Sponichi: Surprise, surprise, Hisayoshi Chono has turned down the Lotte Marines. It's actual not official yet, but it certainly seems as if he's prepared to head down that road. But at 23, is it really the smartest thing to do? Seems to me like it would make far more sense to get his pro career started.
Sponichi: Yukinaga Maeda is retiring. He spent time with the Texas Rangers AAA ball club last year and never got a chance to pitch in the Bigs. The Lotte Orions took him as their first pick in 1988 and he stayed with the team until 1995, when he was traded to the Dragons. Maeda signed with the Giants in 2002 and then crossed the ocean after the end of the 2007 season to try his luck in the Majors.