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[9/17/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Michihiro Ogasawara officially announces his decision to retire

by on Sep.17, 2015 @ 8:45 pm, under NPB
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Michihiro Ogasawara held a press confernce in Nagoya today and announced his decision to retire after the season.

A few notes taken from various sources:

  • His passion for the game will never go away.
  • His decided to retire because he started noticing gaps between how he perceived himself as a player and how things really were. Retirement has been in the back of his mind the last few years.
  • He had a feeling that this might be his last year when he signed with Chunichi as a free agent. He felt if he was ever sent down to Ni-gun, for whatever reason, it might be time to retire. He thought about retiring when he was taken off the active roster in July after getting hurt.
  • He hurt his left hamstring in July.
  • He never felt like he reached his limit while playing, but did notice changes in his body, like not be able to run as well. He also felt like he could no longer push himself quite as hard when injured.
  • He made the decision to retire on his own. He told his family once his mind was made up. They were supportive, but may have also wanted to see him play some more.
  • He told the manager of his decision to retire and dropped hints to teammates. He plans to talk to his teammates on September 18.
  • He feels his ten years with the Fighters was about learning and developing as a player. His seven years with the Giants were about showing what he learned and how he developed. His two years with the Dragons was about doing things he wanted to do.
  • There is no one stat he takes pride in. He does take pride in the cheers he received, right up until the end.
  • Most memorable moment: he could not pick one specific event because everything that happened during his career helped him become the player he is. However, he does remember his first home run (July 7, 1998).

Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 9/17/2015, Sports Hochi 9/17/2015, Sports Hochi 9/17/2015, Sports Hochi 9/17/2015, Sports Hochi 9/17/2015, Sports Hochi 9/17/2015, Sports Hochi 9/17/2015

[UPDATE 9/21 @ 6:44pm]

The Dragons held a retirement ceremony for Ogasawara during their Yomiuri game on September 21. He got the start at first, batted fifth, and went 1-for-3 (Ks, 1B6, F7). His two daughters and Yoshinobu Takahashi presented him with flowers after his last at bat in the 7th inning. After the game, players from both teams tossed him into the air five times.

Source: official announcementNikkan Sports 9/21/2015, Sponichi 9/21/2015, Sports Hochi 9/21/2015

[UPDATE 9/22 @ 6:30pm]

Ogasawara was taken off the active roster on September 22.

[UPDATE 10/3 @ 5:41pm]

The Dragons announced on October 3 that they added Ogasawara to their staff as Ni-gun manager.

Source: official announcement (continue reading...)

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[11/26/2013] Chunichi Dragons to sign Michihiro Ogasawara to a one-year deal

by on Nov.26, 2013 @ 11:37 am, under NPB
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According to a number of reports, the Chunichi Dragons will sign forty-year-old Michihiro Ogasawara to a one-year deal worth an estimated thirty million yen.  A press conference is scheduled for 1:00pm today.

Daily Sports mentions that Hiromitsu Ochiai met the free agent in Tokyo on the 18th.  Ogasawara was not concerned about money, so much as he was about playing time.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2013, Sponichi 11/26/2013, Daily Sports 11/26/2013

===

UPDATE @ 2:49pm -

The Dragons held a press conference for Ogasawarain Nagoya earlier today.  He was assigned the number thirty-six -- made up of two numbers (three and six) Hiromitsu Ochiai wore during his career.

When asked about his facial hair, he replied, "I can do as I please, so I will grow it out when I feel like growing it out."

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/26/2013

UPDATE @ 4:50pm -

The Dragons have posted an announcement of the signing.  They have included photos and quotes from the press conference.

Source: official announcement

[11/18/2013] FA Rumors: Kataoka, Nakata, Ogasawara, Otake, Tsuruoka, Wakui, Yamazaki

by on Nov.19, 2013 @ 2:41 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

The Hawks may have offered Kenichi Nakata a four-year deal at 500 million yen plus, Kan Otake a four-year at a maximum 700 million yen, and may offer Shinya Tsuruoka a three- to four-year deal.

Since no other teams are rumored to be interested in Tsuruoka, primarily because everyone know he wants to play close to home, there is a chance he signs a deal on the same day he meets the Hawks for the first time on the 19th.

