Jojima cuts trip short

DMZ · November 17, 2005 at 3:53 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hot word is he’s headed back home before meeting with the Mets, feeling that he’s gotten what he wanted out of the trip. Which means he’s either signing with the M’s or headed back to Nippon Professional Baseball.

Links! Japan Today


70 Responses to “Jojima cuts trip short”

  1. msb on November 18th, 2005 10:34 am

    it was last Sat., from Morosi in the PI; everyone else that I have found using that number is quoting the PI article.

  2. garstar on November 18th, 2005 10:39 am

    Thanks, msb.

    There you go, Morosi — while I think he is one of the good guys — is misinformed, I think.

    That kind of news would have made news here.

  3. Christopher Michael on November 18th, 2005 10:53 am

    Fingers crossed? He wants to play in the Majors and he loved Seattle. Its going to happen.

  4. G-Man on November 18th, 2005 11:07 am

    So maybe he returned to Japan because (1) Softbank upped his offer and/or (2) he and/or his family decided that they didn’t like the US so much (had he ever been here before?).

  5. IceX on November 18th, 2005 12:22 pm

    DrNaka had the $10^7 number for about a week, and so did DrD, IIRC.

    To Joh, it’s not the money, it’s the challenge of playing in the MLB and in Seattle.

    If he’s not downright insulted, he’ll probably be on this side of the ocean.

  6. JAC on November 18th, 2005 12:29 pm

    Johjima returning to Japan and canceling his NYC trip has nothing to do with him NOT liking Seattle, and any notion toward that idea is just ridiculous.

    And I don’t think you’d hear all the raving quotes with he and agent Alan Nero speaking so highly of the city, the club and the people.

    His agent had to interupt him, he was rambling on about Seattle so much.

    If he stays to play in Japan, it’ll be a timing and money thing. Not a Seattle thing.

    But saying it’s unlikely that he signs here is ignoring the facts at hand.

    He basically guaranteed that he’d be playing in the US in 2006, made the trip to three US cities, took the time to talk about his situation while visiting three cities (some thru his agent), and now he’s home talking it over.

    He clearly wasn’t over here to run up Softbank’s offer.

  7. msb on November 18th, 2005 12:42 pm

    jumping back to Ichiro for a moment, Ken Rosenthal weighs in with his two cents and John McGrath adds his penny & a half today

  8. jojo on November 18th, 2005 12:55 pm

    Who said it was unlikely Jojima would sign in Seattle.

    50:50 is a coin flip implying his signing isnt a SURE thing….

  9. John Brooks on November 18th, 2005 12:59 pm


    “Or possibly he will be the spokesman when the Nintendo Revolution comes out? This is all speculation.”

    Then they won’t make an announcement on Johjima until next year, as the Revolution isn’t expected out until next year. Nintendo even said that the U.S. could get it first, just like with the Nintendo DS. By then the season will have started, but Johjima deserves a press conference with him present.


    “Regarding increased fandom, I think Ichiro makes the most money for their team out of any one individual player”

    I think Ichiro makes the most money for any team on the planet, including Barry Bonds. Ichiro’s marketing markets him not only yo the U.S. but also Japan. Add Johjima to that, and Seattle will easily be the number one team for Japanese players in the majors. There also owned by Nintendo of America, a whole-owned company of the Nintendo Corpration, a Japanese company.


    “Does this mean that there’s no hope of a Dave Valle comeback? Mackey Sasser?”

    Afraid not, though Seattle did sign Pat Borders.


    Sorry, Matsuzaka isn’t coming to 2008 or later. Matsuzaka himself said this. He gave up on convincing the Lions to post him.

    #20- Though all comes down, to does Matsuzaka want to play in New York or Seattle. Remember George S. is a headcase, Seattle has a good chance at Matsuzaka IMO.

    #24- You’re reading Rotoworld, they don’t update the player bio until they join the majors, same thing with Iguchi and Nakamura before they joined MLB teams last year.

    #26- That decision doesn’t look like it will change, as Matsuzaka is Seibu’s star player, and Seibu does have to approve it.

    #29- Most Japanese players on the M’s have a good career, for example:

    Kazuhiro Sazaki, Ichiro Suzuki(still going strong), and Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Players such as Mac Suzuki and Masao Kida haven’t had the same luck, but also have had limited playing time. Suzuki was signed out of high school by agent Don Nomura and Masao Kida had a average NPB career and only played in a limited amount of games with the M’s. Everything points to Johjima having a good career. Like Mike Hargrove and Braves scout Phil Dale said the language skill is overated, as Johjima has dealt with English and Spanish pitchers fine in Japan. His offense is fine also, as is his defense too.

    For more on his MLB conversion rates, I read the 2006 NPB Review of Free Agents, Posted Players, and Players of Interests.

    #32- Denny Hocking, funny there is my laugh for the offseason. Thanks for the post, I needed it. Hocking on a major league contract will never happen unless it’s Tampa Bay.

    #34- The Softbank Hawks have by no means given up on Johjima as they have increased their offer to Johjima to a super high level. Hawks owner Masayoshi Son and Manager/GM Sadahuru Oh have all voiced their strong intention to keep Johjima. It’s closer than it looks. Now, that Johjima canceled his meeting w/the Mets I say it’s between the M’s and re-signing with the Hawks.


