...The Tigers officially announced that Kevin Mench will be returning to the States to be with his pregnant wife. There is currently no return date set (which means there probably a good chance he leaves the team outright).
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Bay Stars owner Kiyoshi Wakabayashi said that he intends on making improvements to the front office in preparation for next season.
"Improving the team is more than just making the uniforms better, more care needs to be taken at looking into what the entire ball club, including the front office, is made of," said Wakabayashi. "We need to get better next season."
The last Giant to be photographed by the paparazzi was when Mona Yamamoto was supposedly caught having an affair with Tomohiro Nioka. Nioka then shaved his head, apologized to the team, the media, and the fans, and was then shipped off to the far recesses of Japan Hokkaido.
Concerned about the media coverage on Sakamoto, Giants owner Takuo Takihana apparently reached out to the young short stop.
"Looks like he's getting chased around by the paparazzi," said Takihana to reporters. "I just told him to be careful, but he seemed to be taking things in stride."
...The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association's Player's Union met on Friday to discuss the current Free Agency rules. The Player's Union would like to see time requirements for both National and International Free Agency drop to 7 years. They are also trying to get rid of the player compensation rule as well.
The Player's Union would also like to change the ruling from 7 seasons (145 days) on the Ichi-gun roster to 7 seasons on either the Ichi-gun or Ni-gun roster.
The group will begin discussions with NPB officials on August 17th.
...The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association announced that they will be holding their annual Baseball Christmas (kind of like a fan fest) at Ritsumei University this year. The event will take place on December 6th and about 30 players (current and retired) will be on hand. Admission will be free.
...Tough times have fallen on the Nagasaki Saints of the Chikoku-Kyushu Independent League. So much so that they too have been forced to start up a donation box to help pay for some of the running costs.
"In order for us to stay afloat as a citizen's baseball team, we need to use donations to try and get everyone involved and have them each become an owner of the team," said Saints' manager Hiroshi Nagadomi.