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles met Kan Otake at a hotel in Hiroshima on Monday.  They may have offered the free agent a multi-year deal.  Team president Yozo Tachibana told reporters their offer may not have been as high as other teams and that they had to rely on their enthusiasm.

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

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Yasuyuki Kataoka met the Eagles at a hotel in Tokyo on Sunday. He may have been offered a four-year deal at around 500 million yen.

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

Or three years at over 450 million yen.  If Kataoka signs with the team, Senichi Hoshino plans to make him an everyday player.

The icebreaker: the Eagles prepared cola and ice coffee for negotiations.  Kataoka was drinking the ice coffee and his class was beginning to run low.  Chief scout Hiroshi Abei accidentally poured cola into the glass and helped ease the tension.

Source: Sponichi 11/18/2013, Sponichi 11/18/2013, Sponichi 11/18/2013

Or three years at a maximum 500 million yen.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/18/2013

Or three years at over 500 million yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

Negotiations took place at a hotel operated by Seibu Holdings.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/18/2013

Tokyo Sports notes that the Eagles might have a good shot at signing Kataoka because of his rumored relationship with Fuji TV announcer Ayako Kato.  While the relationship was initially said to be good for the Yomiuri Giants because Kato does not want to leave the Kanto region, the connections team president Yozo Tachibana and manager Senichi Hoshino have with members of the media and various talento could tip the scales in favor of the Eagles.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/18/2013

Sanspo points out that the Eagles may have a difficult time signing Kataoka because they already have Kazuo Matsui and Kazuya Fujita at second and short.  Kataoka wants playing time and might have an easier go at securing an everyday position with one of the other teams teams that are interested in him (Yomiuri, Chunichi, and Orix).

Source: Sanspo 11/18/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

The Marines announced on Monday that they will meet Hideaki Wakui in Tokyo on Tuesday. Team president Iekuni Nakamura and team director Nobuhira Hayashi are expected to attend.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

The Marines could offer Wakui a four-year deal at 440 million yen plus incentives.

Source: Sponichi 11/18/2013

Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes met Katsuki Yamazaki in Fukuoka on Monday.  Orix likely offered the free agent catcher a multi-year deal.

Yamazaki told reporters after negotiations that he received a good offer and that he felt positive about the way things went.

Orix is also planning to meet Yasuyuki Kataoka.

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013, Sports Hochi 11/18/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

===

The Buffaloes may be preparing to offer Kataoka a three-year deal, similar to what the Eagles may have offered.

Source: Sponichi 11/18/2013

Hanshin Tigers

The Tigers met Kenichi Nakata on Sunday. Their meeting took place at a Chinese food restaurant and lasted about ninety minutes. Nakata appeared fairly happy with negotiations and told reporters their offer was very good (said to include the number eighteen and a four-year deal at 500 million yen plus).

Source: Daily Sports 11/18/2013

Or four years at about 600 million yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

Or four years at 700 million yen.  The Hawks' offer may have been four years at 500 million yen with 200 million yen in incentives.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/18/2013

Or four years at a maximum one billion yen.

Things that could help the Tigers: fourteen players and coaches are from the Kyushu area and could help Nakata make a smooth transition to living in Kansai; the team hospital for the pitching staff is located in Fukuoka.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/18/2013

According to Sponichi, while the Hawks may have offered a four-year deal worth a maximum one billion yen, a large part is tied up in incentives.  The yearly base salary the Tigers may have offered (four years at 600 million yen), may not be too far from Softbank's base figure.

Source: Sponichi 11/18/2013

GM Katsuhiro Nakamura told reporters he felt it was fifty-fifty with Nakata.

Source: Sanspo 11/18/2013

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants are said to be interested in free agents Kan Otake, Kenichi Nakata, and Yasuyuki Kataoka.  However, they may be stalling a bit because they are already looking ahead at the list of possible free agents from next year and are trying to figure out just how much they should spend this winter.  All three players are being courted by teams with fairly deep pockets and the Giants may not want to overspend this year and miss out on some of the names that could hit the free agent market next year.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/18/2013

===

Michihiro Ogasawara has still not received any phone calls from teams interested in signing him.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2013

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[11/16/2013] FA Rumors: Kataoka, Kubo, Nakata, Ogasawara, Otake, Wakui, Yamazaki

by on Nov.16, 2013 @ 11:36 pm, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes could go after Katsuki Yamazaki and Yasuyuki Kataoka with the money they no longer need to spend on Dae-Ho Lee.

