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[9/30/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Masahiro Yamamoto holds press conference to announce retirement

by on Sep.30, 2015 @ 9:09 pm, under NPB
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Masahiro Yamamoto held a press conference in Nagoya earlier today and once again announced that he was going to retire at the end of the season.

A few notes from various sources:

  • His decision has not yet fully sunken in, but he feels somewhat relieved because it was a big decision.
  • He met general manager Hiromitsu Ochiai in early September and was told to figure out what he wanted to do. He thought things through for about a month. He feels he made a good decision.
  • He has been asked about not being able to break the world record for oldest pitcher to win a game. The way he sees it, retirement would not be a question if the record was not hanging in the balance. He does not think he should continue pitching just to break the record.
  • He had a really hard time with his decision to retire. He knew the team had to undergo changes after three consecutive B-class finishes and did not want to get in the way of that, but he also wanted to win another game. He had the chance to do it this year, but failed. He knew he had to draw the line somewhere and decided this would be his last year.
  • He thinks his career really started when he spent some time in the Dodgers organization in 1988 and worked with Akihiro "Ike" Ikuhara.
  • There are times he feels satisfied with his career, and other times he wishes he could have kept going a little longer. There were a lot of things he wishes he could have done over his career, but he has no regrets because he feels he always tried his best.
  • He wishes he could have been in the dugout when the team won the Nippon Series in 2007.
  • He feels lucky because he was able to play baseball with the same kind of feelings he had from childhood until he turned fifty.
  • He thinks his best years may have been 1993 and 1994, based on how strong he felt and how well his body moved. In terms of skill, he feels he might be at his best right now.
  • He would like to take the mound one more time, even if it is to face just one batter.
  • "It feels like I just woke up from a long dream. It's a shame. Maybe I should go back to sleep. I don't know how many people have wanted to become a baseball player, but I was allowed to play for the longest. My career was like a miracle. I may have had the happiest career in baseball."
  • Memorable moment: the no-hitter he threw on September 16, 2006.
  • He is interested in coaching, but he feels he has a lot to learn outside of just knowing how to throw the ball.
  • He plans to work as a baseball commentator after he retires. He also wants to get back into RC racing.

Source: official announcement, Sponichi 9/30/2015, Daily Sports 9/30/2015, Nikkan Sports 9/30/2015, The Page 9/30/2015

See also: [9/26/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Masahiro Yamamoto to retire after the season

Yamamoto joined Ichi-gun practices at Nagoya Dome on September 30. He might get the chance to pitch in the two-game Hiroshima series that begins on October 1.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/30/2015

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[9/26/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Masahiro Yamamoto to retire after the season

by on Sep.26, 2015 @ 10:00 am, under NPB
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According to numerous reports this morning, fifty-year-old Masahiro Yamamoto has decided to retire after the season. Yamamoto met team owner Bungo Shirai at the Chunichi Shimbun offices in Nagoya for about an hour on September 25. The two discussed the veterans decision to retire and his possible future with the team as coach in the future. The Dragons are planning to hold a retirement ceremony during an exhibition game next year.

Yamamoto posted the following note to his personal website on September 25:

I have decided to take my uniform off [for the last time] after the season. I was struggling with my decision after getting hurt during an outing in August, but when I attended the final home game of the season yesterday, I saw with my own eyes, a Dragons team that was trying to get younger, and that's when I strongly felt that I should not stay. General manager [Hiromitsu] Ochiai told me it was up to me, but this was not about continuing or retiring. I now understand this to be about making this decision for myself because no one was going to tell me to retire. I am disappointed that I could not meet your expectations for breaking [Jamie] Moyer's MLB record for oldest player to record a win, or for pitching after turning fifty, but I made the decision and I now feel relieved. I informed owner Bungo Shirai today. I have not provided a lot of updates lately, but for everyone that has followed this site since it opened eighteen years ago, I posted this because I wanted to give you the early heads up. Without support from you, the fans, I never would have made it thirty-two years. I am grateful, that is all I can say. I don't think I could have had a better career, even if I had to do it over again. With regards to how I came to this decision, I might give it to you in an essay [update]. Thank you for being with me all these years.

