Former Giants pitcher Kasahara admits to betting: report | Reuters

The NPB which prohibits professional players from betting on games, handed a one-year ban on another Giants pitcher Kyosuke Takagi for illegal betting in March.

Kasahara is said to have aided a former restaurant operator’s betting scheme by collecting money from two other former Giants players, and gambled a total of 1.2 million yen ($11,838.99) himself between September 2014 and August 2015, the report said.

Former Yomiuri Giants pitcher Shoki Kasahara has admitted to his involvement in illegal gambling at a hearing held at the Tokyo District Court on Monday, Kyodo news agency reported.

(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

($1 = 101.3600 yen)

The 25-year-old was suspended by Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the country’s professional baseball governing body, in November for illegally betting on games, which included Major League Baseball and Japanese high school games.

Rocky Marciano – InfoBarrel

Rocky seemed too busy to be home.

“In this age of the anti-hero and the non-hero, Rocky Marciano was the hero with whom the mass of Americans could readily identify, the hero who surmounted all difficulties by dint of hard work, dedication and perseverance. On those occasions Rocco reached opponents with his right hand, however, they fell down and didn’t get up. 

* * * 

Not that there is anything particularly Catholic about being a teetotaler.  It’s just that Marciano, though intelligent, was a very simple man who never forgot where he came from. He was awkward in the ring. He even used a coat hanger to stuff money inside curtain rods.

An investigation into the crash of the Cessna in NewtonIowa cited pilot inexperience as the cause of the crash. The people of the world should be informed of this boy’s character and personality.” 

Rocky’s last big payday was a computerized fight with Muhammed Ali in 1969. Barbara missed Rocky, and drank too much. Although he enjoyed being champion, Marciano remained unchanged. His wife, Barbara, was unable to have the large family Rocky wanted. Rocky was a brawler. Rocky didn’t trust banks, either, so he hid his cash: in the ground, inside toilet tanks, in light fixtures. The champion was Jersey Joe Walcott, a ring veteran most experts picked to beat Marciano easily. Once, as a joke, the reigning sex symbol, Jayne Mansfield, was smuggled into a room where Marciano sat, alone. Marciano spent hours at his opponent’s hospital bed, and in church praying for the man’s life. And Brockton loved him right back, at least in part because many of them became rich betting on Rocky’s fights. 

He was born Rocco Francis Marchegiano (Mark a-jahn-o) on September 1, 1923, the second son (the first died shortly after childbirth) of Pierino and Lena Marchegiano, first generation Italian immigrants who came to America after the first World War. One sportswriter said Marciano brought the “austere, sackcloth-and -ashes approach of a monk” to his training. Then Rocky and Ali sparred 70 rounds for the camera, simulating different endings to the fight. Lena’s doctor said she could have no more children; this put a fine edge on her concern for Rocco’s health.


As he continued to successfully defend his title, Marciano gradually drew respect from critics. Rocco refused but eventually he tired of having his name misspelled and mispronounced, and allowed his name to be shortened to Rocky Marciano. Walcott collapsed to the canvas and was counted out. They had one daughter, but Barbara miscarried when Rocky was away, and wasn’t able to have any more children, although the two did adopt a boy (Rocky Jr.). He boarded a small, single engine Cessna. Asked about his reaction when flying shrapnel hit his jaw and snapped off some teeth, Pierino replied, “I just spit them out and kept coming.” 

 Which heavyweight boxing champion in the last century knelt on his knees to pray to St. As a boy Rocco was preoccupied with his physical condition. Marciano’s body was found pinned beneath the wreckage. Although he left thousands (some claim hundred of thousands) of dollars stashed away or buried underground, none of it was found to aid Barbara and the children, who were impoverished after Rocky’s death.

In 1976 Sylvester Stallone began his “Rocky” franchise. He backed Walcott into the ropes. He made sure the people who invited him paid for everything.

Far behind on points late in the fight, Rocky needed a knockout to win. Anthony for her son’s recovery, promising to give up her diamond engagement ring if Rocco recovered. Stallone credited Chuck Wepner’s losing effort in a fight with Muhammed Ali as the inspiration for the film, yet the similarities of Rocky Balboa to Rocky Marciano are numerous and obvious. 

The doctor was wrong. He was famous, successful, and well thought of. 

