The Chunichi Dragons held a press conference for Takeshi Yamasaki at Nagoya Dome today. Yamasaki signed a one-game contract that will be effective for his retirement game on Friday. He has been assigned the number twenty-two.
Source: official announcement
Sanspo has posted portions of Yamasaki's interaction with the media during the press conference.
Yamasaki: It makes me greatly happy for a chance to take the field at Nagoya Dome for one last time. This will be my last day in the sun. I hope to enjoy it.
Media: How were contract negotiations?
Yamasaki: Just like a normal player, I used my stamp to seal the deal. There were times during my twenty-seven-year career when I stamped contracts even though I wasn't satisfied, but I was satisfied this time.
Team Representative Kazuo Nishiyama: We will have Yamasaki play for us for one day. He will be paid on a pro-rated basis, according to the Baseball Agreement.
Media: What will your day be like tomorrow (March 21)?
Yamasaki: I will speak to Motonobu Tanishige tomorrow about how he plans to use me. I would like at least one at bat, if possible.
Media: What would you like to do for the fans?
Yamasaki: I have always swung the bat hard so I would like to take big cuts in front of everyone.
Media: Kenshin Kawakami was re-signed to a contract, did you think that might happen...
Yamasaki: Even if they offered, I would turn them down. The Dragons are now led by Tanishige and there are a lot of new guys coming up. I want to see them create a new Dragons team. I would also like to do my part as a former player by creating some excitement. Even if I wanted [to return], my body wouldn't let me.
Media: What are your thoughts on the current state of the the Dragons right now?
Yamasaki: I predict them to finish in second. There is one really good team [in the Central League]. The other five all have a shot at finishing in the top three. The Dragons have a track-record and know how to win. Those kinds of things sink into players and become a strength. Weak teams don't have that. Rakuten won it all last year and there was a lot of celebrating. I hope Chunichi can win it this year and bring those celebrations to Central Japan.
Source: Sanspo 3/20/2014
According to Tokyo Sports, Yamasaki's one-game salary might be based on a contract worth 4.4 million yen. Pro-rated, he might get paid anywhere from 10,000 yen to 30,000 yen (closer to the lower number if he agreed to just March 21, closer to the high number if he agreed to March 20 and 21). The one-game contract is an NPB first and might pave the way for additional cases in the future. Additionally, the previous front office reportedly promised to hold a retirement game for Yamasaki during the exhibition game season.
Source: Tokyo Sports 3/20/2014