The Kochi Fighting Dogs held a press conference for Manny Ramirez at a hotel in Kochi earlier today. He donned the uniform 99 with the name Manny above it. About 130 people attended the press conference (media, sponsors, team personnel).
Notes taken from various sources:
Source: Kochi 3/7/2017 (uniform), Kochi Manny Gallery, Kochi Pin Badge, Kochi Manny Section, Tokyo Sports 3/9/2017, Daily Sports 3/9/2017, Daily Sports 3/9/2017, Sports Hochi 3/9/2017, Sponichi 3/9/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/9/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/9/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/9/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/9/2017
[UPDATE 3/11 @ 2:43am]
Ramirez practiced with the team on March 10.
A few other notes.
[UPDATE 3/11 @ 6:09pm]
Notes from March 11.
[UPDATE 3/16 @ 3:26pm]
Ramirez played in his first exhibition game with Kochi today. He got the start at designated hitter and batted lead-off against the Nomo Baseball Club.
Source: Daily Sports 3/16/20170 Comments
The BC League’s Niigata Albirex Baseball Club announced today that they reached an agreement with thirty-six-year-old Shuichiro Osada.
Osada began his professional career with the Seibu Lions in 2002. He was traded to the Yokohama Bay Stars for Naoto Watanabe during the 2013 season. He was released by Yokohama last year and attended the twelve team tryouts in November in an attempt to find a new home in the NPB.0 Comments
The NPB announced on February 27 that four graduates from the 4th NPB Umpire School (December 2016) were given assignments at independent leagues as Umpires in Training.
Source: NPB 2/27/20170 Comments
The 06 Bull announced today that former Hanshin Tiger Katsuhiko Saka will join their team as a player-coach for the 2017 season. He was assigned the uniform number 35.0 Comments
The Rakuten Eagles announced today that Daisuke Kusano will be sent to the Niigata Albirex Baseball Club as a visiting coach from March 15 until the end of the season. Kusano was Rakuten’s Ni-gun batting coach the last three seasons.0 Comments
The BC League’s Niigata Albirex Baseball Club announced today that former Yomiuri Giant Ken Kato will be join their front office. A press conference is scheduled for January 16.0 Comments
The Shikoku Island League’s Kochi Fighting Dogs announced today that they reached an agreement with forty-four-year-old Manny Ramirez. Officials from the team met Ramirez near Miami, Florida on January 9. The two sides are still discussing his arrival schedule and contract length.
Also, YouTuber qoonin posted an interview with Ramirez. The interview is primarily in Spanish with Japanese subtitles. You can view the footage by clicking here. Below is a summary:
[UPDATE 1/10 @ 11:34pm]
Ramirez’s contract might be good for just the first-half of the season (about three months). The end of the contract should fall right around the end of July, which also coincides with the NPB signing deadline (July 31).
Source: Nikkan Sports 1/10/2017
[UPDATE 1/1 @ 9:46pm]
Ramirez found out the team was holding tryouts through online sources like Facebook and reached out to the team through Zak Colby in November. The team did not know how serious he was at first because communications were a bit slow at first, but things started rolling in December and the two sides started talking about a contract.
Source: ZakZak 1/11/2017
[UPDATE 2/27 @ 4:39pm]
Ramirez might arrive in Japan on either March 7 or 8. A press conference is scheduled for March 9. He is expected to join Kochi for practices beginning on March 10.
Ramire’z contract might be for about two months. Kochi is planning to use him at designated hitter batting fourth. His uniform number will be 99.
Source: Daily Sports 2/27/2017
[UPDATE 2/28 @ 5:46pm]
Kochi released Ramirez’s schedule today. He is set to arrive in Japan at Narita Airport on March 7 and take a connecting flight to Kochi on the same day. A press conference will be held on March 9. He will participate in his first practices with the team on March 10.
Source: Kochi 2/28/2017
[UPDATE 3/7 @ 11:07pm]
Ramirez arrived at Narita Airport in Japan earlier today with his wife. A number of fans (over thirty) greeted him at the airport.
[UPDATE 3/9 @ 12:27pm]
There were six TV cameras, about fifty members of the media, and around fifty fans at the airport. Ramirez was able to sign thirty or so autographs before he had to leave. He arrived with eleven suitcases.
Source: ZakZak 3/9/20170 Comments
The Fukui Miracle Elephants announced today that they reached an agreement Akira Iwamoto. The twenty-two-year-old was released by the Hanshin Tigers in October last year and attended the twelve team tryouts in November.0 Comments
Hyogo Blue Sandars announced today that they signed thirty-seven-year-old Kei Igawa to a practice player contract, effective December 15. He was assigned the uniform number 29.
Igawa was released by the Orix Buffaloes after the 2015 season. He spent this year working out with Hyogo. He agreed to sign a practice player contract because he still wants to play. His goal next year is to sign a standard contract with Hyogo and pitch a full season.
[UPDATE 12/23 @ 10:01pm]
A few more details on Igawa’s current status and contract.
Hyogo is part of the Baseball First League. Aside from some exceptions, players do not receive a salary, regardless of the type of contract they sign. Igawa will not be receiving a salary.
Igawa is not quite 100 percent healthy. He has some issues with his calf and lower back, but can still throw around 140km/h.
Source: Tokyo Sports 12/23/20160 Comments
According to a report by Nikkan Sports, Manny Ramirez is interested in playing baseball in Japan. The Shikoku Island League’s Kochi Fighting Dogs are currently talking to Ramirez’s agent about a possible contract.
It all started on November 11 when his agent and a Kochi player (infielder from overseas) approached the Fighting Dogs and asked if they might be interested in Ramirez. Kochi is open to the idea of signing the forty-four-year-old as a player, not a coach.0 Comments