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Kiyohara Plays Again

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Kiyohara Plays Again
Finally, news for all of you Kiyohara fans out there. After rehabilitation on his left knee that's been going on since 2006, Kiyohara has returned the starting lineup - at ni-gun.

Kiyohara went 1 for 2 with a walk and 2 RBIs for the Surpass (Orix's farm team) on May 3, 2008. This was his first playing time since September 8, 2006.

Source: SpoNichi Annex
Comments
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: May 6, 2008 9:55 PM ]

Kiyohara fans? What lonely souls could that possibly be?

In essence Kiyohara symbolizes what is really wrong about Japanese baseball. Not that there is not a lot that is right, unfortunately Kiyohara has nothing to do with what is right about ball in Japan.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: May 6, 2008 11:07 PM ]

Well, I'm far from a Kiyohara fan myself, but he was a high school hero in Japan, meaning he will have plenty of Japanese fans, even after he continues to cheat Orix out of money and refuse to retire. High school baseball is purity and sacred for Japanese fans, so some Japanese are shocked when I mention my disdain for him.

What I think is he should have immediately retired after that sayonara grand slam off of Kroon! Watching him (or not watching him) now is just painful.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Jiji Fishiguchi | Posted: May 16, 2008 4:34 PM ]

I think you should have more respect for a player who hit about 35 HR in his first pro season.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest | Posted: May 17, 2008 10:15 PM ]

So because of that, we're not allowed to criticize him Jiji? He hits 35 HRs in his rookie year (in dinky little ballparks) so he gets a "get out of jail free" card for life?
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest | Posted: May 18, 2008 1:34 AM ]

Jiji, he hit 31 HRs his rookie season and you will always have people "talking down" players who are playing past their prime. For some players it is hard to "let go" because it's the only thing they know.

I respect Kiyohara for staying around so long; it takes a lot of courage to hang around all the young players and keep their respect knowing well you are not even the shadow of what you were.

One thing no one can (or should) argue is the fact the Kiyohara is an NPB and All-Japan icon. And, like him or not, he has tons of baseball knowledge and experience to share with future/up-and-coming stars.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: mijow | Posted: May 18, 2008 10:53 AM | HT Fan ]

Well what I don't like are the snide remarks from certain people that show no respect for players like Kiyohara, who have contributed greatly to the game. Sure, he should have retired a while ago, but he doesn't deserve some of the churlish comments that have appeared on this thread. The guy still has his Japanese fans, whether we like it or not.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: May 19, 2008 9:42 PM ]

Some players have the grace to know when the time has come, some even choose to exit on top, showing great self-confidence. And some, like Kiyohara, have neither grace nor self-confidence. What possible excuse could anyone have for the last two plus years of failure?

The fans of Kiyohara cannot be baseball fans as what he puts out on the field is embarassing. They only love the image of someone past his prime still raking in the Yen. Kiyohara personafies the over-the-hill salary men who also knows they are past their prime.

It's sad really, but Orix knows there are plenty out there that will pay to see their man. They fear looking forward and only want to look back to the past. Hopeless, lost dreamers, you see them in Starbucks every morning reading the paper.

Whatever Kiyohara did before when he was playing in a rigged league for the Giants is lost now. Character tells, and he comes up now with a zero for anyone who knows this game.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: hillsy | Posted: May 20, 2008 7:47 AM | CD Fan ]

It's a little disingenuous to completely discount a 20 year career for Seibu and Yomiuri. He should be judged on an entire career, not just the bad.

Is he fleecing Orix right now? Sure, but that's on them for signing him. It makes him look a little sad, but I don't see how it diminishes anything he's done previously.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: mijow | Posted: May 20, 2008 9:31 AM | HT Fan ]

What's sad is the arrogance shown by some who show no respect for the achievements of a great player. As a star of PL and Koshien, I can assure you that Kiyohara has many fans in Kansai who know a darn sight more about yakyu than some of us on this board like to think we do.

Sure, the last couple of years have been embarrassing, and it would have been better for Kiyohara to retire than to continue. But what some regard as lack of grace others see as grit and determination. And you simply don't erase the achievements of a 20-year career, including more than 500 HRs, 200 hits and 1,500 RBIs, just because a player is fading at the end of it.

But don't take my word for it. Just ask Terry Collins. Here are some excerpts from a Japan Times article from last year:
"I love Kiyohara," Orix manager Terry Collins said. "It would help our team to have him around. [...]

Collins calls Kiyohara one of his favorite players, adding that the Buffaloes will miss having him on the field.

