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[3/26/2016] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Mar.27, 2016 @ 9:17 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Tomoyuki Sugano won his opening day start on March 25. He has won the opening day game three years in a row. No other pitcher in franchise history has won three straight opening day starts, beginning with their first career opening day start. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/26/2016
  • Yoshinobu Takahshi recorded his first managerial victory on opening day. He joined Hideo Fujimoto (1944), Shigeru Mizuhara (1950), and Motoshi Fujita (1981) as the only rookie managers in franchise history to win their first opening day game. Source: Sanspo 3/26/2016 ... Since the start of the two-league format, eight people have managed a team the year after they retired as players: Soichi Fujita (1954, loss), Shigeru Sugishita (1959, win), Kazuhisa Inao (1970, loss), Shigeo Nagashima (1975, loss), Yoshinori Hirose (1978, loss), Michiyo Arito (1987, loss), Tsutomu Ito (2004, loss), and Takahashi (2016, win). Source: Nikkan Sports 3/26/2016
  • Tetsuya Utsumi started a Ni-gun game against Nippon Ham on March 24. He gave up a run on two hits over five innings of work. He topped out at 139km/h. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/24/2016
  • The Giants announced that they signed Nihon University to an official sponsor contract for the 2016 season. As part of the agreement, the organization will host a Nihon University Day on May 5, July 7, and August 19. Source: official announcement

Hanshin Tigers

  • First round draft pick Shun Takayama recorded a hit in his first career plate appearance on March 25 and became the first rookie in franchise history to collect a hit in his first plate appearance during an opening day game while batting lead-off since the start of the two-league format. Source: Sanspo 3/26/2016
  • Taichi Okazaki has two RBIs to his name: one he recorded on April 7, 2009 and the other on March 26, 2016. Source: Sponichi 3/26/2016
  • Matt Hague picked up his first NPB hit and RBI in his first plate appearance on March 25 and became the first foreign player to accomplish the feat during an opening day game since Hal Breeden on April 4, 1976. Shane Spencer was the last foreign player in franchise history to record a hit (no RBI) in his first plate appearance during an opening day game on April 1, 2005. Source: Sanspo 3/26/2016, Daily Sports 3/25/2016
  • Randy Messenger recorded a stolen base on opening day. He became the first foreign pitcher in franchise history to steal a base and the first Hanshin pitcher since Shigeru Kobayashi on August 20, 1981. Source: Daily Sports 3/26/2016
  • The Tigers announced that lawyer and former Osaka prosecutor Shigeo Sasaki will join the team as an adviser, effective April 1. Source: Daily Sports 3/24/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • The Carp visited Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine on March 24 to pray for a successful season. Source: Daily Sports 3/24/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • The Dragons stopped an eleven-game losing streak at Kyocera Dome in games against the Hanshin Tigers on March 25. Source: Sponichi 3/25/2016
  • Yudai Ono found out he was going to start the opening day game after a bullpen session on February 1. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/26/2016 ... Ono won his opening day start on March 25 and became the first left-handed Chunichi pitcher to win an opening day game since Masahiro Yamamoto in 2001. Source: Sponichi 3/25/2016

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Shoichi Ino won his opening day start on March 25. The last Yokohama pitcher to win an opening day start was Yuji Yoshimi in 2003. Source: Sponichi 3/26/2016
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[3/23/2016] Yomiuri Giants 2016 Opening Day Roster

by on Mar.24, 2016 @ 11:16 am, under NPB, Roster Updates
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Uni Pos Name JPN Name ENG
15 P 澤村 拓一 Sawamura, Hirokazu
19 P 菅野 智之 Sugano, Tomoyuki
20 P S.マシソン Mathieson, Scott
37 P 田原 誠次 Tahara, Seiji
45 P 今村 信貴 Imamura, Nobutaka
47 P 山口 鉄也 Yamaguchi, Tetsuya
49 P A.ポレダ Poreda, Aaron
50 P 戸根 千明 Tone, Chiaki
54 P 高木 勇人 Takagi, Hayato
67 P 土田 瑞起 Tsuchida, Mizuki
22 C 小林 誠司 Kobayashi, Seiji
40 C 加藤 健 Kato, Ken
53 C 河野 元貴 Kawano, Genki
6 INF 坂本 勇人 Sakamoto, Hayato
8 INF 片岡 治大 Kataoka, Yasuyuki
11 INF L.クルーズ Cruz, Luis
25 INF 村田 修一 Murata, Shuichi
36 INF 中井 大介 Nakai, Daisuke
68 INF 吉川 大幾 Yoshikawa, Daiki
5 OF ギャレット Jones, Garrett
7 OF 長野 久義 Chono, Hisayoshi
9 OF 亀井 善行 Kamei, Yoshiyuki
12 OF 鈴木 尚広 Suzuki, Takahiro
43 OF 重信 慎之介 Shigenobu, Shinnosuke
44 OF 大田 泰示 Ota, Taishi
51 OF 堂上 剛裕 Donoue, Takehiro
58 OF 立岡 宗一郎 Tateoka, Soichiro

