Nippon|1..2..Punch: Hokkaido Fighters News

Discussion in 'Team News' started by kdpnutter, May 26, 2013.

  1. kdpnutter

    kdpnutter Walk On

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    All Hokkaido Fighters News will appear here, a news conference has been scheduled tomorrow to announce some exciting news for the Fighters.​
    In a slightly smaller bit of news​
    The Japan Times Reports Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters have agreed to terms on a Minor-League deal with a Major League option with 3B Tsurayuki Tsukamoto, Tsukamoto is from the town of Hiroshima is 28 years old and played 4 years as a professional, he fills a need for depth for the Fighters and by all indications will be used as a utility man as he can play all 4 positions on the infield and is extremely solid defensively. Manager Uchiyama had this to say "Tsukamoto will be given a chance to earn a spot on this team. Nothing is given for the Fighters. You earn your way on this team. We think he can be productive either at AAA or here. We look forward to see what he can do." Terms of the deal were not initially disclosed, but later were discovered to be a 1 year deal worth $150,000. If Tsukamoto is not promoted in the first 30 days of the season he can become a free agent if he so wishes.

     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  2. kdpnutter

    kdpnutter Walk On

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    News from the Sapporo Dome today
    The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters have announced at a press conference earlier the extensions of 3 key cogs to there team, SP Kakuei Kichida has signed a 4-year contract extension, which will keep the 26 year old lefty with the team for at least 3 years leaving a team option of 4 years, avoiding arbitration after the season. Kichida is the second ace of this staff and has shown a very high loyalty to the Fighters and was rewarded for it today. His 4 year deal is for a total of $6,238,400 with a yearly salary of 1,559,600. Kichida is considered the ace in waiting as current ace of the staff Eiichi "Puke" Yamaguchi has two years left on his deal but is 34 years old and many wonder when his contract expires if he will resign or if he will retire. Locking in Kichida at such a reasonable number brought a lot of happiness to the Fighters fans. Kichida was quoted as saying "I hope to spend the rest of my career here, they have given me so much. I want to give back to the fans and to the ownership."
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    Kichida pictured above after signing his extension today.
    Also announcing there extensions was SP Kazu Furakawa, Furukawa is listed as the third SP of the rotation and the last of the big 3 for Hokkaido, with him being eligible for FA and already reports out of the United States have teams looking to get there hands on the 26-year old. Furukawa has had slight injury concerns but has shown brilliance that has allowed Hokkaido to become a prominent force in NPB. Furukawa's deal is worth 3 years $240,000 with the 3rd year of the extension being a team option. By signing Furukawa also avoided arbitration years and gives the Fighters control of a solid #2 or #3 starter for years to come.
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    Furukawa excited over his new extension
    Last and certainly not least is the extension signed by slugging 1B Keizo Harrada, Harrada a 27 year old is arguably the best home run hitter in all of Nippon and any pitcher who is on the mound fears this big man. Harrada signed for 4 years $6,400,000 over the 4 years, with the 4th year being an option. Harrada was arbitration eligible and manager Uchiyama and management are setting a trend they are not willing to go to arbitration with there key players. They would rather lock them in early and keep the core of this team. Harrada was unavailable to be at the news conference today as he is currently awaiting the birth of his first child, so not only does he sign the extension with the only team he's ever known but he also becomes a father. Images of Harrada's big bat was shown on the big screen as the announcement was made.
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    Fighters management has said season tickets have spiked through the roof since the announcement of the extensions and more are expected to pour in. Fighters fans now are not only excited for the start of the season but also to see there heroes staying put in Hokkaido for a few more years.
     
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  3. kdpnutter

    kdpnutter Walk On

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    Injury bug hits Hokkaido star outfielder Shozo Saikawa
    Something that in years past has been almost impossible for pitchers to do, Shozo Saikawa has been put out. Saikawa was injured against Yokohama recently trying to leg out a double, as Saikawa pulled into second he also pulled up lame. Saikawa strained his hamstring and will be sidelined for approximately 6 weeks. This is a big blow to the Fighters lineup as he was batting cleanup and had the ever dangerous Keizo Harada hitting in front of him and provided a great one-two punch. In response to the move Saikawa has been placed on the 15-day DL, MRI results came back negative for a tear which was a sigh of relief for management. Tsurayuki Tsukamoto has had his contract purchased by the Fighters from AAA and has joined the club. Tsukamoto will split time between DH and 3B in the absence of Saikawa. Saikawa had been hitting .185 but had an OBP of .302, he had 4 HR's on the year. Rumors have been circulating that the Fighters are looking at perspective outfielders and that veteran American outfielders B.J. Upton and Josh Hamilton have been spoken too in regards to the job. Management has denied those rumors and manager Uchiyama was quoted as saying "We will not be going outside the organization to fill the void left by Saikawa, everyone else around him will need to pick up their games a little bit more, especially Yunosuke Harada." Once Saikawa is set to return it will then be decided who will go down to AAA, it is not set in stone that Tsukamoto will go back down as his diversity in positions he can play is something that team really likes.
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    A bit of good news came out of Hokkaido today as SP Kazu Furukawa picked up his 3rd win. Furukawa currently has the most wins on the team and is slated as the number 3 pitcher on the roster. Hokkaido currently sports the lowest team ERA of SP but needs there bats in the lineup to pick up and score some runs. Right now the Fighters are sporting one of the lowest BA in all of NPB. All players were seen taking extra batting practice each day recently as manager Uchiyama will not tolerate a less than stellar work ethic. Uchiyama has told the Japan Times that until the team starts playing like it's supposed to, there will be extra batting practice daily.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  4. kdpnutter

    kdpnutter Walk On

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    A Fond Farewell

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    2021 Record: 22-4 1.84 ERA 285 K 44 BB .89 WHIP (Eiji Sawamura Award Winner)
    2022 Record: 18-9 3.11 ERA 249 K 41 BB 1.07 WHIP


    Eiichi "Puke" Yamaguchi took the field for the last time for the Hokkaido Ham Fighters after an amazing career and today we are here to celebrate that career. Puke has done more for this team with his leadership and tireless work ethic, he certainly will go down as one of the greatest pitchers in Nippon history. The reigning Eiji Sawamura award winner (Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young) Puke has done more than anyone could have ever asked compiling a record the past two years of 40-13 including 22 wins last year on the way to the Japanese Series title. Puke will forever go down in Ham Fighters history as one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and in doing so has earned a spot in the Ham Fighters Hall of Fame and will have his jersey retired to go besides these other gentlemen.


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    A two-time all-star and the heart and soul of the Ham Fighters. Puke will always be remembered as a professional and leader for the Ham Fighters and we wish him well in his future endeavors onto the MLB.




    On behalf of the entire Ham Fighters ownership, manager Mr. Uchiyama, and all the fans here in Hokkaido......



    Thank you Puke!

    (Hokkaido now will lean on Kakui Kichida as its ace, and will certainly look to last years 2nd round pick Toshikasu Hakui and Itwane Ito to make the step up next year to NPB and battle it out for the 4th or 5th starter spot.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
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