Dome until the 8th. [Sanspo 5/6/2013]
- Shinnosuke Abe (Yomiuri) and Kenta Maeda (Hiroshima) presented flowers to Matsui. [Sports Hochi 5/6/2013]
- Matsui addressed Yomiuri players before the pre-game team meeting on Sunday. [Sponichi 5/6/2013]
- Sunday's press conference was held at the New Otani hotel's Fuyo-no Ma conference room. 250 members of the media and forty-five cameras covered the event. About 800 members of the media gathered at Tokyo Dome. ... About 1,000 fans lined up outside the OF reserved section just before the gates opened at 10:30am. ... Merchandise went on sale in a booth outside the stadium at 8:00am. 10,000 towels (2,625 yen) and 7,000 t-shirts (1,575 yen) sold out in about four hours. ... There was an increase in security, from the usual ten to 200. ... The date and uniform numbers 3 and 55 and were printed on the baseballs that were used on Sunday. [Sponichi 5/6/2013]
- The two players rode around on a Nissan Cedric convertible. ... The two wore special-order suits (dark blue, pinstriped, with a polka-dotted tie) made by a tailor in Minatoku, Tokyo. They cost several hundred thousand yen. [Sponichi 5/6/2013]
- Nagashima has been doing regular rehab work since he suffered a stroke on March 4, 2004. Over the past nine years, he has missed just two days of rehab (snow and a cold). [Sponichi 5/6/2013]
- It was decided during pre-ceremony meetings that Nagashima would purposely swing and miss the ceremonial first pitch because there was concern about Prime Minister Abe or Tatsunori Hara getting hit by either an errant throw or a foul tip (neither wore protectors). But that all changed the moment Nagashima stepped into the batter's box -- he suddenly wanted to swing the bat for real. ... Nagashima practice swung the bat fifty times a day for the ceremony. A part of him wanted to show fans that he was able to recover to a point where he could hit a baseball. [Sponichi 5/6/2013]
- Yomiuri Giants chairman Watanabe reportedly spoke to Matsui's father about Matsui as a future manager. He plans to meet directly with Matsui to discuss the idea further. It is possible the team could offer Matsui some sort of a special coaching contract this season (perhaps for one month out of the season). [Nikkan Sports 5/6/2013]
- Matsui initially thought about turning the award down, but then reconsidered. Said Matsui, "I questioned the decision to give me the award based on my accomplishments. There are plenty of better candidates than me. But, it is possible my connection with [Nagashima-kantoku] was a major factor. It could be that I am just tagging along. The way I see it, this is not so much about my past accomplishments, but rather a strong statement telling me to help support baseball in Japan moving forward." [Nikkan Sports 5/6/2013]
UPDATE 5/8 @ 2:24am - Some additional updates from the 7th.
- Lines for people interested in seeing Nagashima and Matsui memorabilia on Monday grew out to about 150 meters long with a wait time of about an hour and a half. [Nikkan Sports 5/7/2013]
- Nagashima and Matsui are scheduled to have dinner to Prime Minister Abe on Wednesday. Yomiuri Giants team owner Kojiro Shiraishi and team chairman Watanabe will also attend the dinner. [Sponichi 5/7/2013]
- Prime minister Abe recounted the ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday and told people about how he was worried a foul tip might hit him. He also said that he thought Nagashima swung the bat with the intention to make contact and that he was told to call out "strike" on the pitch. [Sponichi 5/7/2013]
- The Giants could offer Matsui any sort of coaching position, including assistant manager, head coach, general position play coach, and batting coach. He would then work his way to becoming a manager. [Sponichi 5/7/2013]
UPDATE 5/8 @ 2:30pm -
UPDATE 5/10 @ 4:49am -
A few more updates:
- Matsui and Nagashima met with Prime Minister Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga for dinner on Wendesday night. [Sanspo 5/8/2013]
- The evening lasted about ninety minutes and ended at 8:30pm. Dinner was Japanese style. Nagashima drank oolong tea while Matsui drank wine. [Sponichi 5/9/2013]
- Matsui arrived a little after 6:00pm. Nagashima arrived at 6:17pm. Prime Minister Abe arrived at 6:37pm. [Sanspo 5/9/2013]
- Matsui left for the US out of Narita Airport on Thursday. [Sponichi 5/9/2013]
- Nagashima's gold-plated bat will be on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Tokyo between May 9 and May 29. A game ball from May 5, autographed by Nagashima and Matsui, will also be on display. [official announcement]
- Nomi, Ishikawa (Matsui's hometown) and Sakura, Chiba (Nagashima's hometown) are looking to set up some sort of tourism partnership. [Sponichi 5/9/2013]
UPDATE 5/13 @ 12:07am -
A few more updates:
- Matsui's gold-plated bat will go on display at the Hideki Matsui Baseball Museum in Nomi, Ishikawa. [Sponichi 5/10/2013]
- Sponichi reports that Matsui could return to Japan in August and begin discussions with the Giants about possible coaching positions with the team. [Sponichi 5/10/2013]
- Sanspo does not mention a specific month and simply notes that Matsui could return to Japan some time during the summer. [Sanspo 5/10/2013]
UPDATE 5/15 @ 10:27am -
Matsui's gold-plated bat is now on display at the Hideki Matsui Baseball Museum in Nomi, Ishikawa.