"He's what a baseball player is supposed to be," the Orix skipper said. I told him 'If you think you need to have this surgery, go ahead. I support you in whatever you want to do.'"

Despite all of his accomplishments and fame, it's Kiyohara's never-wavering dedication that seems to have impressed his new manager the most. With all that he has done, not many would've faulted the star if he had decided to hang up his cleats and retire. Instead, the Osaka native is still going strong and hopes to get healthy and make a return.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: May 20, 2008 12:47 PM ]

Again, I'm far from a Kiyohara fan, but some have been too harsh on him. It's more a case of incompetence by Orix management. I'm sure Kiyohara still has the desire to play and it's not just a case of him trying to cheat Orix out of money. He has been a pro since he was a teenager, and it's hard to imagine life without baseball. Even though Orix is an awful team, it makes sense for him to retire with a hometown team. He is still trying to play no matter where he is. He isn't a baby like Motoki who retired young because he refused to play for anyone but the Giants.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: mijow | Posted: May 21, 2008 12:49 AM | HT Fan ]

And that should have been 2,000 hits, not 200.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: May 20, 2008 4:41 PM | SFT Fan ]

- Well what I don't like are the snide remarks from certain people that show no respect for players like Kiyohara, who have contributed greatly to the game.

I second that notion, it's a despiteful attitude to show no respect to someone who has contributed greatly to the game. Sure, he's way past his prime now and should be retired.

Though, if teams keep re-signing him like the helpless Buffaloes, sure he's going to come back. It's naive to think that someone past their prime should retire when Orix keeps deciding to pay him year in and year out.

- And some, like Kiyohara, have neither grace nor self-confidence.

And what about the imcompetence of Orix ownership that signed him? Surely they must be imcompetent? If teams are going to give Kiyohara a chance to play, or in this case sit on the DL and collect a salary, he's going to do it.

- What possible excuse could anyone have for the last two plus years of failure?

Maybe it's just that the Orix front office continued to renew his contract the last two years.

- Kiyohara personafies the over-the-hill salary men who also knows they are past their prime.

But ahh, even the over-the-hill salary man knows that if someone keeps flinging cash at someone past their prime, that more times than not they will take that cash. Maybe you should share some more of your discontent towards Orix ownership.

- Whatever Kiyohara did before when he was playing in a rigged league for the Giants is lost now.

Zman, I'm trying to follow your logic, but once you go on that what he did in the past somehow doesn't mean anything is where you lose me. It was Orix that has continued to re-up Kiyohara, is it not?

Second, I'm trying to follow your "rigged league" logic, but you're not really proving anything but blanket accusations.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Jiji Fishiguchi | Posted: May 21, 2008 12:07 AM ]

Well, it's not a secret that today Kiyohara's level is far away from the Seibu golden days. But I read here sometimes that Kiyo is a clown and I feel sad to read such words from fans of the Japanese way of playing baseball.

I see Yakult games at Jingu and I am impressed by the cheers of fans even for "bad players" like Riggs who totally missed last year.

Kiyohara is not a clown at all. He's a 19 time All-Star Player!
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: May 24, 2008 9:39 PM ]

I think it was Jim Allen who called Kiyohara a clown last year. Calling him that this year would be generous.

The many posters who blame Orix for keeping Kiyohara on in the game as usual miss the point completely. Kiyohara is dimishing his own career now, and he does not need a few million more to keep him secure when he stops playing baseball. He is already rich. Great stars retire on top. Only insecure losers play on when it's 100 percent clear they are a liability to their team.

Kiyohara is now the symbol for the graceless loser living in the past. Which so many of his fans and the posts on this board seem to readily embrace.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: mijow | Posted: May 26, 2008 5:28 PM | HT Fan ]

Well if Kiyohara were doing it only for the money you'd have a point. But I'm sure it's more than that. Old fashioned love of the game perhaps? Some people are too cynical for their own good.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: May 26, 2008 8:39 PM ]

If baseball is all you have done your whole life, walking away on top is easier said than done. Look at someone like Ricky Henderson. Last I saw he was playing for an amateur league and making about 30 grand a year. I don't think he's doing it for the money anymore. Can't say for sure about Kiyohara, but it's not necessarily just the money.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Jiji Fishiguchi | Posted: May 27, 2008 10:09 PM ]

Kiyo has the Love of the Game. He's a legend, even if his level is poor nowadays.

