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[10/20/2015] Hanshin Tigers: Tomoaki Kanemoto’s press conference on October 19

by on Oct.20, 2015 @ 11:50 pm, under NPB
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The Tigers held a press conference in an Osaka hotel on October 19 to introduce Tomoaki Kanemoto as their new manager.

Various notes:

  • Twenty television cameras, thirty photographers, about 250 members of the media attended the press conference.
  • The press conference started at 4:30pm. Media registrations were scheduled to start at 3:30pm but began about fifteen minutes early because of the large turnout.
  • Over half the seats were filled about an hour before the start of the press conference.
  • Owner Shinya Sakai, president Nobuo Minami, and director Keiichiro Yotsufuji were also a part of the press conference.
  • He is both worried and hopeful. Hopeful in that he just wants to get in there and do it.
  • He started off being mostly worried and concerned. That changed to wanting to do something to help the team.
  • He decided to accept the offer because he could feel how passionate and determined the organization was to improve the team.
  • It took him time to make the decision because he was initially indifferent about the job. He also felt like he had nothing special to bring to the table.
  • He wants to put together a team fans can have fun watching and feel excited about. He wants a team where everyone (managers, coaches, players, staff, and the front office) is on the same page.
  • He wants to see low scoring games with players doing their best for each out, each play, each base.
  • He feels the team might be missing the motivation to play, the drive to win.
  • He knows rebuilding the team will take time, but he also wants to do his best to win as they rebuild. He does not want to feel like he has time to accomplish the task he was asked to do.
  • He believes practice and awareness will help the team improve -- players should not practice for the sake of practicing, but to improve aspects of their game.
  • He wants to help grow the next group of hitters with pop. He feels players like Taiga Egoshi, Shintaro Yokota, and Naomasa Yokawa have the potential. He seems to be particularly high on Egoshi (based on what he has seen so far).
  • He referred to Toshiyuki Mimura, Hiromitsu Ochiai and Tatsunori Hara when speaking about the kind of manager he wanted to become.
  • He was worried about his lack of coaching experience, but he also sees that lack as a potential positive: not knowing means he will not be fettered by preconceived notions.
  • He wants the coaches involved and everyone practicing toward a goal.
  • He wants passionate coaches that agree with his line of thinking. He wants coaches that are willing to do whatever it takes to help a players develop.
  • Next year's slogan could be "厳しく明るく," or "strict and cheerful."
  • He has not thought about what kind of players the team should sign to help. He would ideally like to work with the current group of players, but realizes that is not realistic.
  • He is planning to attend the 2015 Amateur Draft. If there is a drawing in the first round, he will be the one to select the ticket.
  • The two sides agreed to a three-year contract with an estimated yearly salary of 120 million yen. A number has not yet been assigned.
  • Owner Sakai promised, with help from all levels (staff, coaches, and front office members), to provide Kanemoto with whatever support he needed.

Source: official announcement, Sanspo 10/19/2015, Sanspo 10/19/2015 (questions/answers), Sponichi 10/20/2015 (questions/answers), Sponichi 10/20/2015 (questions/answers), Sports Hochi 10/19/2015, Sports Hochi 10/19/2015 (questions/answers), Sports Hochi 10/20/2015, Daily Sports 10/19/2015, Daily Sports 10/19/2015, Daily Sports 10/19/2015, Daily Sports 10/19/2015 (questions/answers), Daily Sports 10/20/2015, Daily Sports 10/20/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/19/2015, Nkkan Sports 10/20/2015, Tokyo Sports 10/19/2015

Other related updates:

  • Kanemoto is the thirty-third manager in franchise history.
  • Kanemoto could be assigned his old uniform number 6. Senichi Hoshino's old uniform number 77 could also be a possibility.
  • Kanemoto visited the clubhouse at Koshien on October 20 and met coaches and players. He also sat down with a number of players individually.
  • Kanemoto could have an economic impact of about 4.2 billion yen next year, assuming the team is competitive.
  • The Tigers are not going to expect results in the first two years.
  • The organization has been approached by a larger number of foreign players since news about Kanemoto broke.
  • The front office is planning to go over foreign player and free agent options with Kanemoto. Anything they might have decided before, will be "reset" until it has been cleared with the new manager.
  • The media learned on October 19 that president Nobuo Minami will be stepping down. Director Keiichiro Yotsufuji will most likely take over as the next president. Minami will mostly keep a spot in the organization as an adviser. The move should be effective November 1.
  • A number of names have been dropped by the media as possible coaching candidates to support Kanemoto: Atsushi Kataoka, Akihiro Yano, Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, and Teruyoshi Kuji.

