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[11/11/2015] Yomiuri Giants: Fukuda, Kasahara, and Matsumoto released and place on disqualified list

by on Nov.11, 2015 @ 2:26 pm, under NPB
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Gambling scandal updates:

  • People involved: three Yomiuri players: Satoshi Fukuda, Shoki Kasahara, and Ryuya Matsumoto; person A: a male graduate student, introduced to Fukuda by Kasahara; person B: Kasahara's acquaintance, a male individual involved in the food industry; and person C: attended the same junior high school as Kasahara and introduced him to person A.
  • Nine television cameras and about 100 members of the media covered the press conference at the NPB offices on November 10.
  • Timeline on November 10: The NPB's investigation panel submitted their final report to NPB commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki at 10:00am. The panel presented their findings to the media during a press conference at 4:00pm. The NPB commissioner held a press conference at 5:00pm. He issued an apology and announced punishments.
  • The investigation panel found persons A and B to be habitual gamblers on baseball games.
  • The investigation panel did not discover any information involving players from other NPB teams.
  • The investigation panel learned that the three players deleted all gambling-related data on their mobile phones as soon as they thought they were going to get caught. They met to get their stories straight and used excuses (like "we were only betting on meals" and "we were just joking around with the money totals found in the recovered data") to explain the gambling-related data that was recovered.
  • The investigation panel spent about sixty-five hours questioning people involved/connected to the incident.
  • The investigation panel was unable to conduct thorough enquiries with persons A, B, and C because their investigations relied on voluntary cooperation. For example: the panel wanted to conduct follow-up interviews with persons A and B, but were turned down; the panel could not ask persons A, B, and C for information on their mobile phones.
  • The NPB provided the Japan Sports Agency with an updated report.
  • The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's (MPD) Organized Crime Control Bureau interviewed the three players on a voluntary basis. They confirmed that they placed bets on baseball games.
  • The MPD is planning to interview the two men involved to determine if a crime was committed or if there were any connections to organized crime.
  • The Giants found that some players had been placing wagers on card games (ten, including the three players) and mahjong (eleven including the three players) on a regular basis for the last few years. Wagers on card games were also taking place in the Ni-gun locker room after practices. They also held lotteries based on Koshien Tournament winners. Player names were withheld since no rules were broken, but everyone involved was given a stern warning.
  • General manager Tatsuyoshi Tsutsumi briefed players, coaches, and staff during an emergency team meeting in Miyazaki after practices on November 9.
  • Yomiuri layers kept a low-profile after practices on November 10. They acknowledged the presence of the media with short greetings and left the stadium.


  • The Giants were fined ten million yen.
  • The NPB commissioner placed the three players on the disqualified list indefinitely. This means they will not be able to play baseball in the NPB, MLB, KBO, CPBL, or CBL. There are no rules with the Independent Leagues, but it will most likely be very difficult for them to find a team to play for.
  • The Giants released Satoshi Fukuda, Shoki Kasahara, and Ryuya Matsumoto.
  • Team representative Atsushi Harasawa submitted a letter of resignation on November 9 and the Giants accepted it.
  • Chairman Tsunekazu Momoi and president Hiroshi Kubo will take fifty percent cuts in the salary for an undefined period of time.
  • Chief adviser Tsuneo Watanabe and owner Kojiro Shiraishi will go without pay for two months.
  • The Giants are planning to implement three measures to prevent future repeat incidents: establish a disciplinary committee, improve education and counseling, and ban all forms of gambling.
  • The NPB investigation panel made the following suggestions to the NPB during an executive committee meeting on November 9: For players: workshops on things that go against the baseball agreement, understanding why gambling on baseball is prohibited, ban harmful money exchanges between players. For teams: ban all baseball gambling activities, share information on gambling incidents between teams.

Satoshi Fukuda

  • Between May and September 2015: Fukuda placed bets on a number of high school Koshien tournament games and about ten professional baseball games through person A.