Source: Daily Sports 9/26/2015, Daily Sports 9/26/2015, Daily Sports 9/26/2015, Nikkan Sports 9/26/2015, Nikkan Sports 9/26/2015, Sports Hochi 9/26/2015

[9/5/2014] Chunichi Dragons: Masahiro Yamamoto sets a number of NPB age records

by on Sep.05, 2014 @ 10:59 pm, under NPB
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Masahiro Yamamoto made his first start of the year at Nagoya Dome tonight against the Hanshin Tigers and picked up a win. At forty-nine years and zero months, he set a number of age-related records.

  • Appearance (as pitcher) - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on November 5, 1950
  • Start (as a pitcher) - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on  November 5, 1950
  • Win (as a starter) - previously held by Yamamoto, forty-eight years and zero months, set on August 28, 2013
  • Win (general) - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and four months, set on May 7, 1950
  • Strikeout (giving end) - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months
  • Plate appearance

Source: NHK 9/5/2014, Daily Sports 9/5/2014, Sports Hochi 9/5/2014

Nikkan Sports posted his post-game hero interview:

This is your thirty-first year and at forty-nine years and twenty-five days, you became the oldest player in NPB history to record a victory. How do you feel?

I am very grateful to everyone.

Is there anyone in particular you'd like to say something to?

The farm system staff helped me get here. My family also provided support. I am grateful.

You got through a jam in the 1st inning.

I threw the ball not wanting to give the game away. I thought things might work out if I could hold them to one run, but I ended up doing alright [and got out of the inning without allowing any runs]. I've thrown off that mound a lot so I just did my best while keeping my cool. [Atsushi] Fujii picked up a hit at a really nice time and that went a long way.

You were going to set the record with a victory this year.

It's been tough, but I feel lucky being able to stand here now, like this.

What keeps you going?

I'm not really sure, but it isn't over yet, I still want to keep going. I'm stubborn, so I kept at it with hope. I wanted to do my best if given the opportunity. I'm glad, but it almost seems too good to be true.

Let me ask again, what keeps you going?

Maybe it's because I'm stubborn.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/5/2014

[UPDATE 9/6 @ 4:45pm]

Nikkan Sports has provided a slightly better list of record Yamamoto set on Friday:


  • Appearance - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on November 5, 1950


  • Game played, general - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on November 5, 1950
  • Game played, starter - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on November 5, 1950
  • Win, general - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and four months, set on May 7, 1950
  • Win, starter - previously held by Yamamoto, forty-eight years and zero months, set on August 28, 2013
  • Strikeout - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on November 5, 1950
  • Hit allowed - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on November 5, 1950
  • Walk - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on November 5, 1950


  • Plate appearance - previously held by Shinji Hamazaki, forty-eight years and ten months, set on November 5, 1950

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/6/2014

[2/5/2014] Chunichi Dragons News and Notes

by on Feb.06, 2014 @ 12:53 am, under NPB
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Name Type Date NP Notes
Masahiro Yamamoto Bullpen 2/5 40 Five to a squatting catcher partway through; first session during camp.  Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014, Sponichi 2/5/2014


General Manager Hiromitsu Ochiai stopped to give Masahiro Araki some advice during soft-toss batting practice on Wednesday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014


Hector Luna took some fielding practice at third and first on Wednesday.  Michihiro Ogasawara also spent some time at first as well.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014


Masahiro Yamamoto told reporters on Tuesday that he wanted to face live batters before the end of camp, perhaps some time after the 20th.  He also said that he wanted to prepare by throwing about 1,200 pitches.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014


Kenshin Kawakami complained of minor tightness in his back and was given the day off on Wednesday as a precaution.  He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014


Ni-gun manager Takahiro Saeki ended workouts after the morning session on Tuesday to give players a bit of a break.  Ni-gun camp is in the middle of a nine-day workweek.  Workouts have been starting at 8:30am and ending at 8:30pm (includes early and late sessions).