Source: ZakZak 10/19/2015, Tokyo Sports 10/19/2015, Sponichi 10/19/2015, Sponichi 10/20/2015, Sponichi 10/20/2015, Chunichi Sports 10/20/2015, Sports Hochi 10/20/2015, Daily Sports 10/20/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/20/20154, Nikkan Sports 10/20/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/20/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/20/2015

[UPDATE 10/21 @ 4:05pm]

Public relations manager Yasuhiro Nakamura has been assigned to Kanemoto.

Source: Sanspo 10/20/2015

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[10/17/2015] Hanshin Tigers: Tomoaki Kanemoto accepts offer to become next manager

by on Oct.17, 2015 @ 9:54 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers announced earlier today that Tomoaki Kanemoto accepted their offer to become their next manager. Kanemoto contacted the organization some time after 5:00pm to inform them of his decision. The Tigers are planning to hold a press conference in the not so distant future.

Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 10/17/2015, Daily Sports 10/17/2015Nikkan Sports 10/17/2015, Sponichi 10/17/2015

[UPDATE 10/19 @ 12:46am]

The Tigers are scheduled to hold a press conference on October 19 to introduce Kanemoto as their new manager. The two sides may have agreed on either a three- or four-year deal.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2015

Police arrest man on suspicion of fraud; Kanemoto allegedly tricked into paying 18.8M yen

by on Oct.16, 2012 @ 9:17 pm, under NPB

Saitama Police's Investigations Division and the Asaka Police arrested forty-five-year-old Yoshimitsu Honda on suspicion of fraud.

According to police reports, Honda was introduced to Tomoaki Kanemoto by a common acquaintance in 2000 and became close enough to the point where they were dining together fairly frequently.  At one point, Honda told Kanemoto he had an idea to grow an agriculture business, but needed funds to get started.

Kanemoto wired 5.5M yen into Honda's account in December 2008 (funds to expand the business).  That was followed by another 6.2M in January 2009 (funds to help purchase farm land), and 7.1M yen in February 2009 (funds to purchase various farming equipment).

Honda did start an agricultural business in May 2009, but it was not involved in farm land purchases or creating produce.  He has reportedly told police that he said nothing to make ill-use of the agricultural business.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/16/2012, Sanspo 10/16/2012


[UPDATE 11/21 @ 1:45am]

Honda was re-arrested on Monday under suspicion of taking additional money Kanemoto.  According to the reports, he managed to trick the former Hanshin Tiger into paying him around 98M yen spread over seven installments between July and December of 2006.  Source: Sponichi 11/20/2012

[UPDATE 3/10/2013 @ 9:38pm]

Honda admitted at a hearing on Friday that he received over 500 million yen in funding from Kanemoto.  He also said that he was not planning to commit fraud -- they never talked about specifics on how the money would be used and most of the money was used to pay for business entertainment.  Source: Sanspo 3/8/2013, Sponichi 3/8/2013

[UPDATE 5/13/2013 @ 10:25pm]

Kanemoto was called to the stand as a witness today and testified that he wired close to 800 million yen into Honda's bank account between 2004 and 2009.  Of that amount, only eight million was returned.

"I treated Honda like he was a part of my family.  I thought everything would be ok no matter what happened. ... I think I was stupid. ... I was attracted to his offers because it would be money I could earn after retirement.  I also thought it might be a good place for others to find work after retirement. ... I thought he was a great friend, but he trampled all over that.  I want to see him punished to the full extent," said Kanemoto.

According to the indictment, Honda received a total 116.8 million yen spreed spread over ten payments between 2006 and 2009.

