SoftBank’s Fears: A New ‘Bomb’ Beyond Yamakawa Hotaka’s Controversy | FRIDAY DIGITAL

SoftBank’s Fears: A New ‘Bomb’ Beyond Yamakawa Hotaka’s Controversy

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Hotaka Yamakawa (32), has been under fire after exercising his rights as a domestic free agent and moving to Softbank. The fire is about to spread to the baseball team itself.

On December 19, Yamakawa attended a press conference after signing a huge four-year contract worth 1.6 billion yen, including piece value.

“I would like to apologize to Lions fans, the baseball team, and all professional baseball fans for any inconvenience my misconduct may have caused,” said Yamakawa.

Yamakawa’s decision to attend the press conference with a beard also drew the ire of some fans.

The press conference was held in a modest room in the Fukuoka Pay Dome, Yamakawa’s home base.

At the press conference, he commented on the negative image that still surrounds him because of his problems with women, saying, 

“I don’t think I can be forgiven for the results I have achieved in baseball. I have to change from the bottom up. I will do my best to be aware of what I am doing and what I am saying in front of me.”


In an interview held in a separate room after the press conference for pen reporters only, he was interrupted by the baseball team’s public relations staff when he asked a question again that went to the heart of the issue of women, saying, “Please don’t ask me questions other than the ones I answered at the press conference. From start to finish, there was not a single moment when Yamakawa smiled, and it was impressive to see the team’s front office standing at the back of the small venue with a grim expression on their faces,” said a local TV station official.

The baseball team is well aware of the social situation in which any trouble with a woman, even if an indictment is dropped, will result in a slap on the wrist, and they are being very cautious.

GM Sugihiko Mikasa was coy, saying, “I haven’t heard that they have settled with the other woman.” The team’s GM Sugihiko Mikasa was not happy about the news conference, as there was a possibility that a civil suit might be filed against him in the future. It is said that Sadaharu Oh (83), the president of the baseball team, remained cautious about acquiring Yamakawa until the very end. In addition to Yamakawa, the team also has a “bomb” in the form of Roberto Osuna, 28, who is a guardians pitcher.

Osuna was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend during his Major League Baseball career. However, SoftBank, perhaps in a hurry after missing out on the championship, signed him to a huge four-year contract worth a total of 4 billion yen starting next season. But if those who denounced Yamakawa’s troubles with women turn their attention to Osuna, they may find themselves in even more trouble. It would not be surprising if they labeled him as ‘SoftBank is a team that piles up wads of cash even on scandalous people in order to win.

New manager Hiroki Kokubo (52), who will take over from next season, has also been suspended for tax evasion. Hopefully, SoftBank will not be branded as a scandal team and stall before the season starts.

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