[8/18/2017] Shun Yamaguchi: suspended, fined, docked pay

Thirty-year-old Shun Yamaguchi is suspected of causing injury and damaging equipment. The Meguro Police Department formally filed papers with the Public Prosecutors Office on August 18. The Yomiuri Giants and Yamaguchi held a press conference to address the report.

Notes from various reports:

  • What allegedly happened (according to police reports):
    • On July 11, at a hospital in Meguro, Yamaguchi shoved a male security guard into a desk. The guard suffered a bruise that will take about two weeks to fully heal. Yamaguchi also kicked a hospital door and damaged it.
    • Yamaguchi went to the hospital after he cut his right hand while drinking at a bar. He got into trouble at the hospital when he tried to get treatment for the cut.
    • The events came to light on July 18, the day he was scheduled to start a game against the Chunichi Dragons.
    • Yamaguchi was taken off the active roster on July 19. He voluntarily refrained from participating in practices.
  • Yamguchi told police, “I did it. I was drunk at the time.”
  • The Giants have suspended Yamguchi. They have also fined and docked his pay.
    • Suspension = from August 18 until November 30.
    • Fine = 1/300th of his salary for each day between July 11 and August 17.
    • Docked pay = 1/300 of his salary for each day between August 18 and November 30.
    • Yamaguchi will most likely pay/lose over 100 million yen in fines and docked pay.
  • The Giants have reached settlements with the victims. They have withdrawn their reports.
  • Press conference on August 18:
    • Yamaguchi and team president Kazuo Ishii were present.
    • Yamaguchi apologized for his careless actions. He apologized to the security guard, the hospital, the team, and the fans.
    • The Giants are not planning to terminate their contract with Yamaguchi. They are expecting him to play next year.
    • The press conference lasted about thirty minutes and ended with Yamaguchi deeply bowing his head for about ten seconds.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/18/2017, Nikkan Sports 8/18/2017, Nikkan Sports 8/18/2017, Nikkan Sports 8/18/2017, Daily Sports 8/18/2017, Daily Sports 8/18/2017, Daily Sports 8/18/2017, ZakZak 8/18/2017, Sponichi 8/18/2017, Sponichi 8/18/2017, Sanspo 8/17/2017, Tokyo Sports 8/18/2017, Tokyo Sports 8/18/2017

[UPDATE 8/19 @ 3:12pm]

Yamaguchi visited Tokyo Dome today and offered an apology to coaches and teammates. He is expected to resume practices soon.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/19/2017

[UPDATE 8/20 @ 5:39pm]

Yamaguchi resumed practices at Giants Stadium today. It was the first time he wore the team uniform in about a month. He also apologized to Ni-gun and San-gun players/coaches/staff before the start of practices.

Source: Sponichi 8/20/2017, Nikkan Sports 8/20/2017, Daily Sports 8/20/2017

[UPDATE 8/24 @ 1:28am]

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office dropped Yamaguchi’s case. The indictment was likely suspended, since the Giants settled with both the hospital and security guard.

Source: Sanspo 8/23/2017

[UPDATE 8/29 @ 12:23am]

The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association announced on August 28 that they filed a grievance with the Giants, the NPB commissioner’s office, and the NPB executive committee. They are requesting the Giants to reconsider their financial punishment for this year because they feel it is too much. They are also concerned that the Giants coerced Yamaguchi into agreeing to contract changes that will result in a significant reduction in wages past this season by threatening to terminate it completely.

The Giants released a statement indicating that they felt their punishment was appropriate.

Source: JPBPA 8/28/2017, Sponichi 8/28/2017, Sponichi 8/28/2017Daily Sports 8/28/2017, Daily Sports 8/28/2017, Tokyo Sports 8/28/2017

[UPDATE 8/29 @ 9:32pm]

Yamaguchi spoke to reporters today after practices at Giants Stadium. He said he was unaware of their plans to file a grievance, though he did have contact with the players association during his voluntary suspension. He also said that it was his own decision was to stay and sign with the Giants and that he just wanted to move on.

The JPBA’s Secretary General Tadahito Mori told reporters after a meeting with the NPB today that their decision to file a grievance was not so much about the individual, as it was about the whole. There were also concerns about it setting a dangerous precedent for the future.

Source: Daily Sports 8/29/2017, Tokyo Sports 8/29/2017, Daily Sports 8/29/2017

[UPDATE 8/30 @ 3:04pm]

The players association was involved in initial talks between Yamaguchi and the Giants. They sat in on three discussions, then were left out of the loop. Based on what discussions they were a part of, the Giants first wanted Yamaguchi to withdraw from the organization on his own. After that, they started talking about shortening their multi-year contract.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/30/2017, Sanspo 8/30/2017

[UPDATE 9/6 @ 5:08am]

The Giants submitted a response with the NPB executive committee during a meeting on September 4. Their response took up five B5 pages.

The Giants are claiming that their punishment was appropriate, if not a little lenient, based on queries made by fans. With regards to the contract, they claim they did nothing that went against the baseball agreement or other regulations and that Yamaguchi gave his consent. They also claim that since contract renegotiations took place because of player misconduct, there would be no negative repercussions to the free agency system itself.

The Giants also clarified/confirmed that Yamaguchi never approached the players association because he was unsatisfied with the final punishment. 

Source: Sponichi 9/4/2017, Sanspo 9/4/2017, Daily Sports 9/4/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/4/2017Tokyo Sports 9/5/2017


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