Yuto Sakamoto, a member of the Giants, says, “I can’t play because I’ll be photographed.
In September 2011, in his fifth year with the Giants, Sakamoto gave an exclusive interview to "FRIDAY". Here is what he had to say...
As you may know, the Giants’ Hayato Sakamoto (32) has been reportedly “sexually abusing” women. According to “Bunshun Online,” he had a continuous relationship with a woman in her 20s whom he met more than two years ago, and demanded sexual intercourse without contraception. When the woman became pregnant, he forced her to have an abortion, causing her to attempt suicide.
Sakamoto has been reported for such ugly incidents in the past. In February 2018, Daily Shincho reported an incident in which Sakamoto bit a woman on the shoulder and thigh after she refused his advances at a cabaret club in Miyazaki Prefecture.
When did Sakamoto, the “face” of the “gentleman” Giants baseball team, become such a “tyrant”?
In late September of 2011, Sakamoto’s fifth year with the team, “FRIDAY” conducted an exclusive interview. In the interview, Sakamoto revealed his “true feelings. The following is a partial transcript of the interview from that time.
I can’t play! FRIDAY will film me (laughs). (Laughs.) If I was playing, they would film me, right?
Of course I would take pictures if I came across them playing.
If so, I can’t play with them. You’re after me, aren’t you?”
He is a superstar of the Giants. I think not only “FRIDAY” but also other weekly magazines are after you.
Is that so? Really? Even if I were to take a picture of him, it wouldn’t make a good picture. Nagano-san (Hisayoshi Nagano, currently a member of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp) would make a better picture. ……I’m not really being photographed, am I?”
If you’re not doing anything, you won’t be photographed.
Then I’m okay because I didn’t do anything (laughs).”
In his second year, he became a regular at center fielder, and in his third year he hit .360 with 18 home runs and 62 runs batted in, winning the title of best nine hitter. His salary exceeded 100 million yen. In his fifth year with the team, he surpassed the 100 million yen mark, making him the third fastest high school graduate in history, behind Ichiro (48) and Hideki Matsui (48).
In this fifth season, however, Sakamoto hit .261 with 16 home runs and 59 runs batted in. He was unable to break out of his slump until the end of the season. It was against this backdrop that we conducted this exclusive interview. The above exchange took place when Sakamoto was asked, “Do you do anything to vent your feelings?” Sakamoto’s honest answer to the question, “Do you do anything to vent your feelings?
Although Sakamoto said, “I can’t play because I’m being filmed,” the reality was a little different.
At the time, Sakamoto was already well known in the Nishiazabu (Minato Ward) area as quite a playboy. After a match, he would go out with beautiful, flamboyant-looking women to yakiniku restaurants and mizutaki restaurants, as he did every night. However, two years before this “ Since he had been scooped by “FRIDAY” two years earlier about his love affair with model Satomi (36), he had become much more cautious and had his restaurant staff and friends keep an eye on him (laugh). (Laughs.) “I remember that since my performance was poor in the 2011 season, I was more likely to go out alone than with my Giants teammates.
Toward the end of the interview, he said
Toward the end of the interview, I asked Sakamoto if he felt any pressure from his lack of success as the leadoff man for the Giants, a team with a long tradition of success.
When I asked Sakamoto if he felt any pressure not to perform as the leadoff man for the traditional Giants, he replied.
Sakamoto replied, “Yes, I do. Sakamoto replied, “Yes. The only teams that get any press, good or bad, are the Giants and Hanshin, now and in the past. That doesn’t mean I feel pressure. If it is bad, it is natural to be criticized, and if it is good, they will write good things about you, and that is fine. I was doing this thinking that there would definitely be a bad year somewhere, so I think this is one good barrier for me. I don’t think it will be easy to be successful every year, so whether or not I can make the most of this year’s experience will make all the difference for me in the future. I don’t see it as too negative. I’m making an effort not to worry about it.
I try not to let it bother me,” he said, smiling.
The following year, Sakamoto hit .311 with 14 home runs and 69 runs batted in, winning the titles of most hits and best nine. He overcame the obstacles with flying colors, but it was also around this time that his flamboyant play began to be seen.
How does Sakamoto plan to take responsibility for the “abortion trouble” this time?
Photo.： Kyodo News, Makoto Kuwata