Source: Sponichi 11/16/2013

Softbank Hawks

The Hawks met Kan Otake at a hotel in Hiroshima today.  Team officials Kazuo Ogawa and Itaru Kobayashi represented Softbank.  The meeting lasted about ninety minutes over lunch.

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2013

===

Kenichi Nakata on his discussions with the Hawks

I could feel how much they wanted me to join them.  They think highly of me.  They told me that they needed me.  I feel like they are too good for me.  They offered me a very solid deal I could be happy with.

They said I should return to Fukuoka.  That left a strong impression on me.

I think I will continue to struggle with this decision.  I need to figure out where I want to pitch.  I want to go to the team I feel the strongest connection with.

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2013

The Hawks may have offered Nakata a four-year deal worth 600 million yen.  Team officials Kazuo Ogawa and Itaru Kobayashi were at the meeting that took place at a restaurant on the 31st floor of a hotel in Nagoya.

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2013

They may have offered a four-year deal worth 700 million yen (500 million base with up to 200 million in incentives).  The meeting took place at a French restaurant.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/16/2013, Sports Hochi 11/16/2013 

Or possibly four years at a max one billion yen.  The Hawks are also willing to re-assign uniform numbers so that he can continue to wear the number twenty.

Source: Sponichi 11/16/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/16/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

There is a good chance the Marines will sit down with Hideaki Wakui on the 19th.

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2013

They could offer Wakui a two-year deal over 600 million yen.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/16/2013

Or two years at 440 million yen plus incentives.

Source: Sponichi 11/16/2013

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles might offer Yasuyuki Kataoka a three-year worth over 450 million yen.

Source: Sponichi 11/16/2013

===

The Eagles are scheduled to meet with Kataoka in Tokyo on the 17th and Kan Otake in Hiroshima on the 18th.

Source: Sponichi 11/16/2013

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows are hoping they still have a shot with Kenichi Nakata.  The free agent met Softbank on Friday and will meet with Hanshin on Sunday.  Yakult will most likely meet him some time on or after the 20th.

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

GM Shigeru Takada will be the main contact in negotiations with Yasutomo Kubo.  Takada is expected to reach out to the free agent some time early next week (on or after the 18th).

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2013

Chunichi Dragons

Why are the Dragons interested in Michihiro Ogasawara?  Tokyo Sports tries to guess.

Possible reason #1: Hiromitsu Ochiai and Ogasawara became close back when they both players for Nippon Ham.  Ochiai wanted to sign Ogasawara when he hit the free agent market after the 2006 season.  However, the owner told him the team could not afford to sign both Ogasawara and Tyrone Woods.  The organization was split.  Ochiai ultimately went with Woods and has felt bad ever since.

Possible reason #2: The team currently has sixty-three people on the seventy-man roster.  If they want to maintain their ability to have Ikusei players, they will need sixty-five players on the active roster by the end of November.  The Dragons are planning to re-sign Kenshin Kawakami and could also sign Takahito Kudo.  If Kenichi Nakata decides to leave, they will need a third player.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/16/2013

===

According to Tokyo Sports, some in the Chunichi organization feel Nakata will choose the Hanshin Tigers for three reasons: better chance to win a spot in the starting rotation with Hanshin than Softbank because the Tigers really need arms while the Hawks have a number of alternatives; he likes to hit; he like to travel on the Shinkansen, does not really like planes.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/16/2013

The Tigers are worried that Nakata might end up staying with the Dragons because Hiromitsu Ochiai can be persuasive when necessary.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/16/2013

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants will begin meeting free agents on or after the 18th.  They are said to be interested in Kenichi Nakata, Kan Otake, and Yasuyuki Kataoka.