I just think he's this kind of players who loves yakyu so much yet can't imagine themselves away from ballparks.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: May 31, 2008 10:06 PM ]

Jiji, if you are right Kiyohara should buy a ticket to the game like the rest of us who can't play yet love the sport.

Ricky Henderson is another good example of a graceless star. Anyone who refers to themselves in the third person, "Rickey is going to steal another base today," you know has reailty issues. I was on a plane with him once, he is a strange dude. Solid muscle however.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Jiji Fishiguchi | Posted: Jun 2, 2008 5:30 PM ]

In my opinon, we just should show a litte more respect for Kiyo.

He's not my favorite player but his career is amazing. Really.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Lotte Fan | Posted: Jun 3, 2008 10:37 PM ]

It seems like Kiyohara will manage Orix next season [SanSpo article via Yahoo! Japan News - in Japanese].

My opinion on Kiyohara is that he acts like a thug. A yakuza, therefore I do not like him. How my beloved Lotte is behind a team like Orix makes me rather depressed.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 5, 2008 6:59 PM ]

Well, I never saw Kiyohara as the manager type. Then again, this is the Buffaloes, so it could just be another awful ploy on their part - if he can't play anymore, at least we can have him manage and do something to put people in the seats at the awful Kyocera Dome.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Jiji Fishiguchi | Posted: Jun 6, 2008 10:23 PM ]

Kyocera Dome is "awful"?

For having gone to Kyocera Dome this summer, this field is really beautiful.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 7, 2008 8:37 AM ]

Kyocera Dome is one of the worst places to see a game in Japan. Anyone that has seen games in several cities will confirm this.

Watch the Buffaloes play a game at Skymark Stadium in Kobe and then you will know that the Dome is awful.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Jun 8, 2008 6:41 PM ]

Kiyohara as manager of Orix? Here are his first moves:
  1. Put all players on injured reserve for indefinite time
  2. Start a daily steriod workout routine
  3. Spend more time on TV
  4. Find out if the groupies go for coaches and not just players
  5. Make sure when he gets fired in mid-season he gets paid for the rest of his contract, same strategy as his last three years as a useless player
  6. Hire more broken down players to pad the lineup
  7. Make fun of other coaches as being slackers only in it for the money, like Bobby V. and Okada-san
OT: Kyocera Dome
[ Author: Guest: Jiji Fishiguchi | Posted: Jun 10, 2008 4:43 AM ]

Well, I see games in Kyocera Dome, Koshien Stadium, Jingu Stadium, Hiroshima Stadium, and Yokohama Stadium and I had good moments in every places I went.

As a Tigers' fan, I was really charmed by Koshien (I see about 7 games there during Summer Koshien Tournament), but Kyocera is a place with lot of personnality. I prefer Jingu to Kyocera, but Kyocera was sweet, too.
Re: OT: Kyocera Dome
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 10, 2008 12:43 PM ]

Jiji, I must admit I'm biased. For me, baseball is most enjoyable outdoors. It is a shame that the Buffaloes have to play a majority of their games in the Kyocera Dome when I think SkyMark Stadium is one of the best in Japan - beautiful field, good seats with actual leg room, wide concourses, decent food, and a beautiful location.

To get back on topic, I think hiring Kiyohara to manage is a desperate ploy by a desperate team. Since he can't play anymore, Orix wants a big name attached to them to get fans to come. Despite an amazing career, I don't see Kiyohara as manager material. Then again, Ohgi was an infamous boozer and lady's man and was successful as a manager, so maybe we'll be hearing about Kiyohara Magic next year! But don't count on it.
Re: OT: Kyocera Dome
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Jun 10, 2008 3:53 PM ]

Outside of the two ballparks in Florida, especially the one Tampa Bay plays in, Osaka Dome, which looks like a giant condom from the air, is the worst pro ballpark on either side of the Pacific.

But getting to Kiyohara, I think that since he has been one of the big cheeses in NPB for so long, I think he would really like to go out in a blaze of glory and so he keeps trying to come back, even though his knees are resisting the idea. There is also a great capacity in humans for denial, and he may be fooling himself that he isn't done.

As for his salary, is he really stealing money? Kiyohara still being with the ballclub gives them publicity that the Buffaloes otherwise wouldn't get. Moreover, when he does TV appearances, it is basically a commercial for the ballclub and the parent company. So even if he hasn't produced a thing for them on the field, team officials, who operate in a culture where personal popularity almost always supersedes performance value, may feel that they are better spending the money on Kiyohara than anyone else on the team save Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera.

