Tag Archive: Kochi Fighting Dogs

[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

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

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

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[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

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[1/9/2017] Kochi Fighting Dogs reach agreement with Manny Ramirez

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:

  • Why he decided to come out of retire – after spending time in the Dominican Republic, he started feeling the urge to play again.
  • When he seriously started thinking about a comeback – he started swinging the bat and started taking some batting practice in 2016. He felt he was in good condition and talked it over with his wife. He started thinking about a comeback in the fall. He decided to attempt a comeback because his wife also supported him.
  • Why he agreed to play for an independent league team in Japan – he received offers from teams in other countries, but picked Japan because of his interest in Japanese culture. He also said he liked the Japanese approach to baseball.
  • Would he accept an offer from an NPB team – he said yes and that he would use the opportunity to show everyone that he can still play.

Source: Kochi announcement, Kochi Facebook announcement

[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.

Source: Tokyo Sports 3/7/2017, Daily Sports 3/7/2017, Daily Sports 3/7/2017Nikkan Sports 3/7/2017, Sponichi 3/7/2017

[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 3/9/2017

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 71 44 26 1
Hanshin 68 37 31 0
Yokohama 71 34 35 2
Chunichi 72 32 37 3
Yomiuri 70 31 39 0
Yakult 70 27 42 1
G W L T
Rakuten 65 43 21 1
Softbank 72 46 26 0
Seibu 67 36 29 2
Orix 69 31 37 1
Nippon Ham 69 28 41 0
Lotte 70 22 47 1
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