Chiba Lotte Marines
...The Marines will hold tryouts for the following three players, for a period of 3 days, beginning on October 16th:
Hidetaka Kawagoe - 36 year-old, right-handed pitcher formerly with the Orix Buffaloes
Akichika Yamada - 31 year-old, right-handed pitcher formerly with the Softbank Hawks and Fukuoka Warblers (INDP)
Kazuaki Minami - 28 year-old, right-handed pitcher formerly with the Ishikawa Million Stars (INDP)
...Atsushi Fujimoto will likely make an announcement of his FA status at some point early next week. As of now, it seems likely that he will exercise the option.
...Tomoyuki Kubota doesn't care about where he pitches, be it in the rotation or out of the pen.
"I'll do whatever the team wants me to do. The manager and the coaches make the decisions," said Kubota.
He also added, "My strength is being able to warm-up relatively quickly. One of the great things about being a reliever is that you get to pitch in key situations."
...Both Hiroki Uemoto and Kohei Shibata will likely be invited to Ichi-gun Spring camp. The Tigers will likely have about 36 players at their Ichi-gun Spring camp.
...The Carp took themselves out of the running for Makoto Imaoka, not because they felt he wasn't qualified, but rather because they don't have space for him on the roster. The Carp do have a spot on the roster open for a player, but that spot will likely go to a foreign player.
...Akinobu Okada likes Aarom Baldiris (recently released by the Tigers) and will likely look into him this off-season.
...The Buffaloes are willing to wait on So Taguchi for as long as necessary.
Said Okada, "There's no time limit, we can wait until [Taguchi] is 100% sure he wants to play [in Japan]. He should take his time to think right."
...Okada is upset with the way the front office is treating Makoto Imaoka.
"Why are they making him out to be such a bad player?," said Okada. "By releasing him, they're basically saying he's of no use. I think he was waiting for his FA option. There are plenty of other ways they could have handled this."
...When Todd Linden showed up to an apology wearing shorts, the press was all over it. And now, once again, the press is all over Marty Brown (although not necessarily in a bad way) for his casual dress code at his first day with the team on Thursday.
Said Brown, "I'm joining the team in the middle of Fall practice so it isn't like I can easily step in say, 'Hey, let's go!' Right now, my goal is to get a feel for the players by watching them."
Teppei offer this early opinion of Brown: "He seemed like a friendly person. It should be good to have a lighter atmosphere."
...Kimiyasu Kudo met with the Lions on Thursday. The Lions see him as a lefty option out of the pen.
...Tsuyoshi Wada loves Pierre DeRoche watches. As such, the watchmaker will present Wada with a 1.9M dollar watch and a post as the company's spokesperson.
...The Swallows have invited Ryota Igarashi to Fan Appreciation Day on the 23rd. Igarashi apparently doesn't feel he should attend since he'll be leaving the team this off-season. The Swallows, on the other hand, are hoping he will attend in order to give fans one last chance to see him before he heads off the Majors.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...The Bay Stars will back off from free agent Shugo Fujii.
Said Takao Obana, "He was on the agenda, but since we've already strengthened our pitching staff, he's no longer a top priority."
...Tetsuya Utsumi didn't pitch well against Korea during the WBC and vows that he'll do better at the Japan-Korea Championships.
Dicky Gonzalez will likely be the starter; Utsumi will likely relieve Gonzalez.
Incidentally, Gonzalez shaved his head in order to show how serious he is about winning.
Said Gonzalez, "I decided to shave my head last night. But I was a little disappointed when I saw myself in the mirror. My wife was really angry too. I'm starting to feel a little tired from the season, but we're in the last stretch here. I'm going to go all out [for this game]."
...Recently signed Atsushi Nakazato joined up with the team for practice on Thursday.