Shoki Kasahara

  • Between April and October 2014: placed bets on about ten games with person A and placed bets on ten to twenty games through a person B.
  • Kasahara won hundreds of thousands of yen at an underground casino in April 2014. He told the team an acquaintance invited him dinner and took him to a baccarat game. He initially claimed he did not know what was going on and that they gave him some money after he played cards. The Giants kept their punishment light (return the money, stern warning, and a promise never to visit the casino again) because they thought he was tricked into a gambling scheme. He still kept going and invited other players, including Matsumoto. Matsumoto accepted the invitation.

Ryuya Matsumoto

  • Between June and October 2014: placed bets on more than ten professional baseball games through person B.


  • All three players visited underground casinos.
  • There is no evidence that points to game-fixing by any of the three players.


[11/9/2015] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Nov.10, 2015 @ 9:19 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • Shingo Takeshita tossed batting practice on November 8 and struggled with his control: of the forty-nine pitches he threw, thirty-one were balls. He threw 147 pitches in the bullpen after his batting practice outing. Takeshita did not get to pitch at the Ichi-gun level this year because he had problems with his elbow and shoulder. Source: Sponichi 11/9/2015, Sanspo 11/9/2015
  • Senior director Juni Ogawa told reporters on November 9 that the organization was not planning to acquire players through the free agent market this winter. Source: Daily Sports 11/9/2015
  • The Swallows ran YoYo Tests on November 8. Ryota Yachi led all position players with 800 meters. Yusaku Nakamoto led all pitches with 880 meters. Source: Sponichi 11/8/205

Yomiuri Giants

  • Kazuto Taguchi tossed 150 pitches in the bullpen after running 100-meter intervals during practices on November 9. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2015
  • Hayato Takagi threw 101 pitches in the bullpen on November 8. Source: Sanspo 11/9/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Non-pitchers worked on laying down one-attempt, squeeze bunts during Kochi fall camp practices November 8. Source: Daily Sports 11/9/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/9/2015, Sanspo 11/9/2015
  • Kai Ueda was called up to Ichi-gun Kochi fall camp on November 8. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/8/2015 ... The Tigers like Ueda's speed and his glove at short. Tomoaki Kanemoto is interested in seeing Ueda hit from both sides of the plate to take better advantage of his speed (suggested by Masayuki Kakefu). He tried this past season, but had to stop when he developed lower back pain. He is still willing to give it another try. Source: Sponichi 11/9/2015, Daily Sports 11/9/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/9/2015
  • Ichi-gun fielding/base coach Teruyoshi Kuji wants Fumiya Hojo to pay attention to his center of gravity while fielding and throwing the ball. To get the point across, Kuji had Hojo take fielding practice with a glove on his head during fall camp workouts on November 7. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/8/2015
  • Kanemoto and Masayuki Kakefu want to grow Shintaro Yokota into a .300 hitter that can hit forty home runs over a period of five to six years. Source: Sponichi 11/8/2015, Daily Sports 11/8/2015, Sanspo 11/8/2015
  • Suguru Iwazaki threw 174 pitches in the bullpen on November 7. Source: Sanspo 11/8/2015 ... Iwazaki did not toss a bullpen session on November 8, but did play some catch. Source: Sanspo 11/9/2015
  • Hiroya Shimamoto threw seventy-six pitches in the bullpen on November 8. Source: Sanspo 11/9/2015
  • Kochi Stadium officials are thinking about extending protective netting by two to three more meters because players, particularly Taiga Egoshi and Naomasa Yokawa, keep hitting baseballs over the existing nets. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2015, Sanspo 11/9/2015
  • The Tigers are not planning to play any games (practice or exhibition) in Kochi during spring camp next year. They will spend most, if not all, of their time in Ginoza, Okinawa between February 1 and 29. Source: Daily Sports 11/8/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Practice game against Seibu on November 9: Koya Fujii entered the game in the 9th and retired the side in order. He topped out at 146km/h. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2015 ... Shota Dobayashi went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2015
  • Intra-squad game on November 7: Yusuke Nomura tossed two shutout innings. He did not allow any hits. Source: Daily Sports 11/8/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • Shota Oba threw fifty pitches in the bullpen on November 8. It was his first session since he was traded to the Dragons. Source: Daily Sports 11/9/2015
  • The Dragons are planning to celebrate its eightieth anniversary with a number of projects, including a commemorative patch on home uniforms, new seating areas, a special commemorative section at the official team website, and renovations to the Dragons Museum at Nagoya Dome. Source: Sponichi 11/9/2015
  • The Dragons had eleven 100 million yen players in 2011: Masahiro Yamamoto, Hitoki Iwase, Kazuki Yoshimi, Takuya Asao, Motonobu Tanishige, Kazuhiro Wada, Hirokazu Ibata, Masahiro Araki, Masahiko Morino, Tony Blanco, and Wei-Ying Chen. They had seven 100 million yen players this year: Iwase, Yoshimi, Asao, Wada, Araki, Morino, and Daisuke Yamai. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/8/2015, Sponichi 11/8/2015
  • Masahiro Yamamoto's wife is pregnant. She is scheduled to give birth in March next year. Source: Sports Hochi 11/9/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Shun Yamaguchi threw 215 pitches in the bullpen on November 9. Source: Sponichi 11/9/2015
  • Taiki Sekine recorded the best time (6.09 seconds) during base-running drills from second to home plate on November 7. Source: Sanspo 11/8/2015

