...Takahiro Arai will make his Tiger's debut at third during an intrasquad game today. I'm not really sure why the media is hyping this up so much -- it's not as if he's never played third before. In fact, he played 144 games at third in 2007 with the Carp.
...The Pacific and Central Leagues will be celebrating their 60th Anniversary this season. As part of that celebration, league officials are currently discussing the possibility of holding special games for each team at their home ballparks against college teams located in those respective areas.
However, scheduling appears to be a problem. A proposal for setting this up during All-Star break was shot down due to a busy schedule. The most recent proposal is for sometime in November, but there could be some difficulties securing ballparks during this time.
...33,611 were in attendance at yesterday's game between Samurai Japan and Australia.
...Daisuke Matsuzaka will most likely make the start for Japan against Australia tonight.
...A few quotes from Yu Darvish about his start.
"My failure to pitch well as a member of Team Japan could have something to do with my desire to perform."
"For my next start, I'd like to try and throw like I do the regular season. The other thing is my conditioning -- I may have practiced a bit too much."
Pitching coach Hisashi Yamada added, "[Darvish] was just overthrowing -- that caused him to lose his grip on his off-speed pitches."
Darvish did appear to be overthrowing a bit. That, coupled with a "slippery" ball, probably didn't help him any. It'll be interesting how he does in his next start.
Australia's manager, Jon Deebil (also coordinator of scouting for the Pacific Rim for the Red Sox), said, "I've watched Darvish over the last 4 years. Today, it just looked like he was just working on some things."
Incidentally, he did hit 153km/h (95mph) on the gun.
...The second WBC hasn't even begun and reporters are already wondering if Yuki Saito might make the roster for 2013 team.
...Training camp photos from February 24th (Sanspo).