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[1/9/2014] Yoshinori Tateyama, Yu Darvish, Hideo Nomo

by on Jan.09, 2014 @ 9:05 pm, under MLB
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Yoshinori Tateyama signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees.  From the Scranton Times Tribune:

... The New York Yankees signed right-handers Bruce Billings and Yoshinori Tateyama to minor-league contracts, providing extra arms for a pitching staff likely to be overhauled from a disappointing 2013 season.

... The side-arming right-hander joined the team last May after being released by Texas and developed into one of the most reliable members of the RailRiders' stout bullpen. In 29 games, he went 2-2 with a 1.70 ERA and the league hit just .248 against him.

Source: Scranton Times Tribune 1/9/2014


Yu Darvish will not be attending the Texas Rangers' awards dinner on January 24 because he wanted to focus on his training.  From a Texas Rangers' press release:

Pitcher Yu Darvish will be unable to attend the 2014 Dr Pepper Awards Dinner and Fan Fest presented by AT&T. Darvish issued the following statement today:

"I am honored to be the 2013 recipient of the Texas Rangers Pitcher of the Year Award. I would like to thank my teammates, the coaching staff, the front office, and most of all, the fans, for their support. Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to accept the award in person. At this time, my number one priority is preparing for the 2014 season and traveling roundtrip from Japan would be too difficult at this point in my training. I want to thank the fans for their understanding; you truly are the best fans in baseball. I am looking forward to the 2014 season and pursuing my ultimate goal: bringing a World Series Championship to Texas."

Source: Press Release 1/8/2014 via Nikkan Sports 1/9/2014


Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas were elected into Cooperstown.

Hideo Nomo received less than five percent of votes (six votes, 1.1 percent) and will be removed from future BBWAA ballots.

Source: official announcement

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[11/27/2013] Posting System, Tsuyoshi Wada, Hideo Nomo

by on Nov.27, 2013 @ 11:55 pm, under MLB, NPB
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Posting agreement discussions are ongoing -- the first day was on the 26th and will continue to the 27th.  NPB general secretary Atsushi Ihara told reporters that talks after the first day were between difficult and going well.  He also said he felt it would be best if current discussions in New York led to resolution.

Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2013, Nikkan Sport 11/27/2013

Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi also posted a few bits about what the MLB might be pushing.  A snip:

... With talks resuming this week, the MLB commissioner's office could choose to exercise its considerable leverage by negotiating the price point downward. If the figure was 50 percent in the last proposal, MLB can declare the negotiation a success if the Japanese club's take ultimately drops to 40 or 30 percent.

The union for Japanese players would like Tanaka -- and others -- to have the ability to choose among the top two or three bidders. Over time, though, the JPBPA has been reluctant to strike or take legal action in order to obtain that right.

"Striking is too traumatic -- they did it once -- and court takes too long," said Robert Whiting, an author and expert on Japanese baseball. MLB and NPB know this and can exploit the JPBPA's reluctance to use those forms of leverage.

Similarly, MLB has a better bargaining position than NPB. Clubs such as Rakuten know their superstar players are likely to sign with MLB clubs once they become international free agents. (For Tanaka, that would happen after two more seasons.) The posting system is a very lucrative way for NPB teams to be compensated for losing their superstars; the Japanese teams don’t want to lose that windfall.

Source: Fox Sports 11/20/2013


Tsuyoshi Wada is set on playing in the Majors next season and is not ready to return to Japan.  Daily Sports has heard that he has already turned away a number of NPB teams.

Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2013


Hideo Nomo has made it onto the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot.  He is the first Japanese player to make it onto the list.