Source: Sponichi 5/31/2013

[UPDATE 9/7/2013 @ 2:10pm]

The closing arguments were made at the Saitama District Court on Friday.  Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year sentence.  The final ruling will be issued on October 28.  Source: Sponichi 9/7/2013

[UPDATE 10/29/2013 @ 4:10am]

The court handed Honda an eight-year sentence.  According to the court, Honda swindled a total 116.8 million yen from Kanemoto between 2006 and 2009 (ten payments).  Source: Sponichi 10/28/2013

[UPDATE 11/8/2013 @ 9:30pm]

Honda filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Japan because he was not satisfied with the ruling made by the Saitama District Court.  Source: Sponichi 11/8/2013

[UPDATE 3/6/2014 @ 10:22am]

The Tokyo High Court upheld the ruling made by the Saitama District Court and dismissed the appeal filed by Honda's lawyers.  Source: Sponichi 3/6/2014

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Tomoaki Kanemoto News and Notes: October 10, 2012

by on Oct.10, 2012 @ 11:54 pm, under NPB
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Tomoaki Kanemoto updates from October 10, 2012:

  • Retirement merchandise (eleven items) sold out at Koshien about three hours after stores opened on Tuesday.  Four-hundred limited edition sweatbands were sold in about fifteen minutes.  Source: Sanspo 10/10/2012
  • During a regularly scheduled check-up on his right shoulder, doctors informed Kanemoto that if he did not undergo surgery, he would not be able to raise his arm up in year.  He is expected to go under the knife sometime in January.  Kanemoto also reportedly said that he wanted to continue playing baseball after retirement:  "I will even play sandlot.  I just want to play baseball.  Source: Sponichi 10/10/2012
  • Kanemoto thought about retiring three years ago.  A year ago, he approached his parents and told them he was thinking about quitting.  His mother would not allow it and said she wanted to see him play one more time.  When he told his parents about his decision this year, they told him he had done enough.  Source: Sponichi 10/10/0212
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Hanshin Tigers: Tomoaki Kanemoto’s retirement speech and more

by on Oct.09, 2012 @ 11:24 pm, under NPB
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Nikkan Sports is carrying Tomoaki Kanemoto's retirement speech:

First, I would like to express appreciation to both my parents, the amateur leagues, Hiroshima, Hanshin, and to all people that help support my baseball career.  I started playing baseball at ten and chased after the dream to become a  professional player.  After joining Hanshin in 2003, I was fortunate enough to be a part of two pennant winning teams.  Koshien Stadium helped bring out the best in me.

After hurting my shoulder three years ago, I started thinking about retirement.  But I pushed through rehab after hearing fans say they wanted to see another one of my home runs, another one of my bullet line drives.  To see me bat .300 and hit thirty home runs again.

I decided to remove the uniform today.  I will be honest, I feel as if I am leaving behind a lot of unfinished business.  We did win two pennants [while I was here] but we never won a Nippon Series.  I will pass that dream on to the younger players.

Lastly, I will no longer be able to stand in the left-handed batter's box at Koshien and swing the bat full force.  I will never get to run the bases at full speed.  I will never get to chase after the ball in left.  This really makes me sad.

I saw signs that said, "Aniki, thank you for the dream" [while playing in left].  That is something I actually want to say to you fans.  Hanshin fans are very kind, they even pushed for a player like me.

Finally...  Thank you very much.  To yakyu the sport, to the yakyu God, thank you.

Yokohama players Daisuke Miura and Tatsuhiko Kinjo, Hanshin players Kentaro Sekimoto, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Takashi Toritani, and Kazuhiro Kiyohara presented Kanemoto with flowers.  He then took a walk around the stadium field to bid fans farewell.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/9/2012


After receiving the flowers and before walking around the stadium field, Kanemoto placed the flowers on the ground and approached the Hanshin dugout, where he started shaking hands with all his teammates.  When he came to Takahiro Arai, he slapped him in the face.  The players then gathered around and tossed Kanemoto up into the air six times.  Source: Sanspo 10/9/2012


When Kanemoto tried to give Randy Messenger the game-winning ball because it was his tenth victory of the season, he declined and deferred it back to the veteran.  Source: Nikkan Sports 10/9/2012


Sports Hochi is carrying the interview with Kanemoto:

This was your last game.

