Yukan Fuji published a nice piece Monday about former Yakult Swallows pitcher Shohei Tateyama, a guest at a panel discussion that accompanied a coaching award event in Tokyo on Sunday.
The 38-year-old Tateyama, who said he was injury free as a teenager, went under the knife 10 times in his baseball career. He was joined by Dr. Kozo Furushima, the chief of the Sports Medical Center of Keiyu Orthopaedic Hospital in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture.
Dr. Furushima has a fairly distressing slide show of the inner workings of young elbows and shoulders that have suffered severe damage through pitching and throwing too much.
“It’s hard to look at these images of children. But this is the reality. I want people to understand the reality because we must put an end to excessive pitching and throwing in practice.”
Former Yakult Swallows pitcher Shohei Tateyama, according to Yukan Fuji.
Commenting on the National High School Baseball Federation’s new rule limiting players to throwing 500 pitches over a seven-day period, Furushima said, “From the standpoint of injury prevention, it has no meaning, but from this people will begin to ask ‘Why is this rule necessary’ and begin a discussion.”
There were two makeup games on Monday in the Pacific League, the league that is serious about finishing its schedule in a timely fashion.
Marines 11, Hawks 5
At Yafuoku Dome, Lotte completed its season series against SoftBank with its 17th win of the year against the Hawks behind six innings from an effectively wild Kota Futaki (7-9).
The right-hander had good movement on his slider and splitter and worked quickly. Futaki, whose average four-seamer velocity this season ranks 33rd out of 39 NPB pitchers with 90 or more innings, only touched 140 kph. He threw first-pitch strikes to 14 of the first 19 batters he faced and 11 of those were taken.
When he did miss, and he missed a fair amount, the Hawks miss-hit the ball or lined out. Futaki allowed four hits without a walk, while striking out five. Against a bullpen day led off by Ryoma Matsuda (2-2), the Marines led 5-0 after the top of the third inning.
Hiromi Oka doubled in the first and scored on a sacrifice fly, and hit a two-run homer to open the scoring in the third.
Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi was ejected in the fourth inning after going out to ask if the Hawks’ Yurisbel Gracial had swung on a pitch that home plate umpire Tetsuya Shimata ruled had hit the Cuban.
Although NPB managers have long had maximum leeway in discussing balls, strikes, balks and whatnot, Shimata gave Iguchi no time at all.
“You’re not allowed to leave the bench to dispute a checked swing. I just applied the rules,” said Shimata, who explained to the crowd that Iguchi’s first ejection as a manager was for a “forbidden act.”
Over the weekend, news broke that Yakult Swallows veterans Shohei Tateyama and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama would make this their last season. The club announced both players’ decisions on Monday. The announcements come in the week the Swallows were eliminated from postseason contention. Since then, both manager Junji Ogawa and head coach Shinya Miyamoto said they will step down.
Tateyama a 38-year-old side-armer who led the Central League in wins in 2009, is also a veteran of three Tommy John surgeries. He pitched once this season, allowing three runs in three innings on June 12. In 278 career games, Tateyama has an 85-68 record with 10 saves and a 3.32 ERA — fairly impressive for a guy who spent his career in one of Japan’s best hitters’ parks.
Hatakeyama, a 36-year-old first baseman led the CL in RBIs in 2015, when Yakult won its first pennant in 14 years, has not played this season due to fitness issues.
There goes your Spiderman
Hiroshima Carp outfielder Masato Akamatsu, who has been unable to earn first-team playing time since coming back from cancer surgery, announced this past week he is retiring.
Akamatsu was the last active player from a group of solid outfielders who were marooned for several years on the Hanshin Tigers farm team. The group included Osamu Hamanaka, Lin Wei-chu and Go Kida.
After Kida was traded to Hiroshima in May 2007, Akamatsu said he was so envious because he knew there was no future for him with the Tigers.
Akamatsu, however, got his wish, however, six months later. When Takahiro Arai moved to the Tigers as a free agent in 2008, the Carp selected Akamatsu as part of their compensation package. The speedy outfielder had his 15 minutes of fame when the catch below went viral and it became known as the “Spiderman catch.”