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.
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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 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