I wanted to hit a home run.  I hit one out to center on my last swing during batting practice for the first time since getting hurt.  I could not turn on all the power, the bad part of me came out.

You made an easy out in the 7th inning with runners in scoring position.

There was moving past [Shigeo] Nagashima [on the All-time list] with two RBIs, but it was a fierce battle where I could not even think about that.  I am taking the uniform off because I popped out there.  It is the right decision.

How have things been since injurying the right shoulder?

Things did not go as I had hoped.  There were times I even hated baseball.  But, perhaps I inspired hope by trying to make it back to the field despite having an injury that would not allow it.  I think it was good that I made the attempt.

Any memories about Koshien Stadium?

The walk-off home run during the Nippon Series.  I remember that [Senichi] Hoshino was so happy, almost as if he hit it himself.

What next?

I will relax while making appearances on TV here and there.  I have not really thought about my future dreams.

What about coaching in the Hanshin organization?

This is a tough place.  You need to have a lot of perseverance to make it here.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/9/2012

====== UPDATE @ 11:44pm

Kanemoto also had a little something to say to the Yokohama Bay Stars after the game:

To the DeNA Bay Stars, thank you for taking part in my retirement ceremony. ... This year, they brought in new manager [Kiyoshi] Nakahata and the team suddenly changed and was continually in the spotlight.  However, it was the manager that stuck out the most.  To the players, if the manager sticks out more than the players, then something is wrong. ... I think Nakahata is hoping that the players will outshine the manager.  If the Bay Stars become a competitive team next year, I think they can become the most talked about team in Japan."

Source: Daily Sports 10/9/2012


About a thousand fans gathered outside Koshien Stadium after the retirement ceremony and sang out cheer songs.  Source: Daily Sports 10/9/2012

====== UPDATE 10/10 @ 1:18am

Nikkan Sports has posted a longer version of the interview, but it is a bit long so I am going to skip it.  If you are interested in the link: Nikkan Sports 10/9/2012

Hanshin Tigers: Retirement ceremony for Tomoaki Kanemoto scheduled for October 9, 2012

by on Sep.24, 2012 @ 5:56 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers officially announced today that they will hold a retirement ceremony for Tomoaki Kanemoto on October 9 at Koshien Stadium.  Fans in attendance will receive a free Tomoaki Kanemoto Memorial Poster.

Source: Daily Sports 9/24/2012, Sponichi 9/24/2012, official announcement


UPDATE 9/25 @ 2:58pm - The Tigers are currently working out the events that will take place during the schedule.  For the time being, it will include a video highlight looking back on Kanemoto's career and a flower presentation ceremony.  Kanemoto has also asked the Tigers not to do anything flashy.

The date for the retirement ceremony is set in stone, unless the day itself is rained out.

Source: Daily Sports 9/25/2012

UPDATE @ 4:23pm - Kazuhiro Kiyohara is scheduled to attend the ceremony.  Source: Nikkan Sports 9/25/2012

Hanshin Tigers: Tomoaki Kanemoto moves into sole possession of tenth on all-time HR list

by on Sep.16, 2012 @ 5:25 pm, under NPB
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With Takashi Toritani on first and one out in the top of the 4th against the Yomiuri Giants, Tomoaki Kanemoto deposited the second pitch he saw from Ryosuke Miyaguni into the right field bleachers for his 475th career home run.  That moved the forty-four-year-old veteran outfielder out of a tenth place tie with Koichi Tabuchi on the all-time home run list.

Kanemoto recorded the first home run of his career on September 4, 1993.

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Hanshin Tigers: September 14, 2012

by on Sep.14, 2012 @ 4:55 pm, under NPB
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Hiroaki Saiuchi complained of tightness in his lower back during workouts on Thursday.  His running exercises were canceled.  He played catch at a distance of about twenty meters and he threw lightly to a standing catcher in the bullpen.

Saiuchi did get an MRI later in the day.  The team trainer told reporters that Saiuchi was having difficulty throwing the ball to squatting catchers.  He was scratched from his Ichi-gun start against the Yomiuri Giants on Sunday.  Takumi Akiyama will likely get the start.