Source: Sanspo 5/15/2013
Sanspo has posted some details on Sunday's pre-game ceremonies for Hideki Matsui and Shigeo Nagashima.
The game will be televised by Nippon TV, beginning at 12:45. Nippon Hoso will provide radio coverage that begins at 13:14.
Matsui Retirement Ceremony (after 13:00)
- Matsui will address the fans.
- Yomiuri and Hiroshima will present Matsui with flowers. Shinnosuke Abe for Yomiuri. Undecided for Hiroshima.
- Matsui and Nagashima will hop onto a convertible with the top down and ride once around the field.
Nagashima/Matsui People's Honor Award Ceremony
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will present Nagashima and Matsui with the People's Honor Award.
- Abe, Nagashima, and Matsui will make speeches. Flower presentation ceremony. Photos.
NPB commissioner Ryozo Kato and previous People's Honor Award winners Sadaharu Oh and Sachio Kinugasa will attend the ceremonies.
Ceremonial First Pitch (14:00)
Matsui will take the mound, Nagashima will step into the batter's box, Abe will be the home plate ump, and Tatsunori Hara will catch.
Source: Sanspo 5/4/2013
Sadaharu Oh and Sachio Kinugasa are scheduled to attend the People's Honor Award ceremony for Hideki Matsui and Shigeo Nagashima at Tokyo Dome on May 5. Oh and Kinugasa are previous winners of the award.
Source: Sponichi 4/30/2013
The Giants expect lines to the stadium on May 5 to peak between 12:30pm and 1:00pm. As such, they are asking fans to arrive at Tokyo Dome as early as possible in order to avoid missing the start of the ceremony at 1:00pm.
Source: Nikkan Sports 4/30/2013
It appears plans for the ceremonial first pitch are taking shape: Matsui will throw the pitch, Tatsunori Hara will catch, Nagashima will stand in the batter's box, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be the home plate umpire.
Tickets to the game on May 5 are being auctioned off for fairly large profit: 5,900 yen S seat tickets were auctioned off for 150,000 yen (pair); 2,000 yen OF seat tickets for 45,000 yen (pair); 6,500 yen excite seats for 130,000 yen (pair).
Source: Sponichi 5/1/2013
Toshiya Sugiuchi shifted himself about twenty centimeters closer to the third base side on the pitching rubber on Tuesday night against Chunichi to make it easier to attack the inside corners against right-handed hitters -- he usually stays toward the edge of the rubber on the first base side, but was throwing more from the center.
Sugiuchi recorded his twentieth shutout on Tuesday and joined Masahiro Yamamoto (Chunichi, thirty) and Daisuke Miura (Yokohama, twenty-two) as the only active pitchers in the NPB with twenty or more shutouts.
Source: Sponichi 5/1/2013
A Hiroshima Carp fan caught Shinnosuke Abe's 300th home run on April 21. The fan turned down Giants' stuff for the ball, but did accept a trade for an autographed Shota Dobayashi (Hiroshima) baseball.
