...The Dragons plan on pushing scouts into Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, and other countries in and around Central and South America next year. The idea is to find unpolished talent for cheap instead of signing players with MLB experience, that aren't a guarantee to perform in the NPB, to big contracts.
...Takahiro Shoda starts a 2-week intensive training program today. He's renting out an apartment in Hiroshima for 2 weeks and will live on about 150,000 yen. Shoda is trying to increase his weight from 88-kg to about 95-kg by late January.
...Ikuro Katsuragi isn't necessarily hoping for things to go bad for new foreign import Matt Murton, but he's planning on being ready in case Murton fails. Seems he wasn't quite convinced about Lew Ford and Kevin Mench either.
...Yasutomo Kubo will go into the 2010 season with an open mind: he'll pitch wherever the team needs him the most.
...Tigers' pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi told reporters that the team's number 1 priority for next season is to fill in the holes left by the departures of Scott Atchison and Jeff Williams. And while Randy Messenger was signed as a right-handed option out of the pen, that doesn't mean he won't have a shot at starting either. The Tigers appear to be keeping their options open with both Messenger and Casey Fossum.
...If Jeff Williams can't make it back as a player, the Tigers could also bring him back as a scout. It seems a coaching position wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility either.
...Akihiro Higashide goal for the 2010 season is to lead the league in singles, doubles, and triples.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...The Fighters returned from the trip to Hawaii earlier today.
...The Buffaloes announced that they signed former Tiger Aarom Baldiris to a 1-year deal and assigned him the number 52. No word on how much he signed for.
...Hidenori Tanoue has decided not to send his agent to his next negotiation and will instead go himself. But since Tanoue's schedule is pretty tight, right on up until Spring camp, he won't have as much time to negotiate. He also runs the risk of having to pay for Spring camp costs if he doesn't finalize his contract in time.
...Hideaki Takahashi and his wife Mami held a wedding reception on Sunday. Takahashi said that he would like to try and rack up double-digit wins for his wife.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Shuichi Murata has three goals for 2010: hitting a home run on opening day, win the home run title, and play in every game.