    Though what Easley doing these days? He’s a backup IF for Florida. There’s not many MI’s that consistely hit 20HR’s for long before hitting their peak.

    #46- Yes, Son is well known for his money, all $4.3 billion of it. Son who owns the IT firm Softbank, is well put for money. Also, Son has maintained his wish to make the Hawks a world-class championship team. So he won’t let Johjima just go w/o a lower than expected market value. He signed Tony Batista to a 2yr/$15 million deal this January.

    #47- It’s just Nero playing games as all agents do.

    #48- You exactly nailed it on the head, were not exactly sure yet on Johjima. He could sign with the M’s or stay with Japan. The Mets came within hours of signing Buffaloes 3B Norihiro Nakamura who then decided to stay with Kintetsu, then went to Los Angeles after the Orix-Kintetsu last year.

    Though there is a high chance he will be a Mariner and I believe he will be a Mariner. Though I also don’t think it will be out of the question if Johjima ends up staying in Japan. Like Oh has already said to Johjima, he has told Johjima to think about what he wants to do throughly.

  10. Russ on November 18th, 2005 1:17 pm

    Re: McGrath & any other writer who focuses too tightly on the “card playing” aspect need to think in larger terms. I’d be willing to bet card playing in of itself is not the issur but rather a syptom of a malaise that would undoubtedly drive any competitive person bonkers.

    I would hazard a guess that the lack of a winning drive was the heart of Ichiro!s difficulty. The card playing was a simple way of illustrating the lack of the need to win that each player should bring to the field of play, everyday.

  11. Evan on November 18th, 2005 3:12 pm

    He signed Tony Batista to a 2yr/$15 million deal this January.

    That’s the same Tony Batista who managed to be below replacement level in the majors (despite hitting 30 HR and 100 RBI – that has to be some sort of record). That basically tells me he’s overspending wildly.

  12. John Brooks on November 18th, 2005 3:33 pm

    #61- I agree at $2/15M for Batista is overspending. Though I’m not sure if that’s the same case w/Johjima. Though nonetheless there have been some reports I’ve heard that Son will go up to $20M+ to keep Johjima. Though, the Hawks really don’t have many other options at catcher to go with as Tanishige re-signed with the Dragons, and Yano re-signed with the Tigers as expected.

    You can see the list of NPB FA’s for the 05 season, as I listed with help from Deanna as I forgot the Fighters FA’s. It’s kind of lacking on catchers of starting quality and Softbank C’s behind Johjima are lackluster too. Masanori Taguchi will probably be forced into catcher if Johjima goes.

    About Son, he is definetly different than any NPB owner before. He’s willing to spend more money than any NPB owner has in the past. Right now, Softbank is rumored to be interested in former Mariner and Oriole Arthur Rhodes as a possible closer. Also, they have former Mariner infielder Jolbert Cabrera who was signed to a 2 yr deal worth $2M+.

  13. Deanna on November 18th, 2005 3:33 pm

    Yes. The same Tony Batista who hit .263/.294/.463 with 27 home runs and 90 RBI for Softbank this year, too. It could be worse, I guess.

  14. BigManZam on November 18th, 2005 5:13 pm

    John, Oh has said Johjima’s replacement would be Matoba. He predicted Matoba’s full season numbers to be around .290-.300 with 10-15 HRs.

  15. John Brooks on November 18th, 2005 5:44 pm

    I forgot all about Matoba, and Taguchi is a FA also. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see what Softbank does if Johjima does leave.

    Matoba and Taguchi played for Johjima this year when he missed time with injury.

  16. ray on November 18th, 2005 8:26 pm

    BTW, here are two translations of questions posed to Jojima and his replies(JPN newspaper)

    What do you think of Safeco Field?

    When you go out to right field you can still see where Ichiro’s foot imprint is on the fence. I put my foot in the imprint. It’s a great facility for playing baseball.

    How is the language barrier?

    Well, although I wasn’t speaking tons, when I had dinner with the Mariners front office, I spoke the best I could in English, and without an interpreter. I need to be able to manage everyday convesation. I’m going to give it my best.

  17. IceX on November 18th, 2005 9:10 pm

    Sponichi is saying that Johjima will probably decide on the 22nd after reporting to Oh-san on the same day. Sponichi is also reporting that Seattle has met his expectations, both contract and city-wise.

  18. Heph on November 18th, 2005 11:36 pm

    Go to babelfish and translate the web page
    from Japanese to English and you will get this classic:

    During the Seattle visiting the Lincoln highest management patsy (CEO) and others club staff has formed with 2 day continual dinner.

    I’m still chuckling 5 minutes later.

  19. Heph on November 18th, 2005 11:39 pm

    And the married guys will appreciate the significance of this statement:

    [quote] Jojima “sincerity was felt in interview. Also the wife liked in the town which is easy to live ” [/quote]

  20. Deanna on November 19th, 2005 12:13 am

    You guys have to be kidding about Matoba. Have you seen him hit? He’s terrrrrrible. Oh-kantoku looked like he was in pain every time he saw Matoba strike out during the playoffs.