Source: official announcement

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[8/8/2013] Norichika Aoki, Ichiro Suzuki, Gosuke Katoh, Junichi Tazawa

by on Aug.08, 2013 @ 3:44 pm, under MLB
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From August 7:


Player Tm Last Gm Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG Other
Norichika Aoki MIL 8/7 MIL 6
RF 5 0 1 2 0 0 2 .283 Batted second. G6, G1, F7, 1B8 (two RBI), G6 (force).
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 8/6 DNP                    
Hiroyuki Nakajima OAK 8/6 DNP                    
Hirotoshi Onaka TEX 8/4 DNP                    
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 8/7 NYY 5
RF 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 .278 Entered the game as a defensive replacement in right in the bottom of the 8th. 1B9, F8. He is now eleven away from 4,000 NPB + MLB hits.
Gosuke Katoh NYY 8/6 G1: GCLNYY1 3
2B 4 0 2 1 1 1   .359 Batted third. 2B9, F7, BB, 1B9 (RBI), Kl.
Kensuke Tanaka SF 8/6 DNP                    


Player Tm Last Gm Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Other
Yu Darvish TEX 8/6 DNP                     Next start: August 12 vs Astros.
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC 5/26 DNP                      
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 8/5 DNP                     Next start: August 10 vs Brewers.
Hiroki Kuroda NYY 8/6 DNP                      
Daisuke Matsuzaka CLE 8/3 DNP                     Next start: August 8 vs Louisville.
Toru Murata CLE 8/4 DNP                      
Hideki Okajima OAK 8/6 DNP                      
Hisanori Takahashi COL 8/3 DNP                      
Yoshinori Tateyama NYY 8/6 DNP                      
Junichi Tazawa BOS 8/7 BOS 7
17-12 6 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.77 Entered the game in the bottom of the 7th with Boston down 5-4. (W, 5-3).
Koji Uehara BOS 8/7 BOS 7
19-16 4 1.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 1.38 Entered the game in the bottom of the 9th with Boston up 7-5. (S, 11).
Tsuyoshi Wada BAL 8/6 DNP                      


Hideki Matsui spoke at an event in Osaka on Wednesday. Two-hundred fans and one-hundred junior high school students were in attendance.

Source: Sponichi 8/8/2013


August 10 will be Hideo Nomo Bobblehead day at Dodger Stadium. Nomo is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/8/2013


Alfonso Soriano recorded his 2,000th NPB (2) + MLB (1,998) hit on Wednesday -- two-run home run in the top of the 1st off Hector Santiago (CWS).


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12/5/2012: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Hideki Matsui, Hiroyuki Nakajima

by on Dec.05, 2012 @ 4:56 pm, under MLB
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Hyun-Jin Ryu could end up pitching in Japan, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez.  A snip:

"Japan is a very viable option for him," said Scott Boras, who disputed the notion that his client doesn't have any leverage in his negotiations with the Dodgers.

... Boras and the Dodgers appear to be far apart in how they think Ryu should be compensated.

... Boras wants Ryu to be paid comparably to a No. 3 major league starter, similar to how Daisuke Matsuzaka was when he signed with the Boston Red Sox before the 2007 season.

And from a separate Los Angeles Times' article by Hernandez:

The Dodgers offered a long-term contract to South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin on Tuesday that was promptly rejected, General Manager Ned Colletti said.

... Boras, said his client should be compensated like a major league No. 3 starter. So, presumably, he’s looking for something in the $50-million range.

... But the idea of Ryu moving to Japan appears far fetched.

It's uncertain exactly how such a move would be made. A South Korean player has never moved to Japan before becoming a free agent. Ryu is under the Eagles' control for two more seasons.

... There is no posting system between the Japanese and South Korean leagues.  Theoretically, a Japanese team interested in Ryu could pay the Eagles for his rights. But it's doubtful a Japanese club would pay anything close to $25.7 million if Ryu only wants a one-year contract. In that case, the Eagles would probably hold on to Ryu for another season and post him again next year.


The San Francisco Giants still have interested in Ichiro Suzuki.  From SFGate.com:

Bochy on Ichiro Suzuki: "He is a guy that we discussed last season, and of course he's been in our discussions at times this" offseason.


The Houston Astros' interest in Hideki Matsui, from the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith:

Porter and Luhnow are equally aware Houston needs a reliable bat. But the Astros' GM appeared to shoot down any real interest in Matsui after Porter brought Godzilla to the surface.

"It's one of many names," Luhnow said. "There's nothing specific that's been done on that."


The latest on Kyuji Fujikawa, from MLB.com's Carrie Muskat:

The Cubs are expected to complete the agreement with Japanese pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa on Friday. The right-hander has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $9.5 million contract, which includes vesting options valued at $5.5 million or $6 million, to be determined by games finished.

