...Jet balloons have been banned at Koshien Stadium.
...The Tigers could use Makoto Imaoka quite a bit as their DH during Inter-league play. He's in tonight's starting line-up as the DH and is batting 7th against the Softbank Hawks.
...The Tigers stated that they are looking for a player that can hit and that they don't really care which side of the play they hit from, or whether or not they are good fielders. They also added that they'd like a player with prior experience in the NPB. Craig Brazell appears to be making it's way to the forefront.
As for Kevin Mench... Club President Nobuo Minami said that the team will hold onto him and that they expect him to work on whatever adjustments he needs to make in order to make it back to the parent club at some point in the future.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Terrmel Sledge was taken off the active roster due to a mild torn hamstring and will require 7-10 days for a full recovery. He tore his hamstring in a game on the 17th against the Buffaloes while running the bases.
...With the DH rule in effect, the Giants will be able to field a better defensive outfield. In tonight's game against the Ham Fighters, they have Yoshitomo Tani in left, Tetsuya Matsumoto in center, and Yoshiyuki Kamei in right with Alex Ramirez DH'ing. Tatsunori Hara has said that he will likely use a combination of Ramirez, Michihiro Ogasawara, and Shinnosuke Abe in the DH spot.
...The league win / loss breakdown of Inter-league play since it first began in 2005:
2005: PL 105 Wins - CL 104 Wins - 7 Ties
2006: PL 108 Wins - CL 107 Wins - 1 Tie
2007: PL 74 Wins - CL 66 Wins - 4 Ties
2008: PL 73 Win - CL 71 Wins - 0 Ties
The Lotte Marines had the best inter-league record in 2005 and 2006; the Ham Fighters in 2007; and the Softbank Hawks in 2008.
...Salaries for players in the Kansai Independent Leagues could be delayed due to financial difficulties stemming from not being able to secure funding from private sponsors. Each of the four teams in the league were supposed to receive payments of 30M yen on March 31st to cover expenses, but that never happen. Payments were rescheduled for May 15th, but that never happened either.
The league has apparently scheduled a meeting for sometime this evening to discuss what could be done moving forward.
...The Spring Kinki High School Tournament might be canceled (or extended) this year due to the Swine Flu. Two schools are currently closed (Ikuei High School until the 22nd and PL Gakuen until the 24th) due to the sudden widespread outbreak of the Swine Flu in the Kansai area and will not be open in time for the bracket announcement on the 19th. The Tournament itself is / was set to begin on the 23rd.