...Taishi Ohta (Yomiuri Giants) isn't too happy with his performance so far.
Said Ohta, "Out of 100, I'd say about a 10. I'm really begining to feel that gap between high school ball and the pros. I just need to continue climbing up the ladder, one step at a time, and improve on my performances."
...Shinichiro Koyama could end up as the closer for the Rakuten Eagles. It also appears as though Darrell Rasner will be in the starting rotation -- he will be making an exhibition start on the 28th against the Lotte Marines.
...The Chiba Lotte Marines have signed 33-year-old Cuban outfielder Juan Carlos Muniz to an Ikusei contract worth 5M yen. He was given the number 135. He should be joining the Ni-gun team today.
...Reserved seats for tonight's game between Samurai Japan and the Seibu Lions have sold out. Non-reserved seats are still availble, but are limited in supply.
...The Seibu Lions are planning on using Takayuki Kishi at some point in the game. Should be interesting since he was just cut from Samurai Japan earlier this week.
...Ichiro Suzuki was checking out the outfield at Tokyo Dome during practice yesterday (there are some pictures of his session at Sanspo). He actually ran up against the outfield wall to get a feel for things and was apparently disappointed that he can't climb the walls. Guess he has gotten used to the lower wall in the Majors.
...Norichika Aoki should be in the starting lineup tonight, batting first and playing left field.
...Atsunori Inaba wants Ichiro to get on base as many times as possible so that he can work with him on some hit and run, run and hit plays. After Samurai Japan's first game against Australia, Inaba was quoted as saying, "When Ichiro got on base with a hit, I kept wondering when he would take off. Before I knew it, the count was 0-2 and I had to focus on making contact and couldn't worry about him anymore."
Johjima likened the outfield walls at Tokyo Dome as similar to having Fenway's Green Monster extend all the way to right field.
...Two "Data Rooms" were set up at the hotel where WBC players are staying at while in Tokyo. The players will have access to footage from the first WBC, the MLB, and various other sources.
...The Tokyo Dome grounds crew worked on making adjustments to the pitching mound based on WBC regulations. A "special red brick" was buried into the ground near the pitcher's landing spot on the mound. Dome officials mentioned that they performed similar modifications when the MLB played a few games at the Dome in the past.
...WBC First Round, Block A officials said that they will be donating 430,000yen to the Australian fire victims. The money was collected during the two games between Samurai Japan and Australia. I'm not entirely sure if all the money was donated by fans, or if it's a portion from ticket sales.
...Training camp photos from February 27th (Sanspo).