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014, Sponichi 2/5/2014


Samurai Japan Hiroki Kokubo visited Chatan camp on Wednesday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/5/2014

[2/1/2014] Chunichi Dragons News and Notes

by on Feb.02, 2014 @ 2:52 am, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

February 1

  • Yudai Ono - 170 pitches

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014


Ni-gun players arrived at Ichi-gun's Chatan Stadium at 9:00am for group photos and opening ceremonies.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014


Hector Luna celebrated his thirty-four birthday on Saturday.  The media presented him with a cake.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014


Hiromitsu Ochiai was at the first day of spring camp on Saturday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014


Leandro Mella's nickname is camello, or camel in Spanish.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014


Masahiro Yamamoto is planning to toss more breaking pitches this year.  He usually does not begin tossing breaking pitches during bullpen sessions until he has thrown about 800 fastballs.  His reason: he is no longer confident about stamina and believes breaking pitches will allow him to conserve some energy.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014


Kyushu Regional Scout Takafumi Watanabe died on Saturday, in a hospital in Kurume, Fukuoka, of acute leukemia.  He was fifty-seven.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/1/2014

[1/15/2014] Chunichi Dragons News and Notes

by on Jan.16, 2014 @ 1:43 am, under NPB
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About forty players, including the 2013 draft class, participated in workouts at Nagoya Stadium on Wednesday.  Workouts at Nagoya Stadium will run through to the 25th.  Many players will then head to Okinawa on the 26th for final preparations before the start of spring camp on February 1.

Source: Sports Hochi 1/15/2014


Yohei Oshima's wife gave birth to the couple's third child, a girl weighing 2,676 grams, at a hospital in Nagoya on Tuesday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/204


Masahiro Yamamoto worked out at World Wing in Tottori on Tuesday.  His wife joined him.  The two wore matching pink t-shirts.

Source: Sports Hochi 1/15/2014

Yamamoto is working on a new breaking pitch that does not have a lot of movement.

Source: ZakZak 1/15/2014

Yamamoto's wife is something of an athlete herself.  When she was a student, she liked to surf and belonged to her school's track and field team.  She also participated in the last two Nagoya Women's Marathons and finished with her best time of four hours, eight minutes, and fifty-three seconds last year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/15/2014


Takuya Asao has had right shoulder problems the last couple of seasons.  There are some that are worried he does not know when to slow things down and fear he might seriously injury himself.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/15/2014


According to Tokyo Sports, some people in the organization were disappointed that not one member of the 2013 draft class used the Nagoya Stadium facilities on their day off on Tuesday.  Some also thought it was okay not to push the players too hard out of concern for injury while others felt that working out in public was not the only way for players to keep themselves in shape and that some might be doing exercises in the privacy of their own rooms.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/15/2014

[5/16/2013] Injury Updates: Yamamoto (CHU), Tanaka (YAK), Sekimoto (HAN), Duckworth (RAK)

by on May.16, 2013 @ 10:42 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Masahiro Yamamoto was taken off the active roster today with a bruise on his left shin -- he took a batted ball off his left leg during his start against Nippon Ham on Wednesday.  The injury is not considered serious.  There were already plans to give him an extended rest.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/16/2013, Sports Hochi 5/16/2013

Yakult Swallows

Masahiko Tanaka has decided not to go under the knife after suffering a fracture in his left collarbone during a game against Hanshin on the 12th.  He will likely require two to three months for a full recovery.

Source: Sanspo 5/16/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Kentaro Sekimoto was taken off the active roster today with pain in his left calf.  He reportedly suffered the injury during a game on the 12th.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/16/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Brandon Duckworth hurt his left hamstring during his start against Yokohama on Wednesday and was taken off the active roster today.  The injury does not appear to be severe.

