...A couple thousand fans showed up in Miyazaki for the first day of WBC training. Miyazaki is hoping that the increase in fans will help give area businesses a nice little economic boost. Early estimates suggest a potential of 10B yen in revenue due to increased exposure.
The fans also crowded the airports yesterday to greet the players flying into Miyazaki. Some 600 fans apparently showed up.
...Rakuten Eagles manager Katsuya Nomura sounds pretty excited about new foreigner Darrell Rasner.
"Good control and a nice rhythm. I think this might be the first time I've felt this good about a foreigner after watching 1 inning of work," said Nomura after a practice game yesterday.
He added, "I think we may have found our number 3 in the rotation. Now we just need to figure out who our number 4 is."
...Speaking on a sports program on NHK, Hanshin Tigers manager Akinobu Mayumi spoke briefly about taking taking apart the JFK bullpen trio:
"We have Hirotaka Egusa, Ryo Watanabe, and Scott Atchison in the pen. And Kyuji Fujikawa and Jeff Williams will remain in the same position in the pen."
Mayumi also spoke briefly about Takahiro Arai batting 5th: "The fact that he has home run power is great. We were lacking that last season."
...Yoshinori Sato (Yakult Swallows) had a decent outing (2 inning of 1 hit, no-run ball) yesterday during a practice game against the Tigers. But after the game, he said he couldn't stop thinking about the 15-second rule.
"I couldn't concentrate on pitching. I thought too much about the 15-second rule and couldn't get into any sort of rhythm," said Sato.
He also added, "I'll continue to get timed in my bullpen sessions. I really want to get a good grasp of what 15-seconds is. Maybe I can work this into parts of my private life as well."
...Taishi Ohta was designated to Ni-gun by the Yomiuri Giants. In 2 practice games Ohta went 0-for-6 with 3 strikeouts -- he looked a little overmatched in most of his at bats.
Said Ohta, "I'm disappointed, but not really surprised. I'll take this opportunity to go to Ni-gun and work on the basics."
...Ham Fighters manager Masataka Nashida had this to say about recent signee Luis Jimenez: "In my eyes, he passed the test. He showed us his potential and it seems like he's got some legs on him."
...How's this for embarassing... Byung-Hyun Kim lost his passport and was removed from Team Korea. Kim realized he lost his passport as he was preparing for departure for training in Hawaii.
...This skull and bones t-shirt, sold by a company called mastermind and worn by Yu Darvish, is apparently worth 35,000yen (close to $350).
Darvish sporting a mastermind skull and bones t-shirt
I'm lucky if I spend that much money on clothes in one year!