Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kagami signs!

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.


Kiyoshi Konishi said...

Hi Deanna- thsi is Robert Kiyoshi Shadlow from Tacoma, WA. I really appreciate (and I'm sure others do also) how you present baseball from a fan's perspective. Your photos, comments, and interaction with players, coaches, and other fans are fascinating. Particurlay interesting are your endless searches down literally winding roads to often obscure stadiums whether minor league, independant, college as well as NPB games. ThanQ and carry on!!! (oh did you hear about the public outpouring for Dave Niehaus?)

Deanna said...

Hey, thanks for your comment. You have no idea how many obscure stadiums I HAVEN'T gotten around to posting about ;)

As for Dave Niehaus -- I did hear about it, but I wasn't really sure what to say. I didn't grow up in Seattle, so the voice of baseball for me as a kid was Harry Kalas -- his death struck me a little harder. I certainly feel like it was sudden in Niehaus's case, I didn't realize he was 75!

My favorite memory of him is actually not of him directly, it was the Kazuhiro Sasaki "Learning English the Niehaus Way" commercial from 2001 or so, where Sasaki's going around in the clubhouse speaking Niehausian. "Hey, Kazu, how's it going?" "It's gonna be a grand salami!" "Uhh... okay..." "My oh my!" "Whatever you say, Kazu."

Anonymous said...

Hi Deanna,

I have to agree with Robert Kiyoshi Shadlow. You did an excellent job of presenting Japanese baseball. I've learned a lot from you! Thanks very much for the awesome posts, videos and pictures. Are you going to resume blogging about the Mariners when you return to the US next year?

All the best,

Kenny from Vancouver, BC

Anonymous said...

Daenna hello congratulations for your blog thanks to you .I'm a fan of the league university and kagami became my favorite player thank you.I hope to see soon in ichi-gun.

Kantou from France,lyon

Deanna said...

Kenny: Thanks. I'm fairly sure I will not be blogging about the Mariners, but you never know. I may still go to games, but I doubt it'll be 100 games a year like I do here. Hopefully I'll get to Rainiers and Aquasox games though... I'm more looking forward to that.

Goro Shigeno said...

Did you see the reports on the Dodgers signing some players that got passed in the NPB draft?


And since you follow Big6, what do you know about Nishijima?

Deanna said...

For the record, I actually learned through the grapevine about Nishijima planning to go to the US about a month ago, but wasn't supposed to say anything about it since it was before the draft. There's another Meiji player who is ALSO planning to go to the US to play ball next year, a much nicer boy who I offered to teach English to if he wants, though he hasn't taken me up on it... :(

Personality-wise, Nishijima's kind of a jerk. As a result I have never spoken to him, he kind of avoids fans for the most part after games, and even when I saw him at the Meiji grounds during the summer, he was alone and kind of keeping to his own routine, while the rest of the team was practicing together.

Baseball-wise, he's a big left-handed dude from Yokohama HS. I guess I've seen him hit the low 140's, and he's not a bad pitcher per se, he even won the ERA title in Big 6 last fall, but he's not a CONSISTENT pitcher, and a lot of Meiji fans have basically charged him with "not doing his best for the sake of the team all the time", which goes back to the personality thing. The last game I saw him in, he pitched into extra innings, throwing 9 shutout innings before losing in the 10th in the rain, and everyone said "Wow... that may have been Nishijima's finest game ever", despite that he lost... because I guess they felt he was actually doing his best and not just being selfish.

He's never really been Meiji's ace though because well, his freshman year they had Kume (now with Softbank), his sophomore year they had Iwata (now with Chunichi), and by his junior year, sophomore Yusuke Nomura had taken the ace role. I think that's always kind of pissed him off since he was such a hotshot in high school.