What's more, the Orix front office will use the club's dismal showing to cut player salaries further this coming off-season, helping to partially offset Kiyohara's paycheck.

The idea that they would make him manager is just horrendous. He'll probably try to move the team to Roppongi.
Re: OT: Kyocera Dome
[ Author: Guest: Jiji Fishiguchi | Posted: Jun 11, 2008 1:30 AM ]

We have to keep in mind that Yakyu is in crisis in Japan. Big Stars quit Japan to go to MLB, so a club in diffliculty like B's need big names to earn money. Without Kiyo, it's sure that B's will be in a more difficult situation.
Back to Kiyohara
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Jun 11, 2008 10:01 AM | SFT Fan ]

- Big Stars quit Japan to go to MLB

And this once again gives me the opportunity to say that NPB needs to re-evaluate the moronic "player development model" they currently have. Like I said many times before, they need to add more minor league teams and add more rounds to the draft to better discover "future diamonds in the rough." Though, sadly NPB's upper brass seem to be clueless when it comes to coming together to find common ground to solve NPB's problems.

So, what do I mean? It's not players leaving to MLB that is hurting NPB teams, it's the fact that the NPB brass and teams are clueless on how to better replace those who leave to MLB.

While I don't share the disdain for Kiyohara that some on these boards have, the fact that they continue to bring him back when he's pretty much finished "production wise" is another testament to the ineptness of Orix's front office.

- Without Kiyo, it's sure that B's will be in a more difficult situation.

With or without Kiyohara, it isn't going to really make a difference in my eyes until Orix sacks the clueless Nakamura. Until they dump and sack Nakamura and their front office buys a clue, Orix will continue to struggle on the field and on the bottom line.
Re: Back to Kiyohara
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jun 11, 2008 10:51 AM | HAN Fan ]

We need to get past the idea that somehow because a few stars leave NPB for MLB it is in crisis. As John indicates it needs to get better - not because of MLB but because the internal competition is too much. With the explosion of leisure interests in Japan people have moved away from baseball. This is not a result of MLB competition but a more general trend.

As for Kiyohara, he is useful as a brand recognition tool and I would foresee a good role for him in the Orix organisation as a brand champion. This, though, is too advanced for the Orix management.
OT: NPB Crisis
[ Author: Guest: Lote Fan | Posted: Jun 12, 2008 1:41 AM ]

Lotte is in crisis because they lost the bullpen to MLB. As for NPB, more people watch NPB games live now than in the '80s or ealry '90s.
Re: OT: NPB Crisis
[ Author: number9 | Posted: Jun 18, 2008 2:10 AM ]

Yeah, I saw some hilarious footage recently of salarymen lying across like 5 seats and sleeping, people playing badminton, etc. at the bleachers during the dark days of PL back then. (I think it was the Heiwadai Stadium in Kawasaki, former home of the Lotte Orions.)
Re: OT: NPB Crisis
[ Author: number9 | Posted: Jun 18, 2008 11:32 AM ]

Heiwadai was in Fukuoka, my bad. Lotte's stadium during the '80s would've been Kawasaki Stadium (duh). But there were many other barren stadiums back in the day, too, especially in the PL.
OT: Kiyo as Manager?
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jun 18, 2008 9:37 PM ]

So is there anyone out there who believes Kiyohara will make a good manager? Personally I don't think he has what it takes, but since there are so many Kiyohara bashers on this site, does anyone want to stick up for his managing potential?
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Number 26. (previously Lotte Fan) | Posted: Jun 20, 2008 5:34 PM ]

The Central has not changed all that much, but the Pacific has. The Pacific used to be much less popular than it is now. It was in the days when Nankai was playing in Osaka, Kintetsu in Fujidera, Lotte in Kawasaki. The attendance said 2,500 people, but some say it was more likely that in a Lotte game there were no more than a couple of hundred people. Having seen Lotte in the '80s compared to seeing Lotte now it is quite remarkable to see how much a team can change. The same can be said about Nankai/SoftBank and also Nippon Ham from Tokyo to Sapporo. Seibu is pretty much the same.

NPB as a whole is in better shape now than before, but there is room for improvement.