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2013

===

The Giants might offer Kataoka the number eight to show him how much respect they have for him as a player.  While Tatsunori Hara is not expected to attend any of the negotiations at this point in time, a letter from the former number eight and current manager of the Giants could be presented to the free agent during a meeting.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2013

===

The Giants have heard that the Softbank Hawks might offer Otake a four-year deal worth around one billion yen.  That is more than they thought he would sign for.  The Giants are also interested in Jason Standridge, but they have heard the Hawks are also planning to offer him a multi-year deal.

Source: ZakZak 11/16/2013

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See also:

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[11/15/2013] FA Rumors: Kataoka, Nakata, Ogasawara, Otake, Tsuruoka, Wakui, Yamazaki

by on Nov.15, 2013 @ 11:54 pm, under NPB
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Kenichi Nakata on becoming a free agent: "I would like to sit down with different kinds of teams.  There will, no doubt, be a lot to think about, but there is more to look forward to than to be worried about.  I think I will play for the team that makes me want to play for them."

Source: Daily Sports 11/15/2013

Nakata threw about ninety pitches in the bullpen at Nagoya Stadium on Thursday.

Source: Sponichi 11/15/2013

===

Kan Otake is not sure how many teams will contact him, but he plans to sit down with each and every one.

Source: Sponichi 11/15/2013

=======

Orix Buffaloes

Team director Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Thursday they were interested in all free agent players.  However, they may be particularly interested in Yamazaki -- he can provide Hikaru Ito with some friendly competition.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/15/2013

Softbank Hawks

The Hawks met Nakata at a hotel in Nagoya today.  Their meeting lasted about ninety minutes.  They may have offered the free agent a three- to four-year deal.

"They said a lot of good things about me.  Their offer was based on performance. ... I was more interested in things like the environment and what it is like living in Fukuoka, than the terms of the deal," Nakata said about his discussions with the Hawks.

He also said that the Hanshin Tigers contacted him today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/15/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/15/2013

The Hawks are scheduled to meet Okate in Hiroshima on Saturday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/15/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

The Marines could offer Wakui a two year deal worth 600 million yen.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/15/2013

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles are scheduled to meet Kataoka on the 17th.

Source: Sponichi 11/15/2013

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows are planning to move quickly on Nakata and may have given him a call today.

Source: Sponichi 11/15/2013

Nakata is likely the only free agent player the Swallows are targeting this winter.

Source: Sanspo 11/15/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars may have given Kubo a phone call today to let him know of their interest.  Actual negotiations will likely begin some time after GM Shigeru Takada returns from Amami Oshima on the 17th.

The Bay Stars could offer Kubo a two-year deal worth an estimated maximum 300 million yen.  The Hanshin Tigers are thinking about raising their initial offer to keep the pitcher from leaving.

Source: Sponichi 11/15/2013, Sponichi 11/15/2013

Yokohama would like to sign at least one of the four pitchers on the free agent market.  They have their eye on Kubo and Nakata.

Source: Sanspo 11/15/2013

Chunichi Dragons

The Dragons only plan to release information about negotiations with free agents once terms are finalized.

Source: Sponichi 11/15/2013

They are said to be interested in Kataoka, Yamazaki, and Ogasawara.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/15/2013

Hanshin Tigers

The Tigers could go four years with Nakata because they will probably lose two starters (Jason Standridge and Yasutomo Kubo) this winter.

Source: Daily Sports 11/15/2013Daily Sports 11/15/2013

The Tigers will try to woo Nakata with a multi-year deal, a spot in the starting rotation, and the uniform number seventeen (unless there is another number he wants).  Softbank, Yakult, Yomiuri, and Orix are also said to be interested.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/15/2013

The Tigers could offer Nakata the number eighteen.  Softbank, Yomiuri, Yakult, and Yokohama are reportedly interested.

Source: Sanspo 11/15/2013

The Tigers have reportedly given up on Tsuruoka because they learned he wants to play closer to home.  They are scheduled to meet Nakata in Nagoya on the 17th.

Source: Sponichi 11/15/2013

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants are reportedly interested in Nakata, Otake, and Kataoka.  Tatsunori Hara is prepared to help the team with negotiations.