The deal has not been finalized, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum has watched video of Fujikawa and likes what he's seen.

"He can fill any kind of role, he has that kind of stuff," Sveum said. "Those numbers and that ability to do things with three, four different pitches just doesn't come around very often. He can set up, he can close. He can do anything he wants with a baseball. He has four quality pitches and can add and subtract with his fastball. He can pitch in the seventh, pitch in the eighth, pitch in the ninth. He can get left-handers out and pitch in any type of situation." 


The Oakland A's met with Hiroyuki Nakajima on Tuesday, according to Ken Rosenthal.


Takashi Saito would like to play in the Majors next season.  Japan has not been ruled out.  Source: Nikkan Sports 12/5/2012


The latest on Tsuyoshi Wada, from the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly:

On the health front, Showalter said he believes outfielder Nolan Reimold (neck surgery), Brian Matusz (hernia surgery) and Tsuyoshi Wada (Tommy John surgery) are all recuperating well. Showalter said he believes Wada, who had surgery May 11, could be available before most originally expected, though he wouldn't predict a date. It usually takes a year or more to recover from the surgery.


The Dodgers will hand out Hideo Nomo bobbleheads will be handed out to the first 50,000 fans on August 10.  Source: MLB.com 12/4/2012


UPDATE 12/6 @ 12:18am -

The Milwaukee Brewers may be interested in Hideki Okajima.  Source: Sponichi 12/5/2012


Japan is not an option for Hisanori Takahashi in 2013.  Source: Sponichi 12/5/2012


The Baltimore Orioles could be interested in Kensuke Tanaka (as a utility infielder).  Source: Sponichi 12/5/2012

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11/11/2011: Hideki Matsui, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hideo Nomo

by on Nov.11, 2011 @ 4:49 pm, under MLB
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Hideki Matsui attended Joe Torre's Safe At Home Foundation 9th Annual Gala on Thursday and later told reporters that there were no new developments on his end and that he figured it was going to take a while before something actually happened.


Hisashi Iwakuma's current trainer while working out at Physiotherapy Associates is Keith Wilson.  When Wilson was approached for comment by reporters, he said, "He's a quick learner and it only took him a couple days to improve his balance."


Via Nikkan Sports - Hideo Nomo is going to apparently help run Vero Beach Sports Village (Dodgertown).  A snip from an MiLB.com article:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball™ announced today the formation of a new entity to operate Vero Beach Sports Village (VBSV), formerly known as Dodgertown. In addition to MiLB, the participants include former Dodger president, Peter O'Malley, his sister, Terry Seidler, and former Dodger star pitchers, Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo.


"Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo provide insight from a player's perspective, as well as enormous credibility in Asia and the Pacific Rim. We believe this new partnership will enhance our ability to utilize the facility for local, domestic and international sports programs as we continue to attract an array of visitors," [said Pat O'Conner].


"Being a part of the group that will operate a facility that provides youths with resources they can use both on and off the field is extremely rewarding," Nomo said. "Those who come to the facility can improve not only as athletes through tournaments and training, but can also develop skills to help them mature into young men and women."

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Hiroshima Carp Spring Camp News and Notes: February 12, 2011

by on Feb.12, 2011 @ 2:44 pm, under NPB
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This post will be updated throughout the day.


Today's practice game against the Nippon Ham Fighters:

The Fighters beat the Carp, 10-5.

Takeru Imamura started the game and tossed two shutout innings while allowing 2 hits.  Imamura did struggle with his control over his fastball, but still managed to keep the Fighters at bay.


The media learned yesterday that Hideo Nomo was once again invited to be a special temporary pitching coach during spring camp.  He will be working with the team between 2/15 and 2/25.


Kyoshi Toyoda actually faced Chad Tracy, not Bryan Bullington, during BP yesterday.  Daily Sports had the wrong information.


Yuya Fukui (1st round) threw 21 pitches to a standing catcher in the bullpen yesterday.  It was his second session in as many days.

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General NPB News and Notes: December 11, 2010

by on Dec.11, 2010 @ 11:01 pm, under NPB
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The Kizuna-no Kai (a group of former baseball players that were all born in 1967) got together to hold a baseball clinic for kids at Nagoya Dome today.  30 members of the group attended the event, including Masumi Kuwata, Koji Noda, and Koji Otsuka, to coach 56 middle students over a 2 and a half hour period.

