We briefly interrupt all of our other unfinished posts in order to announce that 2nd-round draft pick and all-around nice guy Kisho Kagami signed a contract today with the Yokohama Baystars. 12 million yen base salary (which is like $150,000) and 80 million yen signing bonus, which is pretty close to what a 1st-round draft pick gets anyway. Hooray!
Unfortunately they don't seem to have assigned him a uniform number yet. Still waiting on that, though I've got the blank uniform ready to go to the local Sports Authority to have them add some numbers and letters to it. But it's still good -- no, great! -- news!
His comment? "I'm really happy to sign a contract with the Baystars. From next year, I want to fulfill the high value the team has placed on me. My goal is to become another pitcher like Kenta Maeda. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to reach the same levels as the Waseda Big 3, so I'll be working my absolute hardest to reach my potential."
Hmm. Wonder if he'll be appearing at Searex or Baystars fanfest? And whether he'd be surprised to see me if I hunted him down? :)
I haven't had time to translate his extensive interview in the Hosei Nikkan Sports blog on draft day; if anyone actually cares that much, let me know. (My favorite comment is when they point out that he still gets to bat in the CL, and he says "Uh... I think I'll be focusing on pitching first, thanks..." He actually batted really well in Big 6 for a pitcher, BUT if you've ever seen him at the plate it's pretty funny to watch.)
(And here's another interview with him about signing his contract with Yokohama. "What do you think it's like being a fan in Yokohama these days?" "...that's hard to answer. I've been watching since I was a kid (during the 'Machine Gun Offense' days) and so these past 3 years finishing in last place, you could say I'm a little worried...")
Oh, on a really quick other Hosei-related note: I was positive that either Kota Imamura or Naoki Harada were going to be the next captain, but no, the next captain is Masashi Nanba. Harada and Imamura, along with Yusuke Hasegawa, are the vice captains... I'm really surprised, honestly. Nanba is the least captain-like of the four, in terms of personality. (Though maybe I shouldn't be too surprised being as Shuhei Ishikawa was kind of a dumbass too.) And Tomoya Mikami is Kagami's successor as Pitching Leader.