[11/7/2015] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Nov.08, 2015 @ 3:04 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • Yoshihisa Naruse threw seventy pitches in the bullpen on the first day of fall camp on November 6. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/6/2015 ... Twelve pitchers threw a total 1,197 pitches on the first day of fall camp on November 6. Source: Sanspo 11/7/2015

Yomiuri Giants

  • Yoshinobu Takahashi has select five fall camp leaders: Yoshiyuki KameiYasuyuki Kataoka, and Hisayoshi Chono for the position players, and Tetsuya Utsumi and Kan Otake for the pitchers. Source: Sponichi 11/7/2015
  • The Giants are renting a Kinki Cresco virtual pitching machine for use during fall camp (retails for about five million yen). The machine can throw fastballs between 80 and 160 km/h. It can also throw three kinds of curveballs, two kinds of sliders, and two kinds of forkballs. Source: Sanspo 11/6/2015, Sponichi 11/6/2015
  • The Giants are also be using CORMAX training equipment during fall camp. Source: Sponichi 11/7/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Yamato took seventy-five swings during batting practice on November 4 and hit ten over the fence, including a stretch of five in a row. Source: Sponichi 11/5/2015 ... Yamato swung the bat 235 times on November 5 and hit twenty-six over the fence. Twenty-three of the balls he hit over the fence came during the ninety-one swings he took against hitting coach Atsushi Kataoka. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/5/2015
  • Naomasa Yokawa took seventy-seven swings and hit eleven over the fence, including a stretch of four straight, on November 4. Source: Sanspo 11/5/2015 ... Yokawa took forty-five swings on November 7 and hit thirteen over the fence. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/7/2015
  • Ryota Imanari worked out in right on November 4. He does not have a lot of speed, but could get playing time in the outfield because he swings a decent bat. Source: Sponichi 11/5/2015 ... Imanari worked out at third, right, and catcher on November 4. Source: Sanspo 11/5/2015
  • Ryoma Matsuda threw 156 pitches in the bullpen on November 5. Hiroaki Saiuchi threw 120. Source: Sanspo 11/6/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/6/2015, Sponichi 11/6/2015 ... Matsuda threw ninety-four pitches in the bullpen on November 7. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/7/2015
  • Suguru Iwazaki threw 155 pitches in the bullpen on November 5. Source: Sanspo 11/7/2015
  • Tomoaki Kanemoto, based on a suggestion by head coach Nobuhiro Takashiro, had infielders take fielding practice in the outfield and outfielders take fielding practice in the infield during workouts on November 4. Kanemoto feels Fumiya Hojo might also be able to play the outfield, based on his performance during the exercise. Source: Sanspo 11/5/2015 ... Kanemoto left Kochi fall camp on November 4 due to prior engagements. He is getting updates on practices from coaches via e-mail and phone. He is currently scheduled to rejoin the team in Kochi on November 12. Source: Sports Hochi 11/6/2015, Daily Sports 11/6/2015 ... Tomoaki visited Naruohama on November 7 to check on Ni-gun fall camp workouts. Source: Chunichi Sports 11/7/2015, Daily Sports 11/7/2015