Source: Sanspo 9/14/2012

Nikkan Sports adds a little more...  After warm-ups, he started playing catch and looked a little uncomfortable, at times twisting his lower back.  He also threw the ball around with with the trainer before heading to the bullpen.  After a few minutes of throwing off the mound, Saiuchi moved to the indoor facilities because the trainer called off his running exercises.

"[Saiuchi] did not look right during warm-ups.  He was scheduled for a bullpen session so I had him throw off the mound to a standing catcher to check on his body movement.  He complained of tightness in his lower back.  He could not throw hard to a squatting catcher," said team trainer Yasunori Gonda.

Saiuchi was taken to the hospital later in the day for an MRI, CT scan, and various other tests.  His start on Monday against the Yokohama Bay Stars has been scratched.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/14/2012


GM Katsuhiro Nakamura is thinking about converting Daiki Enokida from reliever to starter to alleviate some of the strains from pitching on consecutive days as a reliever -- Enokida has had problems with his elbow.  Source: Daily Sports 9/14/2012


The media learned on Thursday that team president Nobuo Minami, GM Nakamura, and manager Yutaka Wada were scheduled to meet today in Tokyo.  They likely discussed contract plans for veteran players, like Craig BrazellHiroyuki Kobayashi, and Shinjiro Hiyama.  Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 9/14/2012


Kyuji Fujikawa changed his intro music from LINDBERG's every little thing every precious thing to GReeeeN's Wai-ha Waiwaide Iiwai - Omaewai? (ワイはワイワイでいいワイ~おまえワィ?~) on Thursday.  Fujikawa later told reporters it was a one-day thing -- he just wanted to mix things up a little.  Source: Nikkan Sports 9/14/2012Sponichi 9/14/2012Daily Sports 9/14/2012


Tickets to what could end up being Tomoaki Kanemoto's retirement game at Koshien Stadium (September 29 vs Hiroshima and October 5 vs Yakult) are close to being sold out.  The Tigers are also planning to release merchandise to commemorate Kanemoto's final season.  Source: Sanspo 9/14/2012

Sports Hochi notes the retirement game will most likely be scheduled on September 29.  An unnamed team official is quoted as saying, "It is a Saturday so I think a lot of fans will be able to come.  I think it is the best option."  Kanemoto will likely get the start in left and bat clean-up for the game.  Source: Sports Hochi 9/14/2012


According to Nikkan Sports, the Hanshin Tigers have serious interest in Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Koskue Fukudome. Source: Nikkan Sports 9/14/2012

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News and Notes on Tomoaki Kanemoto: September 13, 2012

by on Sep.13, 2012 @ 11:25 am, under NPB
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News and notes on Tomoaki Kanemoto, from September 13:

  • The Tigers could hold a retirement game for Kanemoto during the last home game of the season on October 5 (vs Yakult).  Another possibility would be later this month on the 29th when the team plays Hiroshima, his former team.  Source: Sanspo 9/13/2012
  • While there are no plans to hire Kanemoto as a coach for next season, GM Katsuhiro Nakamura told reporters he hoped to see him back on the field as a coach in the near future.  Source: Sanspo 9/13/2012

Sanspo is carrying a fairly large portion of the Q&A during the press conference.

<TV Interview/Q&A>

What are you feeling right now?

A part feels at ease, but I also feel regret and sadness.  It is a mix of different emotions.  But, I largely feel at ease.

Why do you feel regret?

There are all kinds of regret, but I feel I should have swung the bat more when I was younger.  Or trained harder or practiced harder.  Maybe that could have led to better results.  There is also my shoulder injury.  I did my best to recover and have a good season, but I could not put together the results, so I have that regret.  I also feel a little regret because a part of me still would like to play next season.

On looking back at your twenty-one-year career.

Beginning with the last three years, I felt pathetic and sorry for myself.  It might be a little strange for me to say that about myself.

What kind of thoughts remain with you?

It really is too bad that I could not win a championship with the Carp.  I feel I had a very happy baseball life since coming to the Tigers.

What are you most proud of?

My consecutive plate appearances without a double play streak.  I ran as hard as I could to first in order to avoid the double play.  Personally, I am more proud of this streak than my everything inning of every game streak.

How did you tell your family?

