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[2/3/2014] Seibu Lions News and Notes

by on Feb.04, 2014 @ 5:56 am, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

February 3

  • Michael Bowden - about fifty pitches
  • Ken Togame - threw to standing catcher; second session in as many days

Source: Sanspo 2/3/2014

February 2

  • Greg Reynolds - forty pitches to squatting catcher; including cutter and sinker; Ginjiro Sumitani caught the session

Source: Daily Sports 2/3/2014


1st round draft pick Tomoya Mori was too tired to sign autographs after his first day of spring camp, but did spend some time with fans after his second day on Sunday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/3/2014


2nd round draft pick Hotaka Yamakawa ended workouts early on Sunday because of pain in his left knee.  He apparently experienced similar pain once before when he was in junior high.  He may have been okay to continue his workouts, but the trainers decided to play it safe and cut his day short.

Players are being asked to run about four kilometers a day during spring camp.  At 107 kilograms, Yamakawa's left knee might be struggling with the strain from all the running.

Source: Tokyo Sports 2/3/2014

Yamakawa ended workouts early again on Monday.  He was examined at a hospital and diagnosed with inflammation in his left knee.  He will be sent to Ni-gun camp for rehab.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/3/2014, Sanspo 2/3/2014


Haruki Ihara hit easy grounders during fielding practice on Sunday.  He later asked reporters to tell Yokohama Manager Kiyoshi Nakahata that coaches should not go crazy during fielding practice until after players have had a chance to strength their legs and backs.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/3/2014

Ihara hit grounders during fielding practice for the first time since 2009.

Source: Daily Sports 2/3/2014


Senior Director Hisanobu Watanabe was a Hiroshima camp in Nichinan on Monday.

Source: Daily Sports 2/3/2014


Two team officials, Noriaki Iida and Haruhiko Suzuki, were given stern warnings for not keeping a closer eye on Makoto Aiuchi.  Aiuchi is a minor and was  recently punished after the organization received an anonymous tip that he was drinking and smoking in public.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/3/2014

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[1/22/2014] Seibu Lions: Makoto Aiuchi suspended for underage smoking and drinking

by on Jan.22, 2014 @ 4:52 pm, under NPB
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The Seibu Lions held a press conference at their offices in Tokorozawa today to announce that they suspended nineteen-year-old pitcher Makoto Aiuchi for underage smoking and drinking.  The suspension will last for six months.  His punishment will also likely include a strict curfew and a ban from wearing the team uniform.  He is scheduled to attend spring camp, but will likely be assigned to separate workouts with the Ni-gun players.

According to Nikkan Sports, the Lions received an anonymous tip about Aiuchi having a drink via their website on the 14th.  When team officials asked the nineteen-year-old about the reported incident, he said it was true and added that he drank alcohol on a number of different occasions with friends in Tokyo in November and December last year.  He also admitted to smoking.

This is not the first time Aiuchi has run into problems.   He was caught driving without an appropriate license and speeding after he was drafted by Seibu in 2012.  His probation, set by the Kisarazu Family Court, ended on September 2 last year.

Source: Sponichi 1/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 1/22/2014, Daily Sports 1/22/2014, Sports Hochi 1/22/2014

[UPDATE 1/24 @ 3:18pm]

Aiuchi worked out at Seibu 2 Stadium on Thursday.  He also spoke to the media and issued an apology to fans for letting them down.

Source: Daily Sports 1/24/2014

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Seibu Lions agree to terms with 2nd round draft pick Makoto Aiuchi

by on Mar.10, 2013 @ 3:46 pm, under NPB
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The Seibu Lions announced today that they agreed to terms with 2nd round draft pick Makoto Aiuchi.  His contract is worth an estimated 6.3 million yen and also includes a seventy million yen signing bonus.  He has been assigned the number seventy-one.

Aiuchi almost missed out on his opportunity to play for Seibu when he was caught speeding and driving without a proper license in December last year.  But he accepted his punishment and team officials decided to give him a chance because they felt he paid his dues and learned from his mistake.  The team is also committed to helping Aiuchi grow into a responsible adult.

Source: official announcement, Nikkan Sports 3/10/2013


UPDATE 3/11 @ 11:30am - Aiuchi had originally agreed to a seven million yen salary, but it was adjusted to 6.3 million, based on the time he missed.  He was also originally assigned the number forty-one, which used to be Hisanobu Watanabe's number.  Koji Akiyama wore the number seventy-one when he first broke into the pros.

Source: Sanspo 3/11/2013

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JHBF issues stern warning to 2nd round draft pick Makoto Aiuchi

by on Dec.12, 2012 @ 11:57 pm, under High School, NPB
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Seibu Lions' 2nd round draft pick Makoto Aiuchi received a stern warning from the Japan High School Baseball Federation (JHBF) after he was caught driving without a license and speeding on the 4th.  Contract negotiations with the Lions have been put on hold.  Aiuchi is currently serving out a suspension issued by his high school.  Source: Nikkan Sports 12/12/2012

Hisanobu Watanabe spoke to reporters on Tuesday and said he ultimately wanted to see the student sign with the Lions.  Source: Sponichi 12/12/2012

See also:

A high school player drafted by the Seibu Lions gets caught driving without a license

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A high school player drafted by the Seibu Lions gets caught driving without a license

by on Dec.07, 2012 @ 11:26 pm, under High School, NPB
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The media learned today that an eighteen-year-old high school player was arrested by Chiba highway police for driving without license and speeding.  The high school player attends a private school in Chiba and was drafted by the Seibu Lions drafted in October.

According to the high school, the student and a friend went for drive to Tokyo on night of the 3rd.  The friend drove the distance to Tokyo and switched places with the student for the ride back on the 4th.  Chiba Police stopped the student at around 12:40am because he was going 109 kilometers in an 80 kilometer zone -- he was driving on the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line (highway) heading toward Kisarazu, Chiba.  Police later found out that he was also driving without a license (he did have a temporary license).

The high school reported the incident to the Japan High School Baseball Federation.  An indefinite suspension was issued, effective the 6th.  The Seibu Lions announced today that the student will not be attending their 2012 draft class press conference on the 13th.  The Lions will sit down with the student before deciding whether or not to void their contract.

Incidentally, Daily Sports notes that the student is 2nd round draft pick Makoto Aiuchi (probably not too hard to tell based on all the other information).

Source: Sanpso 12/7/2012, Sanspo 12/7/2012, Nikkan Sports 12/7/2012, Sponichi 12/7/2012, Daily Sports 12/7/2012


UPDATE 12/9 @ 1:18am - Some updates:

  • According to Seibu scout Toshio Maeda, Auichi was in tears when he met him on the night of the 4th.
  • Aiuchi is currently serving a "suspension" at the high school manager's house.
  • The Lions have not signed a formal contract with Auichi yet.  Their talks are currently on hold and could even be canceled.
  • Aiuchi wrote a four-hundred letter apology that spanned three pages.
  • Aiuchi's high school manager: "He grew up in a difficult environment...  This is really too bad.  I am disappointed.  He is holding onto the sliver of hope that he will be given another chance."

Source: Sponichi 12/8/2012, Sponichi 12/8/2012, Daily Sports 12/8/2012

UPDATE 12/11 @ 8:51pm - An update:

The Lions will most likely wait to make a decision on Aiuchi until some time in January because they feel it is not their time to step forward yet and because they feel he should spend the rest of the year thinking about what he did.  The organization is also interested in seeing how he handles the punishment from the legal system and from his high school.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/11/2012

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