Source: Daily Sports 11/15/2013

=======

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[11/12/2013] Rumors: Yasuyuki Kataoka, Michihiro Ogasawara, Kan Otake, Katsuki Yamazaki

by on Nov.13, 2013 @ 12:59 am, under NPB
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Yasuyuki Kataoka

Michihiro Ogasawara

  • The Chunichi Dragons are interested in Ogasawara, but may also be concerned about what the fans will say, especially after they let Hirokazu Ibata walk.  The fans have so far been fairly quiet, but that could change if they decide to sign a player that was basically senryokugai'ed by the Yomiuri Giants. [Tokyo Sports 11/12/2013]

Kan Otake

Katsuki Yamazaki

  • Team director Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Tuesday the organization was interested in Yamazaki. [Sponichi 11/12/2013]
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[11/11/2013] Rumors: Kenichi Nakata, Michihiro Ogasawara, Shinya Tsuruoka

by on Nov.12, 2013 @ 2:22 am, under NPB
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Kenichi Nakata - Class C Free Agent
Shinya Tsuruoka - Class B Free Agent

  • According to Sanspo, the Tigers have narrowed down their targets to Nakata and Tsuruoka.  The coaching staff has asked the front office for one or two more starters.  Nakata is the most appealing because he is a class C free agent and will not require any compensation to sign.  A number of other teams, including Softbank and Yakult, are also expected to approach Nakata.  The Tigers were also considering Softbank's Katsuki Yamazaki, but are more interested in Tsuruoka for his experience, which also includes working with Yu Darvish. [Sanspo 11/11/2013]

Michihiro Ogasawara - Class C Free Agent

  • The Yomiuri Giants thought about releasing Ogasawara, but felt that was not the appropriate way for an established and well-liked veteran to depart from the team.  They were open to trading him, but he ultimately opted for free agency instead. [Daily Sports 11/11/2013]
  • The Chunichi Dragons are interested in Ogasawara and could offer him a deal worth about twenty million yen (down from the seventy million he made this past season). [Daily Sports 11/11/2013]
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[11/10/2013] Rumors: Kataoka, Wakui (SEI), Ogasawara (YOM)

by on Nov.11, 2013 @ 2:47 am, under NPB
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Yasuyuki Kataoka

  • The Orix Buffaloes could make a run at Kataoka.  Second base is a position they would like to upgrade, but they are still in the process of considering all their options.  If Munenori Kawasaki decides to return to Japan next year, he could also be an option. [Sponichi 11/10/2013]

Michihiro Ogasawara

  • Ogasawara told reporters on Sunday that he plans to exercise his FA option. [Daily Sports 11/10/2013]
  • "I will become a free agent.  I have been speaking to the team since September and with considerations from the organization, I arrived at my decision a few days ago.  I want one more chance and decided to try with a new team," Ogasawara said. [Nikkan Sports 11/10/2013]

Hideaki Wakui

  • Wakui told reporters on Saturday that he plans to sit down with every team that is interested in him before he decides where to go. [Sponichi 11/10/2013]
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Yomiuri Giants Clutch Hero Award for June: Michihiro Ogasawara

by on Jul.10, 2013 @ 1:52 am, under NPB
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The Yomiuri Giants Clutch Hero Award for June goes to Michihiro Ogasawara (determined by fan balloting).

June 5, vs Nippon Ham: with the score tied at one in the bottom of the 11th with runners on second and third and no out, Ogasawara hit a walk-off three-run home run.  The Giants won the game 4-1.  [official announcement - box score]

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Yomiuri Giants News and Notes: February 19, 2013

by on Feb.19, 2013 @ 11:43 pm, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

Today

  • Yuki Koyama: bullpen, 201 pitches
  • Ryuya Matsumoto: bullpen, thirty-three pitches

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013, Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

===

Ryosuke Miyaguni is scheduled to start an exhibition game against Hiroshima on the 23rd.

Source: Daily Sports 2/19/2013

===

Michihiro Ogasawara spent time in the weight room today.  He suffered a laceration on his left index finger on Sunday that required fifteen stitches.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/19/2013

===

1st round draft pick Tomoyuki Sugano is scheduled to start an exhibition game against Rakuten at Okinawa Cellular on the 24th.  After that, on six days of rest, starts against Softbank at Tokyo Dome on March 3 and Hanshin at Koshien on March 10.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2013

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