Maybe Rocky ran to avoid an estranged relationship with Barbara. Before the fight Marciano met with a priest, who after their meeting said: “That boy is no ordinary prizefighter, he is one of the most dignified, straightforward people I have ever met in my life. It was an incredible run. His marriage was strained. The pilot had not flown at night before, became confused by the bad weather, and attempted to land in a field rather than the Newton airport. 

He rarely saw his wife and children; or his parents, brothers, and sisters. The pilot and his two passengers were instantly killed. His friends said the only thing Rocky was afraid of was being poor. At the time many children died of pneumonia, but Rocco eventually recovered, and Lena kept her promise.

Five months after Marciano’s death “The Superfight” debuted in theaters. She and her friends prayed the Rosary at the child’s bedside and waited. Several opponents quit boxing after being knocked out by Marciano. Walcott bounced off and threw a hard left hand. He retained his public life, crisscrossing across the country to give speeches, participate in benefits, and conduct business. His parents loved opera, ate Italian food, and had wine with dinner. Ali was in retirement too, after having his title stripped for refusing the draft. He would interrupt his training schedule to attend Mass. Then he was cut from the Chicago Cubs farm system. Pierino’s exposure to mustard gas during combat changed his life, but not his toughness. The nicest thing about being champ, he said, “is that people like you.”  Everyone but boxing experts, who found Rocky’s style too crude to suffer. Skehan, Rocky Marciano, Biography of a First Son, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1977. 

After knocking out an old Joe Louis, Rocky got a title shot. It hit Walcott’s jaw with the sound of a baseball bat. A few minutes later she came out complaining: “What is he, crazy? He didn’t want anything to do with me.” Marciano seemed more comfortable in the company of clergy than actresses. Or the estrangement may have developed over Rocky’s running, which may have sprung from a preoccupation with money. He knocked out nine of his early opponents in the first round. After the Rock retired he kept running.

Outwardly Marciano’s life after boxing was quite successful – unlike many fighters, he kept his money and his wits. The 1963 issue of Boxing Illustrated claimed: “Marciano’s knockout blow packs more explosive energy than an armour-piercing bullet and represents as much energy as would be required to spot lift 1000 pounds one foot off the ground.”  Although this sort of ‘science’ was probably conducted by zealous Marciano fans, it is undeniably true that Rocky hit really hard.) 

While sportswriters criticized Marciano’s boxing shortcomings, no one criticized his character, as the following quotes show:

Lena prayed to St. When he wasn’t playing sports he was running and exercising.

After serving as a GI in World War II, Rocco played minor league baseball. Until Rocco put Brockton on the national map, his hometown was best known for its shoe factories. An obituary in his home state of Massachusetts read:

Marchegiano went to New York and met Al Weill, a boxing manager who tried to Americanize his name. Rocco slept in the living room with the windows open, even in the winter, as if in defiance of his bout with pneumonia.

Marciano’s determination in the Walcott fight showed the world the new champion’s character and personality. Ali later said that Marciano punched so hard he was sore for days after. Once he hit a man so hard he almost killed him. Rocco’s biggest limitation was arms so short they were almost stubby. Equally unique, Marciano never came out of retirement to challenge subsequent champions, a temptation very few ex-champions have overcome, much less succeeded at.

Everett M. He usually didn’t pay anything for his cross-country trips: no plane fare, hotel fare, or meals. There was bad weather and the plane ran low on gas. He was a near-classic example of the triumph of classic virtues (Boston Herald Traveler, September, 1969).” 

On August 31, 1969, Marciano planned to interrupt his business circuit and fly back to Florida to celebrate his forty-sixth birthday with his family. Rocky hadn’t fought or trained for fourteen years. Rocky always apologized, but the fouling continued.

Perhaps it was his simplicity that allowed him to retire after beating everyone worth fighting. Rocky kept coming, even after Walcott knocked him down, closed his left eye, and opened cuts on his face that required fourteen stitches to close.

Rocky ran from an early age. The Marchegiano’s had five more children after Rocco: Alice, Connie, Elizabeth, Louis, and Peter. Rocky slowly became a better boxer, but it was his punching power that kept him undefeated. Augustine before defending his title, and said: “The biggest thrill I could think of would be an audience with the pope?” 

