Hanshin Chairman Keiichiro Yotsufuji (55) revealed on the 15th, in light of the revelation that Kyojin players exchanged money on their own games, that Hanshin players also exchanged money related to their play on the field, which is not a form of gambling. This is the questioning he underwent:
- So it was discovered that the person running the Kyojin (Yomiuri Giants) huddles would give out or collect money based on game outcomes…
I don’t deny that a similar kind of exchange was going on with our team. I have confirmed its validity. The exchange of money was a result of fines during fielding practice and happened in team huddles too. It seems like it resembles (what was happening with Kyojin).
- That was one case example?
Right. It is not presently happening within the organization. I have confirmed that all such actions have ceased. Ever since the Kyojin questionnaire (when it was discovered that some of their players were illegally gambling) came out there has been nothing happening here. Upon hearing the commissioner and committee chairperson’s viewpoint, we stopped what had been going on. (Hanshin’s case is) not a violation of the baseball agreement. Whether or not it’s a legal violation, well that becomes a legal issue. Experts could argue both sides of that one. In any case, we are being thorough in making sure that nothing remotely related to that kind of activity takes place within the club anymore.
- When did you find out what was going on?
About the fielding fines, right around when the Kyojin investigation was taking place I heard about it right on site. It was to heighten the excitement and nervousness during practice… at least I think that was the intention.
- How long had this been going on?
I don’t think it’s been around too long. Maybe a few years or so.
- How much money was involved?
A few thousand yen per person, maybe. Of course the problem is an ethical one, and it could be viewed as gambling. It was an exchange of money that had to do with baseball so I made sure it was put to an end. Such behavior from here on is completely unforgivable. We need to straighten up and fly right.
- What kind of progress has been made on the second gambling investigation?
It is supposed to continue on through the 19th, so the hearing is still incomplete. Basically the contents of the investigation are the same (as last time).
Translator’s Note: As I do not have a full grasp on the situation just yet, this translation should not be seen as official or fully accurate. As more details become clearer to me and the story continues to unfold, more reports will be posted here. Stay tuned.