27 players

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[3/23/2016] Kyosuke Takagi suspended for a year

by on Mar.24, 2016 @ 3:13 am, under NPB
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The NPB's Investigation Committee released their gambling punishment proposal for Kyosuke Takagi on March 22. They felt a one-year suspension was fitting because he bet on fewer games over a short period of time, turned down other opportunities, and ultimately cooperated with investigations. Their proposal also included a five million yen fine for the Yomiuri Giants.

NPB commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki reviewed the proposal and agreed with the punishment.

Source: Sponichi 3/22 @ 15:10, Nikkan Sports 3/22 @ 15:19, Sponichi 3/22 @ 18:01, Tokyo Sports 3/22 @ 18:53, Sponichi 3/23 @ 05:30

===

The Giants held a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo on March 22 and announced that they decided to release K. Takagi. They also released findings from their recent internal investigation:

  • They interviewed 299 personnel (players, coaches, staff) and discovered that fourteen bet on mahjong, forty-two on golf, and twenty-three on cards.
  • K. Takagi admitted that he visited an underground slot machine facility multiple times between 2013 and 2014. The organization issued a stern warning to an unnamed player that accompanied him.
  • Eight people, not including Shoki Kasahara, Satoshi Fukuda, Ryuya Matsumoto, and K. Takagi, knew Man B after they visited a restaurant he operated. Five met Man B outside of his restaurant. Three admitted to betting on golf with Man B. One coach met Man A during a meal.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/22 @ 20:13, Tokyo Sports 3/22 @ 21:32, Sponichi 3/22 @ 22:55, Daily Sports 3/22, Sponichi 3/23 @ 05:35

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[3/20/2016] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Mar.21, 2016 @ 4:18 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • The Giants switched the outfield lights to LED. The inner lights will also swapped to LED. Source: Sponichi 3/19/2016

Hanshin Tigers

  • Ikusei Shinta Hifumi will be sent to the BC League's Ishikawa Million Stars from early April until late June. Source: Sponichi 3/20/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • Takahiro Arai blasted a pinch-hit, come-from-behind grand slam against Softbank on March 19. He became the first player to record: a pinch-hit grand slam during an exhibition game since Hitoshi Tamura against Lotte on March 14, 2013; a pinch-hit, come-from-behind grand slam during an exhibition game since Jun Inoue against Kintetsu on March 6, 1993. Arai has hit twenty-seven exhibition game home runs. He also has one other exhibition game grand slam: against Hanshin on March 23, 2001. Source: Sponichi 3/20/2016

Chunichi Dragons

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars visited Tsurugaoka Hachimangu on March 18 to pray for a successful season. Source: Daily Sports 3/18/2016
  • Parent company DeNA purchased an acuscope for the Bay Stars. Source: Sanspo 3/19/2016
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[3/12/2016] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons

by on Mar.13, 2016 @ 5:18 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Tomoyuki Sugano is scheduled to start this year's opening day game. Source: Daily Sports 3/12/2016 ... Yoshinobu Takahashi told Sugano about the start on February 28. Soure: Sanspo 3/12/2016
  • First round draft pick Toshiki Sakurai could make his debut on March 27 against Yakult. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/12/2016

Hanshin Tigers

  • Shintaro Fujinami will most likely pitch in three more games before the start of the regular season: exhibition game on March 16 against Lotte, exhibition game on March 21 against Orix, and Ni-gun practice game on March 23 against Kagawa. Source: Daily Sports 3/12/2016
  • Hanshin developed an online video system players can access over the internet. They no longer have be at the Koshien clubhouse to review film. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/12/2016
  • The Tigers held a one-minute moment of silence for victims of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake before Ichi-gun practices at Koshien on March 11. Source: Daily Sports 3/11/2016

