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Around the NPB Horn: Dragons, Tigers, Buffaloes, Eagles, Lions, Hawks, Swallows, and Bay Stars

by on Oct.26, 2009 @ 9:01 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

...Tony Blanco is apparently looking for a multi-year deal (at least 2 years).  Blanco is expected to see a healthy increase in his salary (he made 27.6M yen this past season).

Hanshin Tigers

...The Tigers want Scott Atchison to return but the he doesn't apparently want to.

Atchison is currently trying to find a team in the US that wants him and has cited wanting to be closer to his family as a reason.

...With the possibility that Atchison doesn't return to the club next season, the Tigers have decided to take a look at Masahide Kobayashi.

...The Tigers announced on Sunday that Takashi Shimizu will be marrying Yasuka Noda, in December.  The were friends since elementary school but only started dating in December of 2008.

...Head coach Katsuhiko Kido held a bunting clinic on Sunday during Fall camp to teach players the finer points to bunting.

Orix Buffaloes

...Akinobu Okada after seeing Takahiro Okada take some about 60 BP swings (of which he sent 6 over the fence):

"Compared to Kanemoto he at least has more power.  I wonder if Hideki Matsui is like that.  I'm looking forward to watching him play next season, as I'm sure he's also looking forward to playing next season."

...Akinobu Okada wants the Tigers to win out on the Kenji Johjima Sweepstakes not because he's still rooting for  his old team, but because he'd rather only face Johjima 4 games a year instead of 24 games a year.

Rakuten Eagles

...Sankei Sports is publishing a special 88 full-color picture book featuring the 2009 Eagles and their amazing run this season.

The book will go on sale beginning the 26th, first in Miyagi Prefecture, and will cost 700yen a copy.

...The Eagles are making continuing to make coaching changes.  Of the 9 coaches they have, 6 will be dismissed, including head coach Hideki Hashigami and batting coach Takahiro Ikeyama.

The coaches that are being let aren't happy about the timing since most clubs have already solidified their staffs for the upcoming season.  The Eagles' front office is saying that it's only natural some coaches are dismissed, especially with a new manager coming along.

Yoshinori Sato (pitching coach) and Katsuhiko Yamada (battery coach) will be staying with the team; Katsunori Nomura (battery coach) is undecided about returning to the team as a development coach.

...Over 100 fans gathered at Haneda Airport on Sunday to greet Katsuya Nomura.

Speaking of Nomura, he will likely sign his contract for honorary manager some time next month.

Seibu Lions

...So it does appear as if Dave Ohkubo will be returning to the Lions as a coach, but he'll be starting off as batting coach for the Ni-gun squad.

Softbank Hawks

...The Hawks announced that Nobuhiko Matsunaka had his right knee cleaned out and will require at least 3 months for a full recovery.

The surgery was performed at a hospital in Tokyo on the 23rd and Matsunaka will likely be discharged from the hospital on the 26th.

Yakult Swallows

...Ryoji Aikawa wants to get together with the pitching staff and talk about how they'd like to approach the 2010 season.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...The scouting staff is undergoing some changes.  Of the 7 scouts the Bay Stars have, 3 will need to be replaced: Tatsuya Shindo and Toshio Choshi are both leaving the club while Mitsujiro Wakui has been reassigned to become an advanced scout.

Yukio Tanaka and Masayuki Miura (previously the Bay Stars Ni-gun battery coach) were recently hired to fill in for two of the open spots in the scouting department.

...Coaching changes that are coming up:

Makoto Shimada > head coach

Toshifumi Baba > Ichi-gun infield / base running coach

Kazuhiko Yamashita > Ni-gun battery coach (offered)

Shintaro Mizutani > change from Ichi-gun infield coach to Ni-gun

Tetsuji Okamoto > change from chief coach to a position in the scouting department