Category: Independent Leagues

[7/7/2017] Kochi extends contract with Manny Ramirez

The Kochi Fighting Dogs announced on July 7 that they reached an agreement with Manny Ramirez on a contract extension that will run though to the end of September. The contract does not include the Grand Championship.

The second-half of the Island League season is set to begin on July 30.

Source: Kochi 7/7/2017, Nikkan Sports 7/7/2017, Daily Sports 7/7/2017

See also:


[7/7/2017] Chunichi Dragons assign Tomohiro Hamada to Kawaga Olive Guyners

The Chunichi Dragons announced today that they assigned Tomohiro Hamada to the Shikoku Island League Kagawa Olive Guyners. His contract run from July 6 until the end of the season (including playoffs).

Source: Chunichi 7/7/2017, Kawagawa 7/7/2017


[5/17/2017] Futures to play Shikoku Island League in June

The NPB announced that the Futures will play three games against a team from the Shikoku Island League plus in June. Admission will be free. Games will not be rescheduled in the event of rain outs.


  • June 20 (Tue) – 13:00 at Ota Stadium
  • June 21 (Wed) – 13:00 at Ota Stadium
  • June 22 (Thu) – 12:00 at Ota Stadium

Source: NPB 5/17/2017


[4/20/2017] Manny Ramirez’s contract with Kochi ends in July

The Kochi Fighting Dogs announced on April 20 that their contract with Manny Ramirez will expire at the end of July. Kochi decided to release the information because they received a lot of inquiries and because they want as many people to see him play in Japan as possible.

The Shikoku Island League plus season is split into two halves: April/May and August/September. There are no regular season games during June/July. Additionally, NPB teams have until the end of July to sign new players.

Kochi is currently in discussions with Ramirez about the schedule in June/July. They are also exploring the possibility of a contract extension beyond July.

Source: Kochi 4/20/2017Daily Sports 4/20/2017, Tokyo Sports 4/20/2017, Sponichi 4/20/2017, Nikkan Sports 4/20/2017

See also:


[4/12/2017] Akinori Iwamura to retire as player after 2017 season

Akinori Iwamura announced his decision to retire as a player after the current season during a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo on April 10. He is currently a playing manager with the BC League’s Fukushima Hopes. During the press conference, he said he thought it was time to retire because he was finding it more and more difficult to pencil his name into the line-up.

Source: BCL 4/9/2017Daily Sports 4/10/2017


[4/2/2017] Kei Igawa tosses two shutout innings for Blue Sandars

Kei Igawa pitched in a game against the 06 Bulls earlier today. The thirty-seven-year-old took the mound in the seventh inning for the Hyogo Blue Sandars and tossed two shutout innings. He struck out three in a row at one point. He is set to get a start on April 8.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/2/2017

[UPDATE 4/4 @ 5:13pm]

Igawa faced eight hitters, walked none, allowed three hits, and struck out three. He gave up a single to the first batter he faced in the seventh, then got the next batter to hit into a double play. He served up two consecutive hits to start the eighth and struck out three in a row to end the inning.

Source: ZakZak 4/4/2017


Manny Ramirez Watch (updated 5/29 @ 1:35am)

I will try to keep this updated as best as I can.



[3/9/2017] Kochi hold press conference for Manny Ramirez

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:

  • Playing in Japan was one of his dreams and he is glad it came true.
  • He wants to show baseball fans what he is still capable of accomplishing.
  • He wants to play for as long as he is passionate about the game.
  • He is open to play in the NPB and will talk to any team interested in him.
  • He went with Manny because most people in Japan will probably think of Alex Ramirez if they see Ramirez.
  • Kochi plans to guarantee a spot as a designated hitter with at least two plate appearances. If he wants to do more, they will consider it.
  • He is slated to join the team tomorrow (March 10) at Ochi Sogo Sports Park for practices. Depending on his condition, he might be able to play in the Pro/Amateur tournament on March 11 and 12.

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.

  • He arrived right on time (9:30am).
  • About thirty members of the media and around 100 fans were in attendance.
  • He took fifty-three swings during live batting practice and hit four to five over the fence.

A few other notes.

  • He has been given use of a Mercedes Benz. Team staff will drive him around.
  • He is staying in a suite at a hotel. Valued at about 80,000 yen a night.
  • He has been promised all the sushi he wants to eat while he is with the team.
  • Kochi is planning to open an English site offering Manny merchandise.
  • Practices are apparently optional.

Source: Tokyo Sports 3/10/2017, Tokyo Sports 3/10/2017, Daily Sports 3/10/2017, Daily Sports 3/10/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/10/2017, Sports Hochi 3/10/2017

[UPDATE 3/11 @ 6:09pm]

Notes from March 11.

  • He did not play in today’s exhibition game against Kochi University.
  • He is still battling jet lag.
  • He participated in pre-game practices. He took indoor batting practice after warm-ups and playing catch.
  • He ate udon for lunch. He also ate a rice ball and teppanyaki (grilled) chicken.
  • He stayed and watch the game until the fifth inning.
  • He might be able to play in tomorrow’s exhibition game against Shikoku Ginko.

Source: Daily Sports 3/11/2017, Tokyo Sports 3/11/2017

[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.

  • 1B6 in the first
  • G1 with a runner on second and one out in the second
  • G6 with none on and two out in the fourth
  • 2B8 with a runner on second and two out in the sixth

Source: Daily Sports 3/16/2017


[3/1/2017] Shuichiro Osada signs with Niigata

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.

Source: Niigata 3/1/2017, Nikkan Sports 3/1/2017


[2/27/2017] Four NPB Umpire School graduates given Independent League assignments

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. 

  • Toshiki Moriguchi (22) – Shikoku Island League plus
  • Yuya Kimura (21) – Route Inn Baseball Challenge League
  • Shuto Takahashi (18) – Route Inn Baseball Challenge League
  • Yuta Yamahara (18) – Shikoku Island League plus

Source: NPB 2/27/2017

NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 93 59 32 2
Hanshin 89 48 41 0
Yokohama 91 47 41 3
Yomiuri 91 42 48 1
Chunichi 94 39 52 3
Yakult 92 32 58 2
Rakuten 84 56 27 1
Softbank 91 59 32 0
Seibu 89 50 37 2
Orix 89 39 49 1
Nippon Ham 90 33 57 0
Lotte 89 29 59 1
Don't forget to check these out!