Nikkan Sports: Yoshinobu Takahashi won't be playing in the Nippon Series due to the nagging chronic back pains. He wasn't much of a presence during the second stage of the Climax Series and with his back getting worse, Takahashi asked Hara to remove his name from the 40-man roster for the Nippon Series so he can focus on rehabbing his back for next season.
Nikkan Sports: The Dragons are now saying that they may be willing to work with Woods on a low base contract filled with bonuses and incentives. The big contract Woods had this season is coming back to haunt the Dragons.
Nikkan Sports: Average TV ratings for the Giants - Dragons game on the 25th reached 20.7% in the Kanto region (16.5% in the Kansai region). This was the highest rated baseball game on TV this season. In the Kanto region, ratings peaked at 28.9% when Kroon struck out Nakamura in the 9th. This was the first time in over 4 years that a Giants game surpassed 20%. The high, prior to the 25th, was a Tigers game (10/8) that reached 15.8%. The average rating for a Giants game this season was 9.7%, down 0.1% from last season.
Nikkan Sports: Ochiai will be attending this year's 12 Team Try-Outs, set to take place on November 11th. Managers usually don't attend but Ochiai is making an exception this season since Kawakami and Woods may not be returning next season.
Nikkan Sports: Early reports indicate that Hara will most likely accept the invitation to manage at the WBC.
Nikkan Sports: Joe Lutz, the first ML manager to manage in Japan, passed away on the 20th at the age of 83. He is known in some circles as the man that helped lay the groundwork for Hiroshima's pennant run in 1975. That year, Lutz managed only 18 games, going 6-8-1, and quit after he felt management wasn't giving him full control of the team.
Sports Hochi: Fighers manager, Masataka Nashida, isn't too pleased about the prospects of Darvish participating in the WBC. His concern is Darvish being overused and ultimately unready for the start of the 2009 season. Nashida cites Darvish's problems of getting back into a rhythm this season after returning from the Olympics as cause for his concern.
Sports Hochi: Katsuya Nomura has announced that Naoto Watanabe and Kensuke Uchimura will be swapping positions this off-season. Nomura feels that Uchimura would be a better fit at short due to his athleticism.
Sports Hochi: The Yokohama Bay Stars are showing interest in Ryan Vogelsong. If the Tigers hit any bumps in the road with retaining his services, the Bay Star intend to swoop in and try to lure him to Yokohama.
Sports Hochi: The Fighters have their eyes on BC League Fukui hurler Yohei Yanagawa for the draft. He is right-handed, 183cm tall, and weighs 83kg. He owns a fastball that hits 146km/h.
Sports Hochi: Bobby Valentine is requesting that Hara try pick players from as many different teams as possible, instead of taking too many from any one team.