Chiba Lotte Marines
...Tsuyoshi Nishioka tried on his new cleats, the Adidas Adistarts, on Sunday and seemed pretty excited about their general fit. He's hoping to make a comeback on the base-paths next season after failing to win a SB title over the last 3 seasons (he did lead the league in 2005 and 2006).
...Hirokazu Ibata and wife Akiko (former TV Asahi announcer) held their wedding ceremony on Sunday. The two were officially married on December 22nd of 2008.
...Ichiro is in Kobe training right now. After practice on Sunday, he chatted with members of the media about his former teammate of 4 years (Kenji Johjima) and said he didn't think he looked good in a Tigers' uniform. He also added that Johjima was never the type of player to practice before the Spring camp and that joining the Tigers likely won't change that.
...Yuya Ando might end up donating a case of balls to Sri Lanka for every win he records next season after he said that he wished he could do something to help spread baseball in the country.
...Tsubasa Aizawa will be joining Kenta Kurihara to train in Arizona in January.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...Sho Nakata will be stepping up to the plate next year with Queen's We Will Rock You as his intro song. It was the same song the oendan sang when he was up to bat in high school.
...Marty Brown is planning on keeping the door to his room wide open in an effort to keep the lines of communication unobstructed. He has already told the players to come to him whenever they have something on their minds.
...Masanobu Ohkubo, Mamoru Kishida, and Satoshi Komatsu were at Skymark for a fan event on Sunday. About 100 fans showed up.
...The Swallows are rumored to be preparing a 4-year deal worth a total 860M yen for Masanori Ishikawa. The two sides are set to meet for their first round of negotiations on 12/25.
While Ishikawa is set to earn his FA option in April 2010, he has expressed his desire to stay with the team.
This will be the longest contract the Swallows have offered a pitcher. Kazuhisa Ishii (1999-2001) and Shohei Tateyama (2009-2011) both got 3-years deals.
...It seems the Swallows are taking a look at Brian Sweeney.
...Dicky Gonzalez and Seth Greisinger will likely be in the starting rotation next season. Wirfin Obispo could be as well. Outside of that, Tetsuya Utsumi, Shun Tono, Shugo Fujii, and Tetsuya Yamaguchi will all be competing for spots in the rotation.
In the bullpen, Tatsunori Hara will likely use Norihito Kaneto, Yasunari Takagi, and Soichi Fujita to fill in the opening that could be left by Yamaguchi joining the rotation.
...Shun Tono is thinking about scrapping his windup in favor of better control over his delivery.