Sanspo: Shinnosuke Abe was awarded a 270M yen contract for 2009 (a raise of 3,000-man yen). Other catchers to make the same amount: Kenji Johjima in 2005 and Atsuya Furuta in 2004 and 2005.
Sanpo: Kyuji Fujikawa is aiming for 160km/h. Speaking at a PR event for the upcoming theatrical release of Majors, Fujikawa said, "Next season I'll definitely throw one for 160km/h." Hideki Irabu, Kazuo Yamaguchi, and Ryota Igarashi are the only Japanese players ever to hit 158km/h. If Fujikawa does reach 160km/h, he will become the first Japanese pitcher to do so.
Sanpo: Eri Yoshida might get her first shot at pitching professionally in a practice game against the Ni-gun Hanshin Tigers early next year.
Sponichi: Kazuhisa Ishii became the top paid pitcher in the Pacific League yesterday when he was given a 30M yen raise. He will be making 280M yen next season (10M more than Darvish).
Sponichi: The NPB teams submitted their list of hold-over players yesterday. A total of 100 players were left off their respective teams' hold-over lists and are now listed as having been released.