Hiroshima Carp

  • Hiroshima might wait to make a decision on Jay Jackson and Bradin Hagens until their last exhibition game of the year on March 21. Both have pitched well, but there is only room for one. Source: Daily Sports 3/12/2016
  • The Carp will send Ikusei players Kodai Matsuura and Satoshi Kimura to the Shikoku Island League. They will play for the Ehime Mandarin Pirates from March 16 until the end of the season. Source: official announcement
  • Hector Luna could end up batting clean-up because of his consistency and stability at the plate. Source: Daily Sports 3/10/2016, Sponichi 3/10/2016
  • The Carp received 147 applicantions and selected three students to be their Home Run Girls this season. Source: Daily Sports 3/12/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • Koji Fukutani (25) filed marriage papers with a twenty-seven-year-old woman living in Nagoya on March 3. Source: Daily Sports 3/12/2016
  • Dayan Viciedo returned to the United States on March 11 to be with his expecting wife. He is currently slated to return to Japan on March 16. Source: Chunichi Sports 3/10/2016 ... Viciedo had to reschedule his flight to the evening because he forgot his travel documents. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/11/2016, Daily Sports 3/12/2016
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[3/8/2016] K. Takagi admits to gambling on baseball, Watanabe, Shiraishi, Momoi to step down

by on Mar.09, 2016 @ 2:29 am, under NPB
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The Yomiuri Giants announced that Kyosuke Takagi is suspected of being involved in baseball gambling. Team president Hiroshi Kubo made the announcement from the organization's offices on March 8.

Details:

  • Former teammate Shoki Kasahara introduced Takagi to gambling before a game in early April 2014.
  • Takagi does not remember specifics about the bets he placed, other than that he more or less followed what Kasahara was doing.
  • Takagi did not meet Kasahara's gambling partner (herein Man B) in the beginning, but he did know that he was a gambler that operated a restaurant.
  • Kasahara placed Takagi's bets with Man B using his mobile phone.
  • Takagi ended up placing bets three to four times on eight to nine games until early May 2014.
  • Takagi stopped after he lost about 500,000 to 600,000 yen (100,000 to 150,000 yen per game).
  • Takagi was invited to gamble two or three more times after he decided to stop. He was also invited to bet on the 2015 Spring Koshien. He did not accept either invitations.
  • On October 5, 2015, Man B visited Takagi at his home and reassured him that he would not be investigated. Man B continued to contact Takagi about once a week with updates. The two met before fall camp. A third person was also present and asked Takagi if he knew any scandals that could be used to "erase" what he did.
  • Takagi was told to say that he let Kasahara "borrow" his name when gambling.
  • Man B advised Takagi to get a new mobile phone right after the start of training camp in February this year. He was also told Kasahara was going to talk to a magazine about why they were the only ones that were targeted and punished.
  • Takagi replaced his phone and participated in the NPB's gambling awareness lecture on February 6. After the lecture, he felt it would be best if he severed ties with Man B and asked that he not be contacted.
  • The organization began investigating Takagi on March 1 after Shukan Bunshun asked about him on February 29. He told the organization that Kasahara borrowed his name (as planned). Man B contacted Takagi on March 5 and 6 and Takagi spoke about how the organization was investigating him and how they confiscated his mobile phone. About two hours after their last conversation, Shukan Bunshun contacted the organization by fax to confirm some facts from the conversation.
  • Takagi lied to the organization when he was questioned again on March 7. But after speaking to family and friends, he decided to tell the truth. Man B tried to persuade him to stick to the original plan, but on March 9, Takagi admitted to gambling on baseball.

Senior advisor Tsuneo Watanabe, team owner Kojiro Shiraishi, and team chairman Tsunekazu Momoi will be stepping down from their respective positions. Takagi has been suspended. A final punishment will be handed down by the NPB. Rallies scheduled on March 14 and 16 have been canceled.

The Ichi-gun team traveled to Fukuoka on March 8. Players and staff were told they were not allowed to go out further than the convenience store located in front of the team's hotel.

Source: Daily Sports 3/8/2016, Daily Sports 3/8/2016, Daily Sports 3/8/2016, Daily Sports 3/8/2016, Daily Sports 3/8/2016, Daily Sports 3/8/2016, Daily Sports 3/8/2016, Daily Sports 3/8/2016, ZakZak 3/8/2016, ZakZak 3/8/2016, Tokyo Sports 3/8/2016, Sponichi 3/8/2016, Nikkan Sports 3/8/2016, Sanspo 3/8/2016

[UPDATE 3/10 @ 1:13am]

Takagi held a press conference in Tokyo on March 9. He issued a formal apology then briefly spoke about what happened.

