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Draft News and Notes: Lions to use lookalike to keep Kikuchi safe?

by on Nov.30, 2009 @ 10:27 am, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

...Hosei University held a baseball clinic on Sunday that Kazuhito Futagami attended.  The kids that attended showed some interest Futagami's glove, which has the kanji "鰹" (katsuo, or tuna) stitched into the area near his thumb.  When asked why he picked the kanji, Futagami said:

My father is a fisherman...  Up until I was a third year student, I had "神" (kami, or God, also a character from his name) stitched into the area, but that didn't seem quite right.

Seibu Lions

...The Lions are planning on using a Yusei Kikuchi lookalike during Spring camp as a diversionary tactic to help the real Kikuchi get around.

Seibu is expecting big crowds during Spring camp and they feel that Kikuchi might need some help getting away.  Fourth year player Yasuhiro Tanaka has been selected as a likely candidate to help draw the crowd and media away from Kikuchi.

The Lions employed a similar tactic in 1999 when Daisuke Matsuzaka joined the club.  Back then, more than 10,000 people and 100 members of the media descended upon the Lions' Spring camp training grounds in Kochi.  And it was Shinji Taninaka that was chosen as Matszuaka's lookalike.

And speaking of Kikuchi, TV Saitama is thinking about adding a special section to their "Lions Channel" segment (Mondays, 10pm - 10:15pm) that covers weekly Kikuchi news.