...Pitcher Takuya Asao said that he will no longer perform any headfirst slides. While his headfirst slide into home on the 5th against the Hiroshima Carp in the third inning ended without anyone getting injured (he was ruled safe), he understands that it could be a dangerous play for a pitcher.
...Akinobu Mayumi said even if Kyuji Fujikawa doesn't make any rehab appearances at Ni-gun before returning to the parent club, he still intends on using him as a closer right away.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...For every out that Kensuke Tanaka makes, the Fighters will donate money to the Pink Ribbon in Sapporo charity to pay for 1 breast examination (that could be close to 500 free examinations over the course of a full season). Interested parties can see this page for more information.
...Yuki Tanaka's Ikusei contract was upgraded on Monday. His salary will be 8M yen and his new uniform number will be 29.
...Nippon Ham Sho Nakata (Eastern League) and Orix Takahiro Okada (Western League) were given the MVP of the Month for March and April.
Nakata - .270, 8 HR, 27 RBI
Okada - .300, 7 HR, 21 RBI
...The Commissioner's Office is handing down a stern warning and a 30% pay cut (one game) to Ryuzo Yamamoto. The other umpires that worked the game (Kota Kawaguchi, Shota Suzuki, and Chikara Tsugawa) also received stern warnings.
All four umpires are being warned because of incident in a game on the 9th where the scoreboard did not reflect an accurate ball/strike count and none of them stopped play to have it corrected. Yamamoto is getting a pay cut on top of a warning because he also cited the incorrect count when the runner on first asked him for it.
...The NPB held a meeting to discuss the current financial outlook for the All-Star game and Asia Series.
With the addition of inter-league play, the All-Star game is apparently becoming less popular amongst fans. While ballparks for the event have been picked through the 2012 season, that won't stop the NPB from canceling the event if they feel it won't help the league.
The Asia Series ended in the red last year and many owners appear to be against it, even though there's been a recent interest in expanding / extending international competition.
...For the second straight season, Mazda will be the official sponsor of the All-Star event.