He and Lena settled in Brockton, a small city twenty miles south of Boston. Sometimes he would cover his chin and hands with St. He was invited to the White House to meet the President. She smoked too, and developed a glandular problem. The pilot landed the plane in a field in Newton, Iowa, and rammed into a lone tree in the middle of the field. Ali complained about his ‘loss’, alleging the computer was made in Alabama. . Even as champion he came to the ring in a robe bearing the colors of BrocktonHigh School (even though he dropped out in the tenth grade). He  hit his opponents on the break, after the bell, and below the belt. Anthony before his first title fight, read The Confessions of St. At the last minute Rocky decided to squeeze in an appearance at a steak house in Des Moines, Iowa. Yet even after he had enough money Rocky went after more. The famous sportswriter Jimmy Cannon observed that Marciano trained “like a man practicing a holy ritual.” Before fights he would slip away to a church or chapel to pray. He had no boxing skills. Rocco was in his twenties, when most fighters hit their peak. The computer’s result: Marciano knocked out Ali in the thirteenth round. It is difficult to win a fight when you can’t reach your opponent.

Russell Sullivan, Rocky Marciano, The Rock of His Times, 2002, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago.

Rocky was an old school Catholic. And he could be incredibly tight with a buck. Marciano went back into training and bought a toupee. Yet his retirement years revealed a man who seemed simple, but often was not.

Rocky was generous with people who were down and out, often giving them unsecured loans that were rarely paid back. The man recovered, but never fought again.

(An experiment was performed on Rocky’s punching power. He would never be a classic boxer, but he worked unceasingly at improving his craft, and trained relentlessly. At the time boxing was a diversion, a way to make a few bucks to help out his family. He didn’t trust lawyers or accountants, and preferred to deal in cash. There would be good food, a nice check for a few words, and still enough time to fly back for his birthday. He golfed with priests, helped promote parish functions, even lunched with Cardinal Spellman. Life magazine called him “pure of speech” and “a clean living boy.” He was elsewhere described as “astonishingly innocent,” and “totally without deception, totally without guile.” He didn’t drink or smoke; in fact, when a host at a party for Marciano in Brockton offered the champ a drink, Rocky replied, “If you don’t mind, I’ll take an apple.” 

Marciano was “a kind and decent man.”, He was “inherently a decent, righteous and truly wonderful guy…His innate decency and wholesomeness shine through in a dedicated glow.” Or: “We never cease to be amazed at the humility of Rocky Marciano…he treats everyone if they were the celebrity and he the awed little guy.” Another writer called him “probably the humblest of heavyweight champions.”  Said another: “He reminds you of a great, friendly collie …with the grin of a shy fellow happy to be recognized, at last, as a member of the gang in good standing.” He was “the gentlest athlete I have ever known,” and again: “a man of simplicity and sincerity.”

Marciano died without a will. The sparring film would be spliced together to match the computer outcome of the fight – a closely guarded secret that would not be revealed until “The Superfight” aired in theaters.

His upbringing was steeped in Italian customs and traditions. His fanaticism about physical conditioning,  along with his determination and punching power, led to an unequalled record for a heavyweight champion: forty-nine professional wins, no defeats, forty-three victories by knockout. Yet he used a wire to try to get coins back he used to make telephone calls. Marciano stepped inside and beat Walcott to the punch with a short right hand that traveled maybe eight inches. Rocco inherited his father’s toughness, for he survived a deadly bout of pneumonia when he was two. Rocky never wrote anything down, he tried to keep track of his loans in his head, and sometimes forgot who owed him, and how much. They all lived in a two bedroom apartment. Jude’s oil while in his corner waiting for the start of that fight. 

Marciano’s character was on display in his first fight with Walcott, which was a classic. He said if the man died he would quit fighting. Walcott’s experience kept Marciano off-balance and sometimes made him look ridiculous. He even had a role in a movie. He was undersized for a heavyweight. Rocky Marciano was champion.

The answer: Rocky Marciano, heavyweight boxing champion from 1952 to 1956, when at age thirty-three he retired with a perfect record (49-0, with 43 knockouts)

Baseball Hitting Drills – Tips and Drills For Using Hitting Stick Trainers by Nick Dixon

It is welcomed in complexes and parks because it allows safe pre-game warm-up, requires little space, and does not damage fences. The ball should be at a location just inside the batters back foot. The batter should keep the head still and the head should stay down with the eyes on the ball throughout the swing.