Source: Sanspo 5/1/2013
by Gen on May.01, 2013 @ 2:53 pm, under MLB
Tags: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Full, Hideki Matsui, Hiroki Kuroda, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Ichiro Suzuki, Junichi Tazawa, Kensuke Tanaka, Munenori Kawasaki, Norichika Aoki, Tsuyoshi Wada, Yoshinori Tateyama, Yu Darvish
From April 30:
|Norichika Aoki||MIL||PIT 8 @ MIL 12||RF||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||.250||Batted lead-off. F8, L8, G4, G6, 1B5 (SB).|
|Hiroyuki Nakajima||OAK||DL||Did some base-running and batting practice on Tuesday. Is scheduled to play in an extended spring training game on May 1. [Daily Sports 5/1/2013]|
|Munenori Kawasaki||TOR||BOS 7 @ TOR 9||SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.220||Entered the game at short in the top of the 7th. Committed a throwing error in the top of the 7th. Grounded out to second in his at bat in the bottom of the 8th.|
|Ichiro Suzuki||NYY||HOU 4 @ NYY 7||LF/RF||5||2||3||0||0||1||1||.268||Batted second. 1B5, Ks (reaches on WP, SB, R), 1B5 (R), F9, 1B9. Moved from left to right in the top of the 8th. First three-hit game of the year.|
|Kensuke Tanaka||SF||SRC 10 @ FRE 2||2B||5||0||1||0||0||1||.387||Batted lead-off. G3, 1B8, F2, Ks, F7. Extended hitting streak to eight games.|
|Yu Darvish||TEX||CWS 6 @ TEX 10||108-64||28||6.0||7||4||4||3||9||1||2.33||Left the game with Texas up 10-4. (W, 5-1).|
|Hisashi Iwakuma||SEA||DNP||Next start: May 5 vs Toronto.|
|Hiroki Kuroda||NYY||HOU 4 @ NYY 7||108-71||28||7.0||4||0||0||4||8||0||2.25||Left the game with New York up 4-0. (W, 4-1).|
|Daisuke Matsuzaka||CLE||DNP||Placed on 7-day DL with abdominal strain, retro to the 29th. [Cleveland Indians Twitter, Nikkan Sports 5/1/2013]|
|Yoshinori Tateyama||TEX||RRE 2 @ IOW 7||19-12||6||1.0||2||1||1||1||0||0||5.06||Entered the game in the bottom of the 8th with Round Rock down 6-2. (IBB, 1).|
|Junichi Tazawa||BOS||BOS 7 @ TOR 9||24-13||5||1.0||1||2||2||1||2||1||2.84||Entered the game in the bottom of the 7th with Boston up 7-6. (BS, 2; L, 2-1).|
|Tsuyoshi Wada||BAL||DL||Extended spring training game on Monday: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 SO. [Sponichi 5/1/2013]|
The New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles will send scouts to check tonight's game between the Nippon Ham Fighters and Rakuten Eagles at Kleenex Stadium.
Source: Sponichi 5/1/2013
A reader from NY (thanks Jonathan) dropped me a link to a Bleacher Report article about Hideki Matsui Day at Yankee Stadium on July 28.
Mizuno announced today that they will release commemorative Hideki Matsui merchandise. The following three items are now available for pre-order:
Premium Replica Set - 262,500 yen [link]
Set includes a glove (2012 model), a pair of cleats (2012 model), bat (2009 model), display case, autographed plate
Replica Bat Set - 210,000 yen [link]
Three bats: 1993 model (Aodamo, Japanese Ash), 2002 model (Aodamo, Japanese Ash), 2009 model (Maple), display case
Commemorative Retirement T-shirt - 3,000 yen [link]
Three size: M, L, O
Mizuno will accept pre-orders through to May 24. Items will be shipped out later this year (Premium Set in late October, Bat Set in late September, T-Shirts in late June).