  • Masayuki Kakefu wants to hold batting practice scrimmages during the second block of Naruohama camp that begins on November 7. Kanemoto is scheduled to drop by the facilities during the second block, giving players the perfect opportunity to showcase their improvements. Source: Sanspo 11/6/2015
  • Pitching coach Satoru Kanemura will be in charge of the bullpen next year. He is thinking about teaching interested pitchers how to throw the palm ball. Source: Sanspo 11/7/2015
  • Owner Shinya Sakai will be visiting Kochi camp on November 13. An intra-squad game and a relay race are scheduled for the same day. Source: Sanspo 11/6/2015
  • The Tigers drew 6,000 fans during the first four days of Kochi fall camp. They drew 5,300 in twenty days last year. Source: Sponichi 11/5/2015, Sanspo 11/5/2015
  • Masayuki Kakefu signed about 1,500 autographs during the first four days of fall camp at Naruohama. Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2015 ... The front office is upset that some fans are turning around and auctioning off the signatures. They are planning to instruct security guards to make sure fans are only lining up once. They also might cancel future signings if auction listings increase. Source: Daily Sports 11/7/2015
  • The media learned that Yutaka Wada will become a senior adviser to owner Shinya Sakai, beginning on December 1. The contract will most likely be for one year. Source: Chunichi Sports 11/7/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Intra-squad game on November 6: Jumpei Ono tossed two shutout innings and did not allow any hits. He topped out at 146km/h. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/7/2015
  • Intra-squad game on November 4: Aren Kuri started the game and tossed two shutout innings. He did not allow any hits. Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2015
  • Daichi Osera has not done any throwing during fall camp because he is resting his arm. He borrowed a glove and played catch left-handed at a distance of about thirty meters on November 5. Source: Daily Sports 11/6/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/6/2015
  • A practice player from Carp Academy (Batista) has caught the eye of Koichi Ogata. He could be offered an Ikusei contract. Source: Daily Sports 11/6/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Takayuki Kajitani was named fall camp captain for hitters. Shun Yamaguchi was named fall camp captain for pitchers. Source: Daily Sports 11/6/2015
  • Tomo Otosaka will miss fall camp because of periodontal ligament inflammation. Kota Suda will take his spot. Source: Sanspo 11/5/2015
  • Alex Ramirez wants pitchers to be more aggressive on the inside corners. He is asking catchers and pitchers to throw seventy to eighty percent of their pitches to the inside during fall camp bullpen sessions. Source: Sponichi 11/7/2015

[11/4/2015] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Nov.05, 2015 @ 8:30 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • Lastings Milledge returned to the United States on November 2. Source: Sanspo 11/3/2015
  • Director of player personnel Masanori Matsui is slated to become the next farm director. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015

