Chiba Lotte Marines
...Norifumi Nishimura, the new manager of the Marines, is tightening things up during practice.
"During practice, you will tuck your shirts in. And you will wear your caps," said Nishimura.
Nishioka later added, "Too much freedom. I want them to be more aware of their actions."
...Keiichi Hirano said that he wants to improve his base-running abilities and has set high goals for himself next season.
"I want to be at the top of the stolen base chart. I think you have to aim high in order to push yourself to the next level," said Hirano.
Hirano stole only 3 bases this season and has a career high of 10 set back in 2004.
...Keisuke Kano is using a heavier (from 950g to 1000g) and longer (34inch to 35inch) bat during Fall camp.
...Newly appointed manager Kenjiro Nomura handed out mini walkie-talkies to three other fielding coaches during fielding practice. Nomura looked down on the field from an area behind home plate to watch how his players were moving on the field. The mini walkie-talkies allowed him to keep in touch with the coaches on the field.
"You have to go higher up in order to see the formations. The coaches and I gave the orders. It's much easier to see the player's movement from higher up than at ground level," said Nomura.
...Speaking of Taguchi, newly appointed manager Akinobu Okada said, "Signing him, not signing him... In the end it all depends on what Taguchi wants to do. If he says he wants to play in Japan, we need to go see him right away."
Okada also had this to say about Yusei Kikuchi:
"It should go without saying that he should enter the Japanese draft. Last year, Tazawa set a precedent and we can't let that happen 2 years in a row."
...The Swallows are on the market for a foreign pitcher that can start. And while the Swallows likely won't go out to find some infield reinforcements, they did leave open that option.
...Jamie D'Antona said that he would like to return to the Swallows next season.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Shun Yamaguchi doesn't appear to be against moving into the starting rotation next season:
"I wanted to close games for another 2-3 years, but I did also want to start at some point. It'll be important for me to put up some good numbers next year. I'll prepare myself so that I'll be ready for [starting or closing]."
...The NPB confirmed that Central League ump Masanobu Sasaki does indeed have the swine flu and will require 4-5 days for a full recovery. The NPB is hoping that the flu doesn't spread amongst the umps like it has with the players.