Kiyohara as manager? Whow knows? He might be the new Hoshino type of manager or he could end up like some of the coaches for Hanshin. I forget their names, but they were banned for life for assulting the umpires in a game over a call.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jul 17, 2008 3:42 PM | YOK Fan ]

Kiyohara has had a great playing career judging by the numbers. I mean seriously, if Kiyohara has all this baseball knowledge like some of you say he does, then why not give him a shot to manage? I mean, can Orix really do worse than they are now?
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Jul 18, 2008 9:46 PM ]

No. 1, that would be "yes" to your question. And Kiyohara would be the perfect couch to accomplish what you ask.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Dylan | Posted: Jul 28, 2008 10:46 AM ]

Orix announced that Kiyohara will be promoted to the top team early next month (August).
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jul 29, 2008 10:42 AM | YOK Fan ]

So, I guess the story to watch now is whether or not Kiyohara has anything left in the tank and can help Orix nab a playoff spot in this year's playoffs.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Dan Miceli | Posted: Aug 3, 2008 9:54 PM ]

Kiyohara struck out in the 7th inning tonight against the SoftBank Hawks. He hasn`t done much of anything for years except collect paychecks, but I guess there will always be fans expecting him to do something special on the field.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: guest | Posted: Aug 14, 2008 9:25 AM ]

So whatever happened to Kiyohara managing next year? I was just wondering since Orix has now extended the contract of the current manager to next year. Was the Kiyohara managing news just a rumor? Or did they just decide to put it off due to the good results of the current manager?

Or, are they just waiting to try that publicity stunt when the team starts losing again?
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Aug 15, 2008 9:08 AM | SFT Fan ]

Who knows? In my opinion (which I have no way to know if it was true) was probably someone from inside the Orix organization giving out false information as PR.

Chances are Orix will tell us that Kiyohara will return in 2009, and he will play his customary 45 games before going down with injury. When Orix will learn is beyond me.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: guest | Posted: Aug 15, 2008 11:17 AM ]

I'm wondering if this was false information from the beginning. Whenever I told my Japanese friends that Kiyohara was going to be manager, they just laughed, thinking I was joking.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Aug 19, 2008 11:41 PM | SFT Fan ]

Well, Kiyohara is retiring [Japan Ball]. Soon we here will have to find someone new to talk about full time. Katsuhiro Nakamura maybe? I mean he's always fun to talk about.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Aug 24, 2008 3:46 AM ]

He is leaving baseball not with a bang but with a whimper.

What will the oyaji crowd and a select few on this site do now that their hero is soon to be retired?
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Sep 21, 2008 11:59 AM | YOK Fan ]

Well it's official. I've joined the many who have bought their "Kiyohara Memorial Goods" before his last game on Oct. 1. Too bad I couldn't get his towel. But with this I would like to ask a question.

Is Kiyohara worthy for the Japanese Hall of Fame?

Another question: Is there an old thread here on the boards or anywhere that talks about what things are considered for people to enter? Is it just numbers or are other things considered as well?

But I would just like to point out that this is a serious question and I really want to know the answer to this as I know there are many people here on the boards that aren't exactly jumping for joy when they hear or read Kiyohara's name.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Sep 21, 2008 2:13 PM | YBS Fan ]

Kiyohara is the titleless superstar. That is to say, he's finished his career without winning any batting titles - namely the Home Run Crown which was expected of him out of high school. He has reached the hit and home run career milestones for inclusion in the Meikyukai, so he has a nice blazer to wear to formal occasions. But it's hard to say that his career has been exceptional.

As for criteria, there are many who have been inducted based on what they've done as managers or even in executive positions. On-field performance isn't the only criteria. Heck, my contributions to promoting NPB throughout the world may one day be recognized and I'll be inducted (although I think that Kiyohara, even with his unexceptional career, has a better chance).
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: number9 | Posted: Sep 21, 2008 3:49 PM ]

There aren't many 20+ year career players with .900+ OPS. Kiyohara is one of them. (Plus, clearing the 500 HR helps.)
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Sep 22, 2008 2:01 AM ]

- He has reached the hit and home run career milestones for inclusion in the Meikyukai, so he has a nice blazer to wear to formal occasions. But it's hard to say that his career has been exceptional.

Huh? Love him or hate him, he has met the criteria for being considered as an exceptional player. That's one blazer that none of us commentators will ever have.
Re: Kiyohara Plays Again
[ Author: Guest: Number 26 | Posted: Sep 23, 2008 7:01 PM ]

Kiyohara popped to right today against Lotte coming in as a pinch hitter late in the game. There was a standing ovation when he went into the batters box and a standing ovation when he jogged back to the dug out after his fly out to right. Kiyohara seemed happy as he was smiling when jogging back to the dug out. He got the ball on the tip of the bat, and had he gotten it a little bit more on the sweet spot, that ball would have gone out of the park.
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