Kazuhiro Kiyohara could not attend due to a prior engagement.


The NPB Meikyukai will be holding a general meeting in Hawaii on the 15th (16th Japan time).  Hideo Nomo will be in attendance for the first time in his career.  Nomo made the Meikyukai when he recorded his 200th career victory in 2005.

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Japan still loves Hideo Nomo

by on Feb.27, 2010 @ 1:55 am, under Other

Hideo Nomo starting, ahem, pitching commercials for Fujitsu General last year.

He's back at it again this year with a new commercial that makes use of his forkball to illustrate the falling cost of your electricity bill if you switch to Fujitsu General norcia Z and S Series air conditioners.


The new commercial are set to air in Japan on the 27th.

You can also view the commercial online at the Fujitsu General website.

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Hideki Matsui, Hisanori Takahashi, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideo Nomo

by on Feb.15, 2010 @ 6:02 pm, under MLB
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Hideki Matsui took off for the US on Monday.  He told reporters he was looking forward to his first year with a new team.  He also said that other than his knees, his training in Japan went according to plan.  Matsui would like to remove knees from the equation little by little over the course of the upcoming season.  He also appeared to take a slight step back when asked about taking fielding practice, saying that it would depend on how he was feeling.

Matsui will spend a few days in NY before flying out to Arizona.


Hisanori Takahashi has already run into a few rough patches.  He wanted to practice on the 13th but had no one to practice with (he didn't realize that all minor league players and coaches had the day off on Sunday).  A training partner was apparently dispatched for him (1 out of over 10 people that were contacted by the team and agreed to help out).  Unfortunately for Takahashi, his training partner arrived 40 minutes late and was a 50-year-old man that wasn't in the greatest of shape.  It also happened to be much colder than he was expecting.

But Takahashi is taking things in stride and said that he knew there would be some tough times.  He was only able to throw about 38 pitches.

Takahashi was impressed with the training facilities though.


A day after complaining of tightness in his back, Daisuke Matsuzaka spent about 3 hours lifting weights on the 13th.  He told reporters afterward that everything is normal as usual.


Nikkan Sports makes mention of the following article at MLB.com highlighting the candidates for the 2014 Hall of Fame class:

Bauman: Hall class of 2014 crowded
Better a glut of candidates than a dearth of candidates for Cooperstown, but with the retirements of Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, an already strong class of candidates became even more competitive than expected. The eligible first-time candidates for 2014 also include Greg Maddux, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina.


It is too early to tell that, but what can be safely predicted is that there won't be immediate room for all five of these players in Cooperstown. And apart from these five, there will be other notable candidates on the ballot, such as Luis Gonzalez, Moises Alou and Hideo Nomo. The bywords for this election could become "maybe later," or more generously, "probably later."

Yes.  The reason why Nikkan Sports mentioned the article is because Nomo will also be on the ballot.

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NPB: Orix Buffaloes hire Hideo Nomo as Technical Advisor

by on Feb.03, 2009 @ 6:01 am, under NPB

Hideo Nomo has been hired on as a Technical Advisor for the Orix Buffaloes. The contract will expire in November.

Nomo intends to visit Miyakojima camp for a few days starting on the 5th and then again later this month during secondary camp in Kochi. He will also visit with the team a few times throughout the course of the season to provide whatever help he can.

In other news...

...During a WBC meeting held on the 2nd, it was mentioned by Tatsunori Hara that he might want to useg a player other than a pitcher to work mop-up innings. Ichiro Suzuki has offered to pitch if needed. "My shoulder is ready. By all means, if they need me, I want them to call on me," said Ichiro on the possibility of pitching.

Back when he was with the Orix, Ichiro did make a pitching appearance during the 1996 All-Star game. For those wondering, Ichiro was brought into the game in the 9th with 2 outs and Hideki Matsui coming to the plate. The fans were excited about the match-up, but Katsuya Nomura wouldn't have any of it and sent up a pinch-hitter. Ichiro ended up getting the final out on a grounder to short by Shingo Takatsu.

...Sanspo has images from Training Camp taken earlier today (2/3).

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