...Sho Nakata (Ham Fighters) had a big practice game yesterday: 2 doubles and a home run in four trips to the plate and 2 rbi.
...Veteran Yokohama Bay Stars pitcher Kimiyasu Kudo recently tried working in the 15-second rule during a bullpen session and was left frustrated at just how little time there was. "It's almost impossible if I try to follow the rule strictly. It isn't baseball. ... I'm not really sure if there's a way to cope with this rule. There are times during a game where you want to shake off a sign. Pitchers don't really do it to delay the game. I wish they'd just let it go."
...Despite poor conditions, 26,000 people were on hand to watch yesterday's practice game between Samurai Japan and the Yomiuri Giants.
Over the course of the entire WBC training period, over 240,000 fans dropped by to watch the team train.
...Kenji Johjima feels pretty good about what he was able to accomplish during WBC training camp. "I feel like I was able to get a decent grasp of the pitchers on our staff during our training camp at Miyazaki."
...Ichiro Suzuki has yet to collect a hit in his 5 trips to the plate over 2 practice games. He did, however, make a nice sliding catch in the first inning during the team's second practice game against the Giants.
...Nobuhiko Matsunaka was saddened by his dismissal from Samurai Japan. Said Matsunaka, "I was a little shocked that [my injury] was the reason. I'd like to think that there was something more to their decision. I did the best I could. It was probably a group decision."
...Hisashi Iwakuma tossed 120 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday. This comes a day after he only tossed 26 pitches and then called it quits because he wasn't feeling right. It also seems that he pulled something in his neck during the session (it doesn't seem like he'll miss any time).
Iwakuma is slated to start the practice game against Australia on the 24th.
...In a move reminiscent of the Yankees, Tatsunori Hara, manager of Samurai Japan is said to have asked Shuichi Murata to get a hair cut (or at least have the lines removed from the sides of his head).
...Upcoming schedule for Samurai Japan:
- February 24, 25 - Practice games against Australia
- February 28 - Practice game against Seibu Lions
- March 1 - Practice game against Yomiuri Giants
...Training camp photos from February 22nd (Sanspo).
...WBC training camp photos from February 22nd (Sanspo).