My kid cried when I told her.  I had told her I was going to retire sooner or later.  My mother was the first one I told.

What did you mother say?

To start taking care of my body.  Just that.

How will you approaching the remainder of the season?

Since hurting my shoulder, I have been nothing more than a distraction for the team, I just want to...  <tearing up>  It is hard to put into words.

What does baseball mean to Kanemoto?

Not to really copy Nagashima-san, but it is life itself.  I started playing baseball when I was ten and seventy-eighty percent was difficult and only about twenty to thirty percent was satisfying.  But I chased after that twenty-thirty percent and struggled the remaining seventy-eighty percent.  That was my baseball life.

<Separate interview with reporters>

Did you ever feel like quitting before this day?

Many times.

You have a few hits as a pinch-hitter recently.  Did you feel you might be able to continue your career as a pinch-hitter or DH?

Honestly, I was making good contact lately.  I did think that.  But it was not so much that I did not like pinch-hitter, did not want to pinch-hit, or felt pinch-hitting was not enough.  It just was not the issue.

Was it your defense?

I could not make the throws.  Like to home plate.  I got back to where I could throw about three years ago, but if you were to ask if it ever got back to where it was before I got hurt, then no.

What about playing until you turned fifty?

I have no aspirations for that.  It is just something some school president is saying.

Was this a difficult choice?

I want to play, I want to quit, but wait, I still want to play.  It was that over and over.  I wanted to quit when I could not hit and wanted to play when I was able to hit the ball.  It was easy talk.  Like when you talk about breaking up with a girl.

When did you tell the other players?

Last night.  I wanted to avoid it leaking out to the press as much as possible.  When Shuta Tanaka retired, I gave him a book on job hunting.  I would now like to receive one from Ryota Arai.

Have you thought about what you will do next?

Not at all.

You teared up during the press conference.

I was not planning on crying.  That was not crying.  [Tears] just came out.

Did getting dropped down in the batting order factor into your decision?

This year, I was actually hitting pretty well when I was dropped in the order.  Still, who would have thought that in 2010 [Takahiro] Arai would take the clean-up spot from me and then Ryota [Arai] this year.  It was the most embarrassing thing.  I had the Arai brothers pushing for me [to retire]*.

What Tigers moment do you remember the most?

When we were waiting for the first place finish in 2003.  I think we were waiting for Yakult or Yokohama.  I felt so excited.  There is also catching the game-winning ball [in 2005].

On being tied in home runs with Koichi Tabuchi.

I wanted to copy unari-daho (an approach to hitting that Tabuchi taught) and have been practicing to try and get home run 475 with it, but my knees are hurting.  I wind and wind...  This is a true story.

Which pitcher made the most lasting impression on you?

The most?  Maybe Kroon.  Kroon was the only one where I wait fastball 100% and still ended up swinging and missing twice in a row.  I do not recall [any other cases] where I looked only for a fastball and swung and missed.  When I swung and missed twice, I thought thing guy had some serious velocity.

How are you physically?

Since I starting playing in fewer games, I feel great.  My knees are hurting from all the twisting though.  I want to thank [Toshiyuki] Miura (a coach when he played for Hiroshima), Kazuyoshi [Yamamoto], and [Nobuhiro] Takashiro.  They helped create the foundation of my baseball life.  I also want to think [Senichi] Hoshino for inviting me to the Tigers.  Generally, you do not call on players that were born in Hiroshima and playing for Hiroshima.  I lost out to his persistence and while part of me did not want to come, it ended well.  I was the highest paid player for four years and then got hurt for three years so that was wash.

* A Sponichi article clarified the quote.


