baseball

Oh says Hawks should bring back Jojima

11 Comments

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Jojima’s contract gave him the right to end it by Nov. 15 for the purpose of finishing his career in Japan. Hahaha. Rubbish. He had a standard option that allowed him to leave for any reason. The facts are the Mariners have a young stud coming up on a team that is still rebuilding. He was limited this year do to injury and had a good possibility of being an $8,000,000 back up next year. That price tag made it likely that he would probably be traded to a team looking to make money from stupid Japanese tourists next summer. He did the right thing. Come home. I predict yomiuri signs him just so no one else can. Welcome him home as a hero then bench him for stupid reasons. It's the Yomiuri way.

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I think Yomiuri is the one team that for sure wouldn't sign him. It'd be more likely to be one of the other big clubs like Hanshin or Seibu. I see little chance that the Hawks would get him.

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Jojima should join Orix where he can enjoy hero's status like Ichiro has been doing with seattle.

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I think Jojima will come back to the Hawks. His old team-mate is the new manager, and I think he will come back to Kyushu as one of the reasons he is leaving the states is to be closer to family and friends...

Personally, I do hope he comes back to the Hawks :)

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I watched his career with sadness while in Seattle, as it never amounted to much more than mediocre. I`ve heard he still has a home in Fukuoka, so I hope he returns there to end his career on a high note. Time to dust off that old Hawks jersey!

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pawatan

I see little chance that the Hawks would get him.

I disagree. In many cases a player returning from the MLB will sign with a team like the Giants, Tigers or Lions but Jojima is from Kyushu, not too far from Fukuoka, and has very strong roots there. He has personal ties to Oh and the Hawks as well. I got a chance to meet Oh and play golf with him earlier this year and he told me the story of how he came to know Jojima. Back when he was managing the Giants Oh used to travel annually to Sasebo, Nagasaki Pref. (Jojima's hometown) and hold youth baseball clinics. The first year he did this a young talented middle school kid caught his eye. Oh pointed him out to his assistant and said, "Watch, that kid is going to make it as a ball player." Years later when Oh was bidding for players in his first player draft as the new manager of the Daiei Hawks Jojima's name came up in the draft. Oh didn't at first remember him, but the same assistant recognized him and pointed him out as the talented youngster that Oh had singled out for success years earlier in Sasebo. On being reminded of this Oh signed Jojima without hesitation to the Hawks as one of his top draft picks and mentored him to become one of the cornerstones of his Japan Series winning 1999 team and 2003 team. In short, there is enough history and many connections between Jojima, Fukuoka/Kyushu, the Hawks, and Oh to make his return to the Softbank Hawks a very likely prospective.

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^^^^ wow! I never heard that. I live in Sasebo and know a few people that grew up with him and his family. I'm predicting he comes back to Kyushu. Still has lots of fam and friends here.

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USNinJapan2,

I know what you're saying, but really the Hawks seem to be set at catcher with young Tanoue having a bit of a breakout season behind the plate with a 251/26/80, which is really nice production and one of the reasons Softbank was in the climax series this year. I don't see them taking PAs away from a guy on the rise for a player on the decline who's turning 34 next year.

Sentimentality is good, but sentimentality didn't lead to the Hawks signing their beloved Iguchi upon his return to NPB, so I doubt it would be any different with Jojima. And I suspect Jojima would like the chance to start, not ride the pine.

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pawatan

I guess we'll just have to see...

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Advice to Jojima: Hang up your catcher's mask and let some young player prove himself. The only way for you to go is down. You made your money, so retire and hit the quiz and cooking program circuit...

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'“The Hawks need someone of his stature,” Oh said Tuesday. “But of course, this is a decision that would have to be made by the entire organization.”'

And let's not forget, most importantly, it's something that would have to be decided by JOJIMA! Does he even want to play for Japan again? Pretty big drop down after the majors, like with Shinjo. I agree, it was sad to see him as nothing but a mediocre player in the big leagues, and as such coming back here and being one of the best players wouldn't say much about Japan's ability.

He was pretty good in the WBC, but he might want to think about retiring.

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