Yu Darvish is still upset. Even before practice sessions could start today, he started spilling his feelings. "It's not like they even asked us if this is alright. Instead they basically tell us, here, this is the new rule! Baseball is a thinking sport; take that away and it's not half as fun anymore. I'd like to hear what other pitchers are thinking," said Darvish.
Hisashi Iwakuma was also asked what he felt: "I think Darvish is right. Games are already being shortened. If you want to shorten them more, just expand the strike zone. Our jobs are on the line here."
Rakuten manager Katsuya Nomura added: "The rule is simply nonsense. Baseball was orginally a sport without a time limit. The fans pay good money to come to games, they should want to stay at the ballpark as long as possible."
Masahiro Tanaka also chipped in: "Pitching is all about rhythm and timing."
The commissioner, Ryozo Kato, responded by saying, "Games in the majors are about 2 hours and 40 minutes long. ... I'm not trying to make games difficult. I just want to make sure fans are disappointed by 'watered-down' baseball. ... These are professionals, they'll get used to it. I have no intention of pulling the rule back before it's even tried."
...The Giants are really working their rookie, Taishi Ohta. He stayed behind an extra hour for special fielding work yesterday. Ohta has already dropped 2kg (~4.4 pounds) since the start of training camp.
Ohta taking extra ground balls
On your first BP session:
I was a little more unbalanced during my bullpen sessions, but now that I had a batter to focus on, I felt like I was able to throw better pitches. I had a pretty good grip on the ball.
On pitching to Norichika Aoki:
It was decided [that I face him] at the last minute so I was surprised. I was able to go after him this year [unlike last year]. I was able to hit the spots more than usual.
On the increased number of pitches:
The worst part is the uneveness (I wish it was more consistent). I still can't put all my weight on my left left so I need to be careful.
On getting the nod to start against the Tigers during a practice game on the 15th:
More than actual results, I want to work on my pacing in live game situations and ramp up my efforts in time for opening day.
...There is a movement to make Nagoya Kyujo a cultural treasure. The stadium celebrated it's 60th season last year and is currently home to the Ni-gun Dragons.