4. Second, the holder must stand at the proper angle to the batter and direct the ball at the correct angle to the batter. The first and original version was the HitnStik*. Make sure the ball is directed at the batter’s back foot.

3. HIP TURNER LOCATION – The holder stands slightly behind the batter directing the ball at the batter’s bat pocket. The batter will drive the bat through the box. The ball should be positioned slightly in front of the batters front foot. The purpose of these swings is to make the batter use the hips as the batter turns and hits the ball. The ball should be positioned at a location inside the batters front foot. Remember to direct the ball toward the belly button or back foot of the batter.

The has a great selection of BASEBALL COACHING and TRAINING ARTICLES. The batter should take a step and drive the ball.

4. Make sure the batter does not over stride.

The 4X5 Baseball and Softball Pre-game Warm-up Drill

Coaching Points:

10. The ball will be positioned in a location behind the front foot. +SKLZ Target is a registered trademark of Pro Performance Sports.

As the inventor of the HitnStik*, Hit2win Trainer^, and SKLZ Target+ Trainer, I sometimes cringe when I see someone using the product incorrectly. Make sure that the hitting area is safe with no one within 15 feet of the holder or the batter.

The batter takes 5 swings at 5 different ball locations. 7. You should not move the ball when using these trainers. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

There are many versions of the “ball-on-a-rod” trainer. They have different names but they all are great trainers to teach and train young players. I sometimes get frustrated because I observe the product being used incorrectly.

1. AWAY STRIKE LOCATION – The holder will move around a couple more feet to give the batter a ball to hit that is on the outer 3rd of the plate. Check to make sure the batter is using proper grip, stance and stride mechanics.

5. The holder will change the location of the ball by moving.

Baseball Hitting Drills – Tips and Drills For Using Hitting Stick Trainers

 by: Nick Dixon

The key to proper use of any hand-held batting device is KNOWING AND USING THE CORRECT ANGLE FOR THE DRILL YOU ARE DOING! If you do not direct or point the ball at the proper angle, the batter will always make poor contact. The batter does not move. Allowing the ball to pass inside the front foot allows the batter to use the front foot and leg as a anchor and leverage to generate a more powerful swing.

6. The holder should make sure that the trainer safety strap is used to prevent the holder from losing their grip on the trainer when the batter hits the ball.

8. If the angle is wrong, the end of the bat will hit behind the ball and the bat will never actually touch the ball. ^Hit2win is a registered trademark of Nedco Sports Products. MIDDLE STRIKE CONTACT – The holder will move around a couple more feet. INSIDE STRIKE – The holder moves toward the direction of the pitcher from the batter. The batter may have to take a slight inward step with the front foot to properly execute this swing.

*HitnStik is a registered trademark belong to Easton Sports. I often see coaches and parents working with players when I visit a park. Then later came other versions including the Hit2win Trainer^ and the SKLZ Target Trainer. The batter should attack the inside strike earlier to keep from getting jammed. . This simple rule insures that proper bat-to-ball contact is made. This is what I call “coning out”.

The popularity come from the benefits they offer the baseball player, baseball coach, and the baseball parent. The batter swings and drives the ball in a direction that would be to the opposite field. This location simulates hitting a pitch over the inside 3rd of the plate. The unit is portable and requires no setup. The ball hit is on the middle 3rd of the plate. The first thing to remember is that the holder should always direct the rod and ball toward the hitter’s back foot. Check out the Bat Action Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator at The height of the ball should be raised and lowered in the strike zone to give the batter swings at both high and low strikes.

3. These trainers are some of the most popular baseball batting trainers used today.

9. Make sure that the batter is swinging in a direction that is free of persons should the batter lose the grip on the bat.

2. This teaches the batter to allow the ball down the middle to get inside the front foot so that maximum power can be generated during the swing. It is important to know the proper angles when using this product.

The holder changes location and height and allows the batter to take 6 swings at each location. Positive reinforcement should be given when the batter makes good solid contact.

2. All of these are handheld units. First, the product is to be used as a “still” ball trainer. All of these baseball trainers basically work and perform the same. You can learn to hit without having to chase, pick-up or retrieve a single ball. Every player on the team can take 30 warm-up swings each in less than 10 minutes.