...Ryan Vogelsong would like to start, but it appears as though the Orix Buffaloes already have the 6 pitchers they need to fill out the rotation: Satoshi Komatsu, Shogo Yamamoto, Chihiro Kaneko, Kazuki Kondo, Mamoru Kishida, and Yoshihida Hirano. It would seem as thought the Buffaloes would like for him to be a reliever, perhaps even the closer.
...Things appear to be going well for Marc Kroon (Yomiuri Giants). He pitched a hitless inning of relief his last appearance (vs. Taiwan) and struck out 2. He also managed to hit 154 km/h on the radar gun.
...The Ham Fighters will be selling a "Darvish Lunchbox" and a "Kensuke (Tanaka) Lunchbox" this year. The lunchboxes will go for 1,100yen and 1,000 yen respectively.
...Hanshin fans can now get their hands on a special, limited edition credit card featuring a picture of Tomoaki Kanemoto. Only 10,000 of the cards will be made available.
Don't leave home without it!
...Eri Yoshida will throw out the first pitch at Yokohama Stadium during an exhibition game between the Yokohama Bay Stars and the Orix Buffaloes.
Eri Yoshida at her first practice
Eri Yoshida also made her first appearance at practice on the first. Her training menu? 2.5 hours of running and playing catch in the AM and a pinch-hit appearance (that resulted in a walk) during a practice game in the PM.
...The Softbank Hawks practiced at Yahoo Dome for the first time since the stadium was re-fitted with Field Turf. The new turf is supposedly much softer and easier on the legs. Batted balls hit on the ground also don't roll quite as much as they used to.
The coloring for the outfield fences has also changed -- instead of being all dark green, the top portion of the outfield walls are now a light green.
...New seats at the Yahoo Dome were introduced to the press earlier today (the 3rd). On the 5th floor on the first base side, a new section called the Cisco Zone was created (128 "pair" seats). The 7500yen tickt price includes use of a touch-panel monitor that offers four different views of the playing field (including from behind home plate and along the first base side) and detailed stats for individual players.
Yahoo Dome Cisco Seats
After losing to the Lotte Marines 5-2 and seeing eight 0's on the score board: "The Rakuten steam buns continue growing stronger in taste. It seems like we'll even be able to open more stores."
On the sputtering offense: "The problem is the low level of play. They aim for a fastball and can't hit a fastball. They aren't at the pro level."
...In an effort to try and shake the offense up, Hara swapped Ichiro and Aoki's positions in the lineup. But it didn't really do much of anything as the two combined to go 0-for-9.
...Edgardo Alfonzo accounted for the lone run the Giants scored against Samurai Japan -- a solo home run in the first inning.
...Shin-Soo Choo is still having problems with his right elbow. A final decision will be made regarding his status for the Asia round of the WBC during practice tomorrow (3/4). Team Korea's manager said, "He's a player on our roster, but he's also a Cleveland Indian, so we need to adhere to their requests and not do what we want. I'm really hoping that he'll be able to play."
...Samurai Japan pitching coach Yamada has said that they intend on lifting pitchers as soon as they are in trouble and won't necessarily wait to see if pitchers can work their way out of jams.
...In preparation for his start against China on Thursday, Yu Darvish tossed 52 pitches during his bullpen session.
...Samurai Japan was in attendance at the exhibition game between the Yomiuri Giants and Korea.
...Only 6,270 fans were in attendance at the exhibition game between the Yomiuri Giants and Taiwan.
...WBC Exhibition game results
Team Japan (3-1) W 8-2 vs Australia W 11-2 vs Australia L 2-7 vs Seibu Lions W 2-1 vs Yomiuri Giants Team Korea (1-1) W 4-2 vs Seibu Lions L 0-3 vs Yomiuri Giants Team Taiwan (0-2) L 6-7 vs Yomiuri Giants L 2-13 vs Seibu Lions Team China (0-2) L 2-8 vs Yomiuri Giants L 1-11 vs Seibu Lions
...And while I don't really have any specific news related to this image, I liked it so much I figured I'd just throw it up anyway...
Sub-mariner Shusuke Watanabe
...Yuki Saito has said that he would like to continue his tradition of throwing 1,000 pitches during training camp.