...Kyuji Fujikawa's first book "Mijukumono" hit store shelves on the 5th and the publishers are already preparing to print another 20,000 copies. 30,000 copies of the book were originally printed, but copies of the book have been selling extremely well (especially in the Osaka region).
...Sho Nakata is being demoted to Ni-gun. Nakata has been struggling at the plate and even struck on the day he found out he was being demoted.
Said Nakata, "My problem is hitting. And I struck out again today. ... I'll work hard to get one more shot before opening day. Doesn't make much sense for me stick around up here right now."
...Darrell Rasner gave up 3 runs in 4.2 innings of work against the Hanshin Tigers on the 11th. Said Katsuya Nomura of Rasner's outing, "They're hitting his pitches down the plate. Rasner needs to work on his control."
Nomura also wasn't very happy that Rasner allowed a baserunner to steal third.
...Katsuya Nomura was thinking about making Satoshi Nagai his 5th pitcher, but after giving up 4 runs in his last outing, he's begining to run out of chances.
Said Nomura, "I have no idea what he's thinking. Starter? Nope. There's no way I can use someone like that."
The first four pitchers for the rotation figure to be Hisashi Iwakuma, Masahiro Tanaka, Darrell Rasner, and Hideki Asai.
...In his first game in front of Chiba fans, Tadahito Iguchi struck out with the bases loaded in the third and was hit by a pitch in the fourth. He was lifted from the game after that for precautionary reasons.
...Masayoshi Son, owner of the Softbank Hawks, handed out about 100 iPhones to players and staff members at a team rally on the 10th.
Said Son, "Where ever you guys are, I want you to be able to check out videos of your games so that you can make whatever adjustments you need to."
...Eri Yoshida was late to practice yesterday after accidentally sleeping in. The manager apparently told her that she needs to get an alarm clock.
And a few quotes:
On being selected
I didn't set my sites on getting here and I didn't go through my career trying to rack up the numbers to get here either. But baseball has to endure, so that means more and more players will be aceepted.
After retiring, it seems as though you haven't really made any public appearances
I want to continue doing baseball-related work for as long as possible. I've my own Nomo Baseball Club, and running that has been very time-comsuming. I wouldn't be able to keep it going without support.
As the man known for opening the gates to the Majors, what are your thoughts on the current WBC
There is some really high level play going on. The timing is a little bad, so all I'm hoping for is for no one to get injured while still being able to leave a mark at the WBC.