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[10/3/2014] Hanshin Tigers: Tomoyuki Kubota, Takeshi Hidaka announce retirement

by on Oct.03, 2014 @ 11:46 pm, under NPB
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Takeshi Hidaka (37) and Tomoyuki Kubota (33) held press conferences at the team offices in Nishinomiya earlier today to announce their retirements.

Hidaka told reporters during his press conference that he felt it was time to quit because he felt he was no longer capable of being a productive Ichi-gun player.

If you're going to be a professional player, then you should be good enough to play at the Ichi-gun level. I only made it to Ichi-gun [once this year] and I thought maybe I wasn't good enough anymore, that my time had come.

Hidaka also said he had not regrets over his nineteen-year career and considered himself lucky.

Kubota felt it was time for him to step away from the game because he was no longer consistent. He also mentioned his elbow giving him problems.

I haven't done very well the last few years and I've been back and forth between Ichi-gun and Ni-gun. I had surgery in early spring and was working on coming back from that. But my elbow hasn't been feeling well. I decided it would difficult for me to continue play in my current condition.

In looking back over his career, he fondly remembered his time as part of the JFK trio.

Jeff [Williams], Kyuji [Fujikawa], and I were known as JFK and everyone learned about us. I was happy. Thank you for all the warm support over the last twelve years.

Source: official announcement (Hidaka), Nikkan Sports 10/3/2014, Daily Sports 10/3/2014, Sponichi 10/3/2014, official announcement (Kubota), Nikkan Sports 10/3/2014, Daily Sports 10/3/2014, Sponichi 10/3/2014

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[1/12/2014] Hanshin Tigers News and Notes

by on Jan.12, 2014 @ 11:48 pm, under NPB
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2nd round draft pick Shintaro Yokota finished a 3,000 meter run today with the best time at twelve minutes and twenty seconds.  1st round draft pick Yuta Iwasada finished in third with a time of twelve minutes and fifty-six seconds.

Source: Daily Sports 1/12/2014

Twenty players participated in today's 3,000 meter run.  Fumiya Hojo ran the course in thirteen minutes and thirteen seconds and finished in fifth.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/12/2014Nikkan Sports 1/12/2014


Shintaro Fujinami has managed to reach ninety kilograms for the first time in his career.  One year ago, he weighed eighty-six kilograms.

Source: Daily Sports 1/12/2014


Ryoma Matsuda tossed twenty pitches to a standing catcher on Saturday.  It was his first session at Naruohama.

"I think the seventh inning is best for Matsuda.  There are things to consider, like match-ups against left-handed hitters, but I would like to go right (seventh inning), left (eighth inning), right (ninth inning).  Matsuda reminds me of when [Kyuji] Fujikawa hit his stride.  That is what I am imaging and it would be nice if that is how things work out," pitching coach Kiyooki Nakanishi said.


Takeshi Hidaka might end up becoming a bat off the bench because the team has a lot of other options at catcher.

Source: Sanspo 1/12/2014


It seems as though Gratii celebrations will continue this year, according to a report by Sanspo.  There may be conditions though, like only doing the celebrations when the go-ahead run scores or on walk-off.  Performances could be banned in games where the team has a big lead, or is losing.

Source: Sanpso 1/12/2014

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[8/20/2013] Injury Updates: Kawakami (CHU), Balentien (YAK), Hidaka, Uemoto (HAN), Nakamura (SEI), Falkenborg (SOF), Nishino (LOT)

by on Aug.20, 2013 @ 8:26 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Kenshin Kawakami (right shoulder) is ready for Ichi-gun.  He will get his first start of the year on the 22nd against Hiroshia at Nagoya Dome.  This could be a make or break game for the veteran.

"This is not about expectations, but rather about whether or not he can still play.  Everything is on the line.  If he does poorly, he probably will not get another chance," said Morimichi Takagi.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/20/2013, Sponichi 8/20/2013

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows are a little concerned about Wladimir Balentien's left ankle (tweaked it during a game against Hanshin on the 18th) and will likely keep a close eye on it.  He did make it into the starting line-up against Yomiuri tonight.

Source: Sanpso 8/20/2013

Hanshin Tigers

There is a chance Takeshi Hidaka (left hamstring) and Hiroki Uemoto (left ankle) could rejoin the Ichi-gun team in time for the Chunichi series that begins on the 23rd.

