Chiba Lotte Marines
...Former Lotte pitcher and manager, Michiyo Arito, tossed out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Thursday night's game between the Marines and Orix Buffaloes. Thursday was the final day of a 3-game celebration of the Marines' 40th Anniversary.
BTW: if you're a Marines fan, you can download some desktop wallpaper with the 40th Anniversary theme at the Marines official site (direct link to wallpapers).
...Norihiro Akahoshi was not in the starting line-up on Thursday night because he wasn't feeling well. He also started 5 games in a row and the team felt it might be time to give him a breather.
...Club President Nobuo Minami spoke a little more of his trip to the States and said that he was able to learn a lot more about how team's conduct business. He also had a chance to meet with team owners and GMs during his with the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, and Boston Red Sox.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...Tomohiro Nioka and Shota Ono were both given the green light to join the team at Yahoo Dome for the upcoming 3-games series that begins tonight.
Ono was diagnosed with the flu on the 16th and appears to have gotten over it. Nioka was one of a number of players that had high fevers a few days ago but did not test positive for the flu virus.
That leaves four more players that are still out: Terrmel Sledge, Shinya Tsuruoka, Eiichi Koyano, and Yoshio Itoi.
...The Ham Fighters had antiseptic solution near entrance gates and antiseptic mouth wash in the bathrooms for fans to use. While players, personnel, and Dome employees were required to wear masks, there weren't that many fans wearing them.
...The Eagles are in third place with a 50-50-1 record after 101 games. This is the first time the club has had a .500 record after playing more than 100 games.
...Yasuhiro Ichiba will be taken off the active roster after his outing on Thursday night against the Hanshin Tigers -- 3 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 9 R, 6 ER.
...The NPB announced the schedules for this year's Miyazaki Phoenix League (an instructional fall league). There are 122 games on the schedule and they will be played between October 6th and October 22nd.
14 teams (7 Eastern League teams, 5 Western League teams, a team from the Shikoku-Kyushi Island League, Doosan Bears and Hanwha Eagles out of the KBL, and a mixed team) will compete in the league.
All games on the schedule are free of charge.