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01/19/2004 Archived Entry: "Japanese Baseball News: Mariners' Sasaki Renounces Contract; Is Divorce the Reason?"

Seattle Closer Going Through Acrimonious Split With Wife Amid More Affair Rumors

The city of Seattle was shocked Monday when the agent of closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, Tony Attanasio, informed the Mariners that his client was going to forsake his more than $8 million salary and remain in Japan for undisclosed "family reasons." His spot will likely be taken by newly acquired former Twin Eddie Guardado.

There is little concrete information about what provoked Sasaki's decision. Hochi Sports is quoting unnamed MLB sources that he will join the Yokohama Bay Stars, but has little else aside from that assertion. There had been an earlier quote this winter about Sasaki preferring to play for the Stars should he decide to return to Japanese baseball.

Sports Nippon is only saying that Sasaki's rumored return to Yokohama is "being whispered" and that he will hold a press conference on the 21st to talk about leaving Seattle. The reasons at this point remain "unclear," the paper says. Sankei Sports' story is nearly identical to that.

There isn't anything about this latest turn in the Japanese gossip press yet, but there was an item in the Japanese gossip magazine Friday in the 11/28/2003 issue that Sasaki and wife Kaori's divorce was going so badly that Sasaki was suffering "stomach aches" and was going out to get drunk to forget about it all. The main issue still seems to be Sasaki wanting to take permanent residency in the U.S. while Kaori wants to keep everyone home in Japan.

Also, it is claimed that Sasaki, a notorious philanderer, is still screwing around on his gorgeous wife, with the latest rumors being centered on his relationship with model Kanako Enomoto. If you can read Japanese, you can read about the big righthander's nightly habits Here. It should be said, though, that Enomoto insists that the two are merely "friends."

One thing to keep in mind about all this is that if Sasaki and his wife divorce, there is a possibility that he may never see his kids again. In Japanese society, for whatever reason, usually the children will be left with the mother and she can control access to them as much as she wants. There seem to generally be no visitation rights given in Japanese divorce courts. So that may be why Sasaki is contesting the divorce, for continued access to the offspring.

Note to the media You must report Baseball as the source of this story if you pick it up. Thank you.

Replies: 2 comments

Can you explain your choice of "Friday" as a source? How would you rate its credibility?

John James

Posted by John James @ 01/28/2004 01:53 AM EST

I'm from Dominican Republic. For dominicans is dificult understand how diferent is japanese culture. In Dominican (like in United State) Sasaki can divorce and have good relationship with ex-wife and kids.
Is hard for him living in Seattle, his sons in Japan and no to have access to kids. Try understand my poor english.

Posted by Enrique Rojas @ 01/21/2004 11:13 AM EST

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