UPDATE @ 12:21pm - Some additional notes:

  • The Tigers actually considered naming Kanemoto a player/manager when they were looking into managerial candidates later season.  Source: Sponichi 9/13/2012
  • There are internal discussions about retiring the number six.  However, the number six did belong to other players in the past that made franchise history: Fujita Taira is the only Hanshin lifer that reached the 2,000-hit milestone and wore the number between 1966 and 1984; Masaru Kageura was one of the team's mainstays when the team first began and wore the number between 1936 and 1939 and again in 1943; current manager Yutaka Wada wore the number between 1985 and 2001.  Only three other numbers have been retired: ten - Fumio Fujimura, eleven - Minoru Murayama, and twenty-three - Yoshio Yoshida.  Source: Sponichi 9/13/2012
  • Team president Nobuo Minami spoke to Kanemoto on September 2 and suggested he think about his future.  It was basically a suggestion to retire.  There was also the possibility that he could either end up being a full-time pinch-hitter or stuck at Ni-gun.  Incidentally, Minami's meeting with Kanemoto also coincided with him getting dropped from the starting line-up.  Source: Sponichi 9/13/2012, Sponichi 9/13/2012

UPDATE @ 3:33pm - More notes:

  • Kanemoto called Akinobu Okada at around 9am on Wednesday.  They spoke for about ten minutes.  Source: Daily Sports 9/13/2012
  • Senichi Hoshino received a call from Kanemoto at around the same time on Wednesday.  Source: Daily Sports 9/13/2012
  • Hoshino recalled how he called Kanemoto everyday, as if he were a stalker, in order to get him to join the Tigers.  Source: Sports Hochi 9/13/2012
  • A time limit for later this week was set on the decision.  Minami also made sure to tell Kanemoto the team would respect whatever decision he came to.  Source: Daily Sports 9/13/2012
  • While not directly related to Kanemoto, GM Nakamura thinks the only person that can step in and lead the team next season is the position player's captain, Takashi Toritani.  He said Toritani was a player he could not imagine not being on the team next season.  Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 9/13/2012
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Hanshin Tigers: Tomoaki Kanemoto to retire after the current season

by on Sep.12, 2012 @ 2:22 pm, under NPB
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The media is reporting that Tomoaki Kanemoto is planning to retire after the current season and will make an announcement of his decision later today.

Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012, Sports Hochi 9/12/2012, Nikkan Sports 9/12/2012, Sponichi 9/12/2012Sanspo 9/12/2012, Mainichi Shimbun 9/12/2012, Yomiuri Shimbun 9/12/2012, Asahi Shimbun 9/12/2012, Jiji 9/12/2012, Chugoku Shimbun 9/12/2012


UPDATE @ 6:33pm - Some quick notes:

  • Kanemoto starting thinking about retirement about ten days ago but only finalized the decision a couple days ago.  Source: Sponichi 9/12/2012
  • His mother was the first person he informed.  He also said his kid cried when he told her about his decision (I think he has one daughter).  Source: Sponichi 9/12/2012
  • About two hundred members of the media showed up for his press conference.  Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012
  • He felt the first three years of his pro career and the final three years of his career were the most difficult.  Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012
  • The record he is most proud of his string of 1,002 consecutive trips to the plate (May 12, 2000 - September 28, 2001) without hitting into a double play.  Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012
  • He currently has 474 home runs and is in a tenth place tie on the All-time home run list with Koichi Tabuchi.  He would to hit one more home run before the end of the year for sole possession of tenth.  Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012

UPDATE @ 8:28pm - More notes:

  • Tigers' GM Katsuhiro Nakamura was thinking of making Kanemoto a player / coach next season.  Source: Nikkan Sports 9/12/2012
  • Chunichi manager Morimichi Takagi wonders if getting dropped from the starting line-up played into Kanemoto's decision.  Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012

Nikkan Sports has posted a portion of the Q&A from the press conference:

What are your thoughts right now?

Part of me feels as ease.  I also feel regret and sadness.  But I largely feel at ease.

When did you decide?

I started thinking about it ten days ago.  The real decision came the day before yesterday.  I told my mother first.  My kid cried when I told her.

On looking back at your career...

I feel that if I did more, I could have put up better numbers.  I also feel I did my best, like in making the very difficult every inning of every game streak.  Especially these last three years, or rather the first three years and last three years of my career have been the most difficult times in my life.

What do you remember the most?

One is that I it was too bad that I could not win a championship with the Carp.  But I am a very lucky baseball player to have had a chance to play on the Tigers during their best and most popular years.

What does baseball mean to you?

Life itself.  I started when I was ten.  Only twenty to thirty percent of it was happy and satisfying.  And I chased after it, the seventy to eighty percent of it was difficult.

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