Source: Sponichi 5/16/2013

Chunichi Dragons: Masahiro Yamamoto taken off active roster with hamstring tightness

by on Apr.15, 2013 @ 11:48 pm, under NPB
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Masahiro Yamamoto was taken off the active roster today with tightness in his left hamstring.  Yamamoto started feeling discomfort in his hamstring while running dashes during pre-game workouts on Sunday.  It does not appear to be serious.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/15/2013


In other team news:

Hirokazu Ibata took an HBP near his left ankle in the 1st inning of Sunday's game against Hiroshima.  He remained in the game, came around to score on Kazuhiro Wada's double to left, received some treatment in between innings, and later hit a two-run double to right in the 4th.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/15/2013


Morimichi Takagi did not hold a post-game press conference on Sunday for the first time this year.

Source: Sponichi 4/15/2013

The fans were starting to get to Takagi on Sunday -- staff had to keep him in check when a fan heckled him after the game.  He also was not very responsive during his LIVE post-game TV interview.

Source: Sanspo 4/15/2013Nikkan Sports 4/15/2013

Chunichi Dragons News and Notes: March 21, 2013

by on Mar.22, 2013 @ 1:12 am, under NPB
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Masahiro Yamamoto could make his first regular season start during the second series of the year (vs Chuichi at Kyocera Dome, April 2-4).

Source: Daily Sports 3/21/2013


Morimichi Takagi is thinking about batting Hirokazu Ibata fifth.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/21/2013


Takagi wants a little more power out of the clean-up spot and could bat Hector Luna three and Kazuhiro Wada four.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/21/2013


Kazuki Yoshimi is scheduled to throw about 100 pitches in his last tune-up start before the regular season (Friday against Lotte at Nagoya Dome).

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/21/2013


Takehiro Donoue and Kohei Oda joined the Ichi-gun team for practices on Thursday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/21/2013


The Dragons and Nagoya will be working closer together this year.

  • The Nagoya Dome-mae Yada Station will begin playing the Chunichi cheer song on days Ichi-gun home games are scheduled.  Nagoy, Sakae, and Kanayama Stations will make announcements on days there are games.
  • The team will visit more elementary schools this year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/21/2013

Chunichi Dragons News and Notes: February 27, 2013

by on Feb.27, 2013 @ 11:47 pm, under NPB
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Morimichi Takagi was planning to give Hector Luna a look at third base during today's practice game against SK (KBO), but the game was rained out.

Source: Sports Hochi 2/27/2013


Masahiro Yamamoto faced six batters during situational batting practice on Tuesday.  He threw thirty-one pitches and allowed two could-be hits.  He broke Kazuhiro Wada's bat with a shuto.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/27/2013


Takuya Asao will have his right shoulder re-evaluated on March 4.  Until then, he will continue to play catch as the team keeps a close eye on his progress.  If the inflammation is gone, he will move on to the next step (long distance throwing).

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/27/2013


Brad Bergesen had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance from the team hotel on Tuesday because he could not stand up on his own.  He was later diagnosed with gastroenteritis.

Source: Sanspo 2/27/2013

Matt Clark and Ni-gun pitching coach Michitake Takahashi also came down with gastroenteritis and rested at the team hotel on Tuesday.

There have now been four cases of gastroenteritis during spring camp.  The team is worried and is planning to look into possible related causes.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/27/2013

Bergesen and Clark were back at practice today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/27/2013, Sanspo 2/27/2013


The following twenty-four position players are still at Ichi-gun:

Catchers (4): Motonobu Tanishige, Akihiro Maeda, Masato Matsui, Daisuke Tanaka

Infielders (13): Hector Luna, Naomichi Donoue, Masahiro Araki, Hirokazu Ibata, Takeshi Yamasaki, Masahiko Morino, Shuhei Takahashi, Tetsuya Tani, Kyohei Iwasaki, Tatsuro Iwasaki, Ryoji Nakata, Nobumasa Fukuda, Matt Clark

Outfielders (7): Atsushi Fujii, Kazuhiro Wada, Yohei Oshima, Kei Nomoto, Ryosuke Hirata, Victor Diaz, Yusuke Matsui

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/27/2013