Yomiuri Giants

  • Yoshinobu Takahashi is planning to keep fall camp practices focused on individual workouts instead of team workouts. Source: Daily Sports 11/4/2015
  • The Giants ran dashes during fall practices at Giants Stadium on November 3 -- ten fifty meter dashes and ten thirty meters dashes. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2015 ... On November 2, eight players -- including Hisayoshi Chono, Yoshiyuki Kamei, Seiji Kobayashi, and Kazuma Okamoto -- ran ten thirty-meter dashes while dragging twenty kilometer weights behind them. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2015, Sanspo 11/3/2015
  • The Giants decided to cancel their end-of-the-year gatherings (party and golf tournament) after three of their players were caught gambling on baseball games. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2015 ... The Giants are planning to keep a tight leash on their players during fall camp. Curfews have been changed (from 10:30pm to 10:00pm on practice days, from 1:00am to 12:00am the day before day offs, and from no set time to 11:00pm on days off) and players are not allowed to play golf on their days off. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2015, Sponichi 11/4/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/3/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015, Daily Sports 11/4/2015, Sanspo 11/4/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Intra-squad game on November 3: Yuta Iwasada started the game for the Whites and tossed three perfect innings. Source: Sanspo 11/4/2015 ... Kojiro Tanabo entered the game in the 5th for the Reds and needed just nine pitches to record a perfect inning in relief (Fo4, G5, Ks). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015 ... Hiroaki Saiuchi relieved Tanabo in the 6th and retired the side in order on twelve pitches (F4, F4, G6). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015 ... Taiga Egoshi got the start in center and batted fourth for the Whites. He recorded two doubles: he hit a double to left off Ryoma Matsuda with runners on first and third and no out in the 1st; and he led off the 4th inning with a double to left off Hiroya Shimamoto. Source: Daily Sports 11/4/2015 ... Yamato got the start at second and batted lead-off for the Whites. He hit a timely triple in the 3rd off Matsuda. Source: Sanspo 11/4/2015 ... Hiroki Uemoto started in center and batted third for the Reds. Source: Sanspo 11/4/2015 ... Ryutaro Umeno was the starting catcher for the Whites and batted fifth. He threw out Uemoto trying to steal second in the 4th inning and Ryosuke Ogata at third in the 5th. He went 0-for-4 at the plate. Source: Sanspo 11/4/2015 ... The game was shortened from eight to six innings because some pitchers were not ready due to the last minute scheduling change. Source: Sports Hochi 11/4/2015, Sponichi 11/4/2015
  • The intra-squad game on November 3 was pushed up a day from November 4 without prior notice because Tomoaki Kanemoto wanted to show fans (about 2,500 of them) his appreciation for their support. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015 ... Kanemoto kept Kazuhito Futagami and Hiroaki Saiuchi on their toes by stepping into the batter's box during their bullpen session on November 2. Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2015, Sponichi 11/3/2015 ... Kanemoto is thinking about adding weight training to the standard practice schedule, beginning next year. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2015 ... Kanemoto is planning to visit Naruohama during fall camp to check on the rest of the players in the organization and for a meeting with Masayuki Kakefu. Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2015
  • Taiga Egoshi hit twenty-four over the fence during batting practice after the intra-squad game on November 3. Source: Daily Sports 11/4/2015
  • Ryota Imanari worked out as a catcher on November 2 for the first time in three years. Source: Sanspo 11/3/2015
  • Kakefu feels it might do outfielder Shintaro Yokota some good to play some first based on his body size and the way he moves around on the field. The extra position should bring him more opportunities to play. Working out at another position might also help with his defense in the outfield. Source: Sanpso 11/4/2015
  • The Tigers are planning to use Mizuno's Swing Tracer during Kochi fall camp. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2015
  • Kakefu spent about forty minutes signing autographs for around 300 fans after practices at Naruohama on November 4. Kakefu signed autographs for around 300 fans on November 1 (forty minutes) and about 600 on November 3 (ninety minutes). There was no autograph session on November 2 because of the weather. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Intra-squad game on November 3: Atsuya Horie was one of the starters. He tossed three shutout innings. He allowed one hit, walked three, and topped out at 145km/h. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015, Daily Sports 11/4/2015 ... Koya Fujii tossed a shutout inning in relief. He walked the first batter he faced, but did not allow any hits. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/3/2015
  • The Carp are making sure Daichi Osera and Shota Nakazaki are resting their arms during fall camp because of their workload this past season. The two led the team in appearances with fifty-one games and sixty-nine games, respectively. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • Practice game against the Shikoku Island League on November 3: Junki Ito started the game and gave up a run on two hits and a walk over three innings of work. He faced twelve hitters, tossed sixty-two pitches, and recorded a strike on the first pitch just twice. He was set to pitch five innings, but his day was cut short because Motonobu Tanishige felt he was not pitching with a purpose. Source: Daily Sports 11/4/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015 ... Naomichi Donoue got the start at first and batted second. He went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Issei Endo started at short and batted lead-off. He went 3-for-6 with three RBI. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Takayuki Kajitani started the season at eighty-four kilograms. He was down to seventy-six kilograms in June. He is now back to eighty kilograms and is hoping to push his weight to between ninety and ninety-five for the start of the 2016 season. Source: Sanspo 11/4/2015
  • Alex Ramirez wants the team to shoot fo eight to one-hundred stolen bases next year. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2015

