SoftBank’s treatment of Hotaka Yamakawa as a “tumor” is evident in his transfer to SoftBank. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

SoftBank’s treatment of Hotaka Yamakawa as a “tumor” is evident in his transfer to SoftBank.

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Softbank’s Hotaka Yamakawa (32), who is still reeling from last year’s revelations about a woman and his FA transfer from Seibu, has been thoroughly covered by the sports media since entering camp on February 1.

Yamakawa is adjusting well, even hitting over the fence in a free-hitting session.

The sports news programs of the key stations have been following the three-time home run king’s progress closely, The three-time home run king is getting a lot of attention. I wonder if he can really be a force in the game and what the fans’ reaction will be, given that he didn’t play in a real game last year. We are getting orders to cover him, partly out of fear,” said a source from a TV station in Fukuoka.

After the end of the first round, Yamakawa posted on SNS that he was having yakiniku (grilled meat) with Orix members Tomoya Mori (28), Hiromasa Tongu (27), and Kazuya Kazuki (27) with a relaxed look on his face. He reported that he tried to refresh himself. He is slowly getting used to his new surroundings, but the team has not yet lifted its high alert.

The team has not lifted its high alert. “They have one interview a day set up for Yamakawa,” he said. However, usually there is time for newspapers and other pen reporters to interview Yamakawa after the TV show, but Yamakawa says that it is TV only. This is unusual for a player with a career as long as Yamakawa’s. As for individual interviews, the baseball team remains NG. They are allowed to interview other Hawks players individually, but even there, they are not allowed to ask Yamakawa-related questions, probably because they are afraid of an unexpected firestorm on social networking sites,” said the same source.

This may have been the reason why we have seen Yamakawa batting so vigorously but have not heard much of his voice. But Hawks fans in Fukuoka are not so keen on Yamakawa. A reporter from a TV station in Fukuoka lamented, “They still don’t get the news about Yamakawa.

Whenever we report on Yamakawa, we still get complaints from viewers,” lamented a reporter from a local TV station. In Fukuoka, SoftBank is an indispensable topic in the sports sections of local information and news programs. In past years, we would air a story about the FA transfer of a cannonball every day, but if we ran news about Yamakawa every day, the station’s upper management would likely wait until the next year …….”

Yamakawa is still treated as a “tumor. The only way to reverse this trend is for Yamakawa to hit the ball hard after the season opener and win the ardent support of Hawks fans.

  • PHOTO Kyodo News

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