Source: Daily Sports 3/9/2016, Daily Spots 3/9/2016Daily Spots 3/9/2016

[UPDATE 3/10 @ 5:22am]

The Giants received about eighty email and fifty phone calls through to the evening of March 9.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/9/2016

Yomiuri Shimbun Director, Senior Advisor Shoichi Oikawa is slated to take over as new owner of the team on March 11. Former Director of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office Noboru Matsuda will take over as acting owner.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/9/2016, Sponichi 3/9/2016

[UPDATE 3/10 @ 8:09pm]

The Giants filed a report on Takagi with the NPB commissioner on March 10. The NPB announced that Motonari Otsuru (lawyer), Yoshitaka Kato (Yusei Audit), and Kazuhiko Yoshida (lawyer) will be in charge of investigating the case.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/10/2016, Nikkan Sports 3/10/2016, Sponichi 3/10/2016

[UPDATE 3/12 @ 2:36am]

The Giants announced that they accepted resignations from senior advisor Tsuneo Watanabe, team owner Kojiro Shiraishi, and team chairman Tsunekazu Momoi during a special stockholders meeting and board of director meeting on March 11. They also announced the following additions/updates:

  • Yomiuri Shimbun Director, Senior Advisor Shoichi Oikawa - Owner
  • Former Director of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office Noboru Matsuda - Acting Owner
  • Yomiuri Shimbun Representative Director Senior Management Toshikazu Yamaguchi - Non-Executive Director
  • Operating Officer General Manager, Chief of Baseball Operations Tatsuyoshi Tsutsumi - Director General Manager, Chief of Baseball Operations

Source: official announcement

[3/7/2016] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons

by on Mar.08, 2016 @ 6:04 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Scott Mathieson threw thirty-nine pitches in the bullpen on March 7. He could pitch during an upcoming two-game series against Softbank that begins on March 9. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/7/2016

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tomoaki Kanemoto has decided to go with Randy Messenger as his opening day starter. Atsushi Nomi and Kyuji Fujikawa will most likely follow Messenger in the opening series rotation. Source: Daily Sports 3/6/2016 ... Kanemoto spoke to Messenger about the opening start on the last day of spring camp (February 29). Source: Daily Sports 3/7/2016, Daily Sports 3/7/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • A number of renovations (over twenty) were made at Nagoya Dome during the off-season. Outfielders welcomed the extra padding added to the outfield walls as part of the improvements. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/5/2016 ... A ball got stuck above a padded door along the outfield fence during an exhibition game at Nagoya Dome against Yakult on March 5. Source: Sponichi 3/5/2016
  • The Dragons held a retirement ceremony for Masahiro Yamamoto on March 5. Yamamoto started the game and faced one hitter: Ryosuke Morioka, struck out swinging on three pitches (114km/h fastball, 109km/h fastball, screwball). He topped out at 114km/h. He was tossed into the air five times by teammates after the game. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/5/2016, Sponichi 3/5/2016, Chunichi Sports 3/5/2016
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[3/4/2016] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons

by on Mar.05, 2016 @ 3:17 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • The first five pitchers in the starting rotation could be: Yasuhiro Ogawa, Masanori Ishikawa, Shohei Tateyama, Kyle Davies, and Toshihiro Sugiura. Source: Sports Hochi 3/4/2016
  • A real estate agency in Tokyo is promising to give away one house to anyone that hits their advertisement at Jingu Stadium. There is a catch: the ad is about 200 meters away from home plate. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/4/2016

Yomiuri Giants

  • There were discussions about giving Scott Mathieson a shot at the starting rotation this year, but it now seems the Giants want to use him out of the bullpen because they value him more as a reliever. Source: Nikkan Sports 3/4/2016
  • Yoshinobu Takahashi is thinking about using first round draft pick Toshiki Sakurai in the starting rotation at least until Miles Mikolas is ready. Source: Sanspo 3/4/2016

Hanshin Tigers

  • Nelson Perez went 2-for-3 with three RBI during a Kyoiku League game against Orix on March 3. Source: Sanpso 3/4/2016
  • First round draft pick Shun Takayama tested three bats weighing different amounts (880 grams, 890 grams, and 900 grams) during rookie workouts in January. He narrowed his options down to the 880 gram bat during spring camp. Source: Sponichi 3/3/2016
  • Probable starters for the first two series of the season: against Yomiuri at Kyocera Dome: Randy Messenger, Minoru Iwata, Kyuji Fujikawa; against Yakult at Jingu Stadium: Shintaro Fujinami, Atsushi Nomi, and another pitcher. Source: Sanspo 3/3/2016

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kazuki Yoshimi pitched in a batting practice scrimmage on March 4. He faced twelve hitters, threw thirty-seven pitches, allowed two could-be hits, walked two, and struck out one. He topped out at 141km/h. Source: Tokyo Sports 3/4/2016
  • Masahiro Yamamoto signed a one-day contract with Chunichi and was assigned the uniform number 0. The organization has scheduled a retirement game for Yamamoto on March 5 (vs Yakult at Nagoya Dome). Source: Daily Sports 3/4/2016, Sponichi 3/4/2016 ... He will start the game on March 5 and face one hitter. Source: Sports Hochi 3/4/2016
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