...In an effort to help find his swing, Takashi Toritani spent about 40 minutes in the batting cages on Wednesday. Toritani is currently batting .241 with a .690 OPS and is 4-for-20 over his last 6 games.
...Just how bad can the Japanese media be? Kevin Mench was photographed riding around on a scooter and the media is going crazy about how he wasn't wearing a helmet (but since he was riding around within the training grounds, he technically wasn't doing anything illegal).
A Sanspo article ends, "With only practice to concentrate on, I suppose he has nothing better to do..."
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Sho Nakata told reporters that he intends to win the MVP award at the upcoming Fresh All-Stars game on July 23. Said Nakata, "The Fresh All-Stars MVP also gets 1M yen, right? I told Tsuchiya (teammate) we should go for it."
Good to see he hasn't lost his confidence.
...The Eagles originally felt that Hisashi Iwakuma would be ready to return to the rotation by the June 30th. Now it appears as though his return might be pushed back a bit more. Iwakuma was taken off the active roster on June 18th after being diagnosed with inflammation in his right elbow. When asked how he was feeling, Iwakuma said that he would like a little more time.
Incidentally, Katsuya Nomura wasn't too happy about Iwakuma not being ready and was quoted as saying, "Iwakuma is down. Ma-kun (Masahiro Tanaka) isn't 100%, I have no one to start. Looks like my retirement is getting that much closer.
...It appears likely that Lions' manager Hisanobu Watanabe will manage the team again next season. Watanabe is in the final year of a 2-year contract.
...The Swallows will send Shohei Tateyama, Yoshinori Sato, and Masanori Ishikawa to the mound for a three game series with the Yomiuri Giants that begins tonight.
...Tatsuro Hirooka visited Giants practice at the Tokyo Dome on Thursday and spent about an hour working with Taishi Ohta on his fielding (specifically his throwing) in the bullpen. Said Hirooka, "In a few years, he'll be a good player."
...The 2009 Draft (October 29) will be televised on TBS for the first time on terrestrial TV since 2000. But apparently some fans aren't too happy about it. A quick glance at a 2-chan board shows most fans as complaining about how TBS will mess up the broadcast with commercials and use the broadcast as a means to promote their own baseball programs (like the movie "Rookies").