Source: Sanspo 8/20/2013

Seibu Lions

Takeya Nakamura's return to the active roster has been delayed after he missed a rehab Ni-gun game on the 18th with discomfort in his left shoulder.

Source: Daily Sports 8/20/2013

Softbank Hawks

Brian Falkenborg (tightness in neck and back) is expected to join the Ichi-gun team on Wednesday.  Whether or not he will be added back to the active roster is not yet known and will depend on how he is feeling and whether or not the team needs him right away.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/20/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Yuji Nishino (right shoulder) is currently scheduled to face Masahiro Tanaka during his next start on the 23rd.  Nishino was taken off the active roster on the 10th.  He rejoined the Ichi-gun team for workouts on Monday and was cleared for a return.

Takuya Furuya was originally penciled in for the start.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/20/2013, Sponichi 8/20/2013

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[8/3/2013] Injury Updates: Luna (CHU), Yoshinori (YAK), Hidaka, Fukudome, Uemoto (HAN), S. Takeda (SOF)

by on Aug.03, 2013 @ 8:18 am, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Hector Luna (left knee) played in a Ni-gun rehab game against Yomiuri on Friday.  He started at third and batted third.  He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

Source: Sponichi 8/3/2013

Yakult Swallows

Yoshinori Sato (right shoulder) started playing catch on Friday -- ten minutes at a distance of twenty meters.  It was the first time he played catch in about four months.  The distances will be expanded at five meter intervals moving forward.  His goal is to be at 100% for spring camp next year.

Source: Sanspo 8/2/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Takeshi Hidaka (left hamstring) took outdoor batting practice at Narouhama on Friday for the first time since he got hurt.  There is no more internal bleeding or swelling.  He is slated to begin workouts as a catcher in the bullpen within the next couple of days.

Source: Sanspo 8/3/2013


Kosuke Fukudome visited a hospital on Thursday for a regular check-up on his left knee and was told he was making good progress.  He will slowly increase his rehab workload and will attempt to play in his first Ni-gun rehab game on the 6th against Softbank at Naruohama.

Source: Sanspo 8/2/2013

On Friday, Fukudome took about an hour of batting practice.  He will take situational batting practice today.

Hiroki Uemoto (left ankle) is also scheduled to participate in situational batting practice today.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/3/2013

Softbank Hawks

Shota Takeda (cramp in right calf during last start on July 31) should be ok to make his next start on the 7th against Lotte at YafuOku Dome.

Source: Sanspo 8/1/2013

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[7/7/2013] Injury Updates: Abe (YOM), Luna (CHU), Hidaka (HAN), Nakamura (SEI), LaHair (SOF)

by on Jul.07, 2013 @ 11:51 pm, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Shinnosuke Abe (right side) is expected to return to the starting line-up some time this coming week.

Source: Sponichi 7/7/2013

Chunichi Dragons

Hector Luna was already having problems with his knee when he grounded out to third in the 2nd inning of Saturday's game against the Yakult Swallows.

"I thought things would only get worse if I kept playing. ... It started hurting about a month ago, but I played through it.  This is because I am playing on artificial turf, something the US does not have a lot of. ... Hopefully I will be ok to return in Naha [on the 9th against Hanshin]," said Luna.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/7/2013, Sports Hochi 7/7/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Takeshi Hidaka was taken off the active roster today with an injury to his left quadriceps muscle.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/7/2013

Seibu Lions

Takeya Nakamura (left knee surgery) took some fielding practice in the infield at Seibu 2 Stadium today.  He took grounders at third and made throws to first.  He also made some running throws.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/7/2013

Softbank Hawks

Bryan LaHair did not participate in pre-game practices and did not play in today's game against the Rakuten Eagles.  He was on the list of players available to play tonight, but was not in the dugout during the game because he was getting treated at a hospital.  He was reportedly out with food poisoning.

Source: Sponichi 7/7/2013, Nikkan Sports 7/7/2013

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Nikkan Sports: Hanshin Tigers add Takeshi Hidaka

by on Nov.27, 2012 @ 4:33 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers added thirty-five-year-old catcher Takeshi Hidaka to their roster today.  They held a press conference for him at a hotel in Osaka.  He has been assigned the number thirty-seven.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/27/2012


UPDATE @ 9:51pm - Hidaka signed a two-year deal worth an estimated 100M yen.  Source: Sponichi 11/27/2012

Sponichi has posted a portion of the interview during his press conference:

What are your thoughts on joining Hanshin?

