Sponichi: Kazuyuki Hoashi may be getting the first start in the Asia Series tonight.
Sponichi: The Tomohiro Nioka-Micheal Nakamura trade could officially be announced sometime later today.
Sponichi: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yu Darvish, and Takayuki Kishi could be the starting three pitchers in Samurai Japan's rotation for the WBC. Hara and Co. intend to release an initial selection of 45 players on January 20th and finalized version of a 28-man roster on February 25th (13 pitchers, 3 catchers, 7 infielders, 5 outfielders).
Sponichi: Hiroshi Hirao will most likely be sticking around with the Lions next season. He will be in the starting lineup during the Asia series, batting 3rd and playing first.
Sponichi: Akira Eto will also probably be returning to the Lions next season.
Sports Hochi: Yu Darvish could be making more than 3-oku yen next season. Darvish set two records last season when he signed on with a 2-oku yen deal: Signing the highest paying contract the quickest (4th year) and signing the highest paying contract the youngest (21).
Nikkan Sports: Hiromoto "Dave" Okubo held a press conference yesterday and said, "I am deeply sorry to the team and to the fans for all the commotion. ... I did not strike her. And I have not tried to settle with her privately. The truth will be revealed when the prosecutors make their judgment."