[11/2/2015] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Nov.03, 2015 @ 3:05 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • The Swallows officially announced that Wladimir Balentien will be participating in the Premier 12 as a member of the Netherlands national baseball team. Source: official announcement
  • Mitch Dening's wife is scheduled to give birth to the couple's first child, a boy, in December. Source: Sanspo 11/2/2015
  • Orlando Roman withdrew from the Premier 12 so that he can focus on his preparations for 2016. Source: Sanspo 11/2/2015

Yomiuri Giants

  • Tomoyuki Sugano threw thirty-two pitches in the bullpen on October 29. It was his first session since the season ended. Source: Sanspo 10/30/2015
  • Hideki Matsui is ready to provide Yoshinobu Takahashi with whatever help and support he needs. That could include accepting an invite to be a special instructor during spring camp next year. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/2/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • The first day of Kochi fall camp on November 1 started at 10:00am and ended after 5:00pm. Source: Sponichi 11/2/2015
  • Naomasa Yokawa took eight-four swings during regular batting practice on the first day of fall camp and hit ten over the fence. During evening workouts, he swung the bat 242 times and hit forty-one over the fence. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/2/2015, Daily Sports 11/2/2015 ... Taiga Egoshi took a total 326 swings and hit twenty-four over the fence. Source: Sanspo 11/2/2015
  • About 2,000 fans showed up for the first day of fall camp in Aki, Kochi on November 1. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/1/2015 ... About 500 were in attendance for the start of fall camp at Naruohama on November 1. Around 300 stayed back after practices for an autograph session with Masayuki Kakefu. Source: Tokyo Sports 11/1/2015, Sponichi 11/2/2015
  • Tomoaki Kanemoto could pull players aside in the evenings during fall camp and work with them directly, if he feels they need it. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/1/2015, Sponichi 11/1/2015
  • Kanemoto feels it is still too early to think about shifting Takashi Toritani to another position so he can focus more on his hitting. "Toritani can still play short. I actually think staying at short will help with his offense," said Kanemoto. Source: Daily Sports 10/30/2015 ... Kanemoto wants Toritani to play a more active role as captain of the team, even more so than the previous four years. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/1/2015, Sponichi 11/1/2015
  • Ichi-gun pitching coach Isao Koda wants every pitcher to not only work on their control during fall camp, but also work on a new pitch. Ryoma Matsuda is working on a change-up, Hiroya Shimamoto a shuto, Hiroaki Saiuchi a slider, Kojiro Tanabo a forkball, and Suguru Iwazaki and Takumi Akiyama curveballs. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/2/2015
  • The Tigers are planning to release Shinta Hifumi and are expected to re-sign him to an Ikusei contract. Source: Sponichi 11/1/2015
  • Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi is set to attend spring camp next year as a special pitching instructor. Source: Daily Sports 10/31/2015 ... The organization is also thinking about inviting Norihiro Akahoshi to spring camp as a special instructor. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/1/2015
  • The Tigers announced that Keiichiro Yotsufuji will be taking over as managing director of the organization on November 1. Current managing director Nobuo Minami will step down and become a team adviser. Source: official announcement

Hiroshima Carp

Chunichi Dragons

  • Practice game against the Shikoku Island League on November 1: Ryosuke Nomura started the game and gave up a run on six hits over five innings of work. Source: Sanspo 11/1/2015
  • Practice game against the Shikoku Island League on October 31: Katsuki Matayoshi entered the game in the 9th and tossed a shutout inning in relief. He faced four hitters and broke two bats, one on a inside 140km/h fastball and the other on a 136km/h shuto. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/1/2015
  • The Dragons announced that Takeshi Kaneko (22) married a twenty-three-year-old woman living in Osaka in January. They had a boy in February. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/2/2015, Sports Hochi 11/2/2015

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars are planning to send Taiki Sekine, Yuta Kakita, Koki Yamashita, and Satoshi Iizuka to Taiwan to play winter ball. Source: Sponichi 11/2/2015
  • Shun Yamaguchi will become the Bay Stars' next player representative. Source: Sports Hochi 10/31/2015