I still do not really feel it, but I will prepare myself for [spring] camp.  I can not wait to wear the same uniform as everyone else and play baseball.

On Orix...

Seventeen years is a long time.  I am full of appreciation.  They helped me learn and grow.

You will now have to compete for a starting job.

That goes without saying.  I think everyone is a rival.

What do you plan to do [in order to win the job]?

I need to become the every day player.  I want to show them what I am capable of on offense and defense.

Your impression of Hanshin pitchers.

I have faced them during Western League (Ni-gun) games, so I know most of them.  They seem to have a good group of pitchers.  I want to catch them as soon as possible and open the lines of communication.

Source: Sponichi 11/27/2012

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Hayato Terahara, Takeshi Hidaka inform Orix they will not return in 2013

by on Nov.23, 2012 @ 12:36 pm, under NPB
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Hayato Terahara (29) and Takeshi Hidaka (35) met with the Orix Buffaloes today and informed them of their desire to leave the organization to play for other teams.  Terahara is expected to sign with the Softbank Hawks, Hidaka with the Hanshin Tigers.

According to Daily Sports, Terahara's meeting with the Buffaloes lasted about twenty-five minutes, Hidaka's twenty minutes.

Terahara is a class B free agent, which means the Buffaloes will have the option of either receiving money or money plus a player as compensation.  Nikkan Sports notes that Orix is looking for a left-handed DH and could be interested in veteran Nobuhiko Matsunaka (38).


Hidaka - Daily Sports 11/23/2012, Daily Sports 11/23/2012, Sponichi 11/23/2012

Terahara - Daily Sports 11/23/2012, Sponichi 11/23/2012, Nikkan Sports 11/23/2012

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Takeshi Hidaka expected to sign with the Hanshin Tigers

by on Nov.19, 2012 @ 10:01 pm, under NPB
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According to a syndicated report, a number of industry sources have let on that Takeshi Hidaka is planning to join the Hanshin Tigers.  Hidaka himself spoke to reporters today and said, "Even though [a decision] has been reached, I will wait until after I have heard Orix's offer."

Hidaka is scheduled to meet with Orix on the 23rd.

Source: Sponichi 11/19/2012

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Free Agent News and Notes: November 5, 2012

by on Nov.05, 2012 @ 11:24 pm, under NPB
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Takeshi Hidaka and Hayato Terahara submitted paperwork to the Orix Buffaloes to exercise their options.  Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2012

The Tigers could offer Hidaka a two-year deal.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012

The Hawks are interested in Terahara.  Source: Sponichi 11/5/2012


Toshiaki Imae (LOT) has not yet decided what he wants to do with his domestic FA option.  He is expected to make a decision soon.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012


Kenta Asakura (CHU) has not yet decided.  Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 11/5/2012


There may be a gap in between what the Keiichi Hirano wants and what the Hanshin Tigers are willing to give.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012


Kyuji Fujikawa (HAN) is in Los Angeles.  His rep in Japan is expected to submit the necessary international FA option paperwork.  The Angels, Rangers, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks are among teams that are said to be interested in Fujikawa.  Source: Sanspo 11/5/2012, Sponichi 11/5/2012


Shinjiro Hiyama (international), Yuya Ando (domestic), and Ryo Asai (domestic) will not be exercising their FA options and will remain with the Hanshin Tigers.  Source: Sponichi 11/5/2012

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Takeshi Hidaka (Orix) planning to exercise FA option, Hanshin Tigers interested

by on Nov.02, 2012 @ 8:35 am, under NPB
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Thirty-five-year-old catcher Takeshi Hidaka (Orix) is planning to exercise his FA option.  If he does, the Hanshin Tigers will get involved because they feel they need another catcher.

Hidaka informed the Buffaloes of his intentions on October 31.  While Orix will do what it can to convince him to stay, they also want to respect his desires.

Since Hidaka is a type C free agent, the team that signs him will not have to worry about losing money or a player.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/2/2012


UPDATE @ 4:09pm - The Tigers were also interested in thirty-five-year-old Kohei Oda (Chunichi, has domestic option), but decided to shift their focus to Hidaka.  Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 11/2/2012

UPDATE @ 9:23pm - Sanspo, Nikkan Sports, and Sponichi have filed reports about Hidaka's plans to exercise his FA option.

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