Source: press release
There are some that are wondering why the government decided to give Hideki Matsui and Shigeo Nagashima the People's Honor Award when there are other players that may be just as, if not more, deserving. Among the reasons why the two were selected: Matsui won a World Series MVP and Matsui and Nagashima have a strong teacher/student bond.
Prime Minister first considered Matsui for the award on December 29, a day after the former Giant/Yankee announced his retirement. Nagashima may have made it into the picture because the government did not want to give the award to another person posthumously, like it did with sumo wrestler Taiho Koki.
- The number fifty-five: Matsui wore the number, it is the number of years since Nagashima first turned pro, and Matsui's retirement ceremony will take place on May 5. May 5 is also Children's Day in Japan.
- Advance tickets to the game on May 5 first went on sale March 30. The retirement ceremony announcement was made at around 1:00pm on Monday. Ticket sales jumped and by 8:00pm there were only a few tickets left.
- Prime Minister Abe grew up a Yakult fan and did not care much for Yomiuri.
- Two other baseball players have been given the award: Sadaharu Oh (1977) and Sachio Kinugasa (1987). Ichiro Suzuki was considered in 2001 and 2004, but he declined both times. Other players like Katsuya Nomura, Isao Harimoto, and Hideo Nomo will be considered in the future.
Nippon TV has exclusive rights to sell a Hideki Matsui commemorative retirement stamp collection.
The collection includes twenty stamps (ten NPB and ten MLB), ten post cards (five NPB and five MLB), and a special holder. You can view better images of the collection at the official site.
The set costs 5,500 yen and can be purchased from the Nippon TV online store.
Takahiro Matsuka continues his workouts in the US in hopes of finding a US team to play for this year.
Source: Nikkan Sports 2/6/2013
According to Daily Sports, the New York Mets do not have any plans to sit down with Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Source: Daily Sports 2/6/2013
Koji Uehara left for the US on Tuesday. Before leaving, he spoke to reporters and said, "It would be great if I could throw a slider. I have been trying one out since last year. If I can get it to work, then I will use it during the season."
He also said, "I spoke to [Junichi Tazawa]. If you ask me, I would like to see him start. He is still young and I think he can do it. As for me [starting], I would throw seventy pitches and then require ten days of rest, which would be impossible."
Source: Nikkan Sports 2/6/2013
Hideki Matsui reportedly turned down an invite by the Yankees to be a guest instructor during spring training because his wife is pregnant.
Orix Bank announced that Ichiro Suzuki will be appearing in their TV commercials for the Kanto/Kansai regions. Ichiro has been appearing in various advertisements for Orix Group since 2011. This will be his first TV spot for Orix Bank.
Source: Daily Sports 2/6/2013
Koji Uehara tossed his first bullpen of the year on Thursday: fifty-five pitches. After workouts, he spoke to reporters and said that he threw fifty-five pitches in hopes of Hideki Matsui making a comeback. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/25/2013
The Seattle Mariners are apparently looking into Daisuke Matsuzaka. Source: Sponichi 1/25/2013
The Japan Times is featuring an open letter from Arn Tellem on Hideki Matsui. Here is a snip:
He replied the next day. Over the next few weeks we corresponded about the ancient verities that were important to Matsui: honor, respect, humility. I promised that, if hired, I would uphold Matsui's standards and treat him like a member of my family.
Toward the end of that November I learned through the Japanese media that Matsui had chosen me to be his agent.
During my 32 years in the business, that was the first — and so far only — time I've been hired by an athlete whom I had yet to meet.
Bay Area News Group's John Hickey has posted an article about Bob Melvin's expectations of Hiroyuki Nakajima.
A's manager Bob Melvin believes new shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima will have a somewhat easier path to big league success than outfielder Yoenis Cespedes did last year.
Like Cespedes last season, Nakajima will be jumping into a new world once the A's convene spring training workouts in Phoenix on Feb. 12. But because Nakajima signed with the A's in December, the Japanese import should have plenty of time to prepare for his first big-league season.
Former Yomiuri Giant Keisuke Saito (22) will be participating in the Texas Winter League. Saito was drafted in the third round in 2009 out of Chiba Keizai University High School. He was senryokugai'ed by the Giants after the 2012 season. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/24/2013