[10/28/2015] Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Chunichi Dragons

by on Oct.29, 2015 @ 9:29 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

  • Tetsuto Yamada could be given the uniform number 1 during the off-season. Nine players have worn the number since 1950, most recently Norichika Aoki (2010-2011). Source: Sponichi 10/28/2015

Yomiuri Giants

  • Hisayoshi Chono is set to take over as the new player representative in 2016. Source: official announcement
  • The Giants announced on October 26 that Tatsunori Hara will assume the role of special adviser, effective January 1, 2015. Source: official announcement
  • The Giants will be putting together a San-gun team (made up of about twenty to twenty-five players, mostly Ikusei), complete with a full coaching staff. The team will play about ninety games a year against teams from the Independent Leagues, college leagues, and Industrial Leagues. Source: official announcement
  • Former Giant Junichi Kawahara announced that he was retiring on October 28. He spent the last few years with the Ehime Mandarin Pirates (Island League). Source: Daily Sports 10/28/2015

Hanshin Tigers

  • Shintaro Fujinami is hoping to push his weight to ninety-five kilograms this off-season. He spent most of this season around ninety-two, ninety-three kilograms. His goal is to ultimately reach 100 kilograms. Source: Sponichi 10/28/2015
  • Tomoaki Kanemoto is thinkng about using Ryota Imanari as an emergency back-up catcher. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/28/2015
  • If Tsuyoshi Nishioka is given a shot to win the everyday job at second base, Hiroki Uemoto could head to the outfield. Source: Sanspo 10/26/2015 ... Even if Uemoto stays at second base, Tomoaki Kanemoto wants the option of being able to play him in the outfield every now and then to give older players, like Kosuke Fukudome, the day off. He was in center field during fielding practice on October 28. Source: Daily Sports 10/29/2015

Hiroshima Carp

  • Intra-squad game on October 28: Kenta Maeda started the game and gave up a run on two hits over three innings of work. He threw forty-nine pitches, struck out four, and walked one. Source: Daily Sports 10/28/2015, Sports Hochi 10/28/2015
  • Kenta Maeda is messing around with a change-up that has a little more vertical movement (sinking action, same motion, slightly different grip) than his normal change-up for use against right-handed hitters. Source: Daily Sports 10/29/2015
  • Maeda and Hiroki Kuroda will be appearing in next year's team calendar. Maeda for the month of January and Kuroda, with Takahiro Arai, for the month of March. The team used October as the cutoff for eligibility. Source: Sports Hochi 10/23/2015

Chunichi Dragons

  • Masahiro Doi is working as a special instructor during fall camp again this year. Source: Sanspo 10/28/2015
  • The Dragons ended fall practices at Nagoya Stadium on October 26. Fall camp began on October 28. Source: Sponichi 10/26/2015
  • Hector Luna made the Dominican Republic national team for the Premier 12. Source: Daily Sports 10/24/2015

[10/27/2015] Yomiuri Giants: Yoshinobu Takahashi’s press conference from October 26

by on Oct.28, 2015 @ 12:29 am, under NPB
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The Yomiuri Giants held a press conference at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo on October 26 to introduce Yoshinobu Takahashi as their new manager.

Some notes:

  • Fifteen television cameras and over 200 members of the media covered the press conference.
  • He sat between owner Kojiro Shiraishi and president Hiroshi Kubo.
  • He played the last few years thinking the next moment might be his last.
  • He was not sure if this was the right time to retire, but then just decided to go all in, forget the uncertainties, and accept the managerial position.
  • He made the decision as quickly as possible because he knew the team was already preparing for the 2016 season and needed a reply fast. And if he was going to do it anyway, then it might end up being better for him to start sooner rather than later.
  • He wants to build the team around players like Shinnosuke Abe, Hisayoshi Chono, Hayato Sakamoto, Tomoyuki Sugano, and Tetsuya Utsumi.
  • He is the eighteenth manager in franchise history.
  • He is the first person to become manager of the Giants immediately after retiring since Shigeo Nagashima in 1975.
  • He will join the team during fall practices on October 28.
  • He will wear the uniform number 24.
  • The two sides agreed on a three-year deal.
  • Hideki Matsui and Nagashima are fully behind Takahashi.
  • Every manager in the Central League will be in their forties next year.
  • Players he learned from: Kenshin Kawakami and Hideki Matsui.
  • Memorable games as a player: he remembers his first plate appearance and his first home run at Tokyo Dome.

Source: official announcement, Sanspo 10/26/2015, Sanspo 10/26/2015, Sponichi 10/27/2015, Sponichi 10/26/2015, Daily Sports 10/26/2015, Chunichi Sports 10/26/2015, Tokyo Sports 10/26/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/27/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/27/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/26/2015

[10/27/2015] Yomiuri Giants 2016 Coaching Staff

by on Oct.27, 2015 @ 4:57 pm, under NPB
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Ichi-gun Coaching Staff

Position Name JPN Name ENG Age
Manager 高橋 由伸 Takahashi, Yoshinobu 40
Head Coach 村田 真一 Murata, Shinichi 51
Pitching Coach 尾花 高夫 Obana, Takao 58
Pitching Coach 豊田 清 Toyoda, Kiyoshi 44
Hitting Coach 内田 順三 Uchida, Junzo 68
Hitting Coach 江藤 智 Eto, Akira 45
Infield/Base Coach 井端 弘和 Ibata, Hirokazu 40
Outfield/Base Coach 大西 崇之 Onishi, Takayuki 44
Battery Coach 村田 善則 Murata, Yoshinori 41
Training Coach 伊藤 博 Ito, Hiroshi 49
Training Coach ジョン・ターニー Turney, John 43

Ni-gun Coaching Staff

Position Name JPN Name ENG Age
Manager 斎藤 雅樹 Saito, Masaki 50
Pitching Coach 田畑 一也 Tabata, Kazuya 46
Pitching Coach 木村 龍治 Kimura, Ryuji 45
Hitting Coach 井上 真二 Inoue, Shinji 49
Hitting Coach 二岡 智宏 Nioka, Tomohiro 39
Infield/Base Coach 福王 昭仁 Fukuo, Akihito 51
Outfield/Base Coach 小関 竜也 Ozeki, Tatsuya 39
Battery Coach 高田 誠 Takada, Makoto 51
Training Coach 内藤 重人 Naito, Shigeto 49
Training Coach 会田 有志 Aida, Yushi 31

San-gun Coaching Staff

Position Name JPN Name ENG Age
Manager 川相 昌弘 Kawai, Masahiro 51
Pitching Coach 阿波野 秀幸 Awano, Hideyuki 51
Hitting Coach 金城 龍彦 Kinjo, Tatsuhiko 39
Infield/Base Coach 円谷 英俊 Tsuburaya, Hidetoshi 31
Outfield/Base Coach 後藤 孝志 Goto, Koji 46
Battery Coach 秦 真司 Hata, Shinji 53
Training Coach 穴吹 育大 Anabuki, Ikuo  

Ni-gun/San-gun Roving Coach

Position Name JPN Name ENG Age
Hitting Coach 田代 富雄 Tashiro, Tomio 61


Source: official announcement (10/27), official announcement (10/29 update), official announcement (11/24 update)

[10/24/2015] Yomiuri Giants: Ibata to retire and join Takahashi’s coaching staff

by on Oct.24, 2015 @ 9:07 am, under NPB
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According to a number of reports filed this morning, Hirokazu Ibata is planning to retire and support former teammate and now Yomiuri manager Yoshinobu Takahashi by joining his coaching staff as an infield/base coach.

Source: Daily Sports 10/24/2015, Chunichi Sports 10/24/2015

[UPDATE @ 5:48pm]

Ibata held a press conference at the team offices today and announced that he was retiring from baseball.

The veteran infielder has known Takahashi since college. They spent a lot of time together when he joined the Giants in 2014. He decided to retire because he never thought he would have a longer career than Takahashi.

Source: official announcementSponichi 10/24/2015, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2015

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