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Around the NPB Horn: Katsuya Nomura now says he thinks the Eagles can win it all next year

by on Dec.30, 2009 @ 1:42 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

...The Dragons announced that Takuya Asao filed marriage papers with a Sahori Furukawa on the 28th.  The two went to the same high school.

...Club president Junnosuke Nishikawa wants the team and front office to focus on two things next near: winning a championship and keeping the club in the black.

...The Dragons are thinking about asking figure skater Mao Asada to throw out the first pitch on opening day at Nagoya Dome.

Hanshin Tigers

...The Tigers are trying to prepare some Kenji Johjima merchandise Spring camp.  Seems they are planning on having  illustration boards, t-shirts, and stickers featuring Johjima's caricature ready for sale.

...Speaking of Johjima, it seems lacrosse player Sachiyo Yamada and beach volleyball player Satoko Urata will be training with him in Sasebo in January.

...With Makoto Imaoka, Norihiro Akahoshi, and Jeff Williams no longer with the team, the Tigers will save about 500M yen.

...Another reason why the Tigers still haven't re-signed Tomoaki Kanemoto, Takashi Toritani, Kyuji Fujikawa, Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, and Yasutomo Kubo: it seems club president Nobuo Minami wants to speak to each of them individually to make sure they're all on the same page.

Hiroshima Carp

...When Kenta Kurihara leaves for Arizona on January 3rd for training, he'll also be taking his family along with him.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Masataka Nashida is thinking about taking some voice training courses.  Seems he has a difficult time projecting his voice during interviews and fan events and feels the voice training courses might help in that area.

...Masao Kida wants to continue doing more for the fans.  When Kida was with the Swallows, he was often called the Chief of Fan Services.  Seems that moniker won't be changing now that he's with the Fighters.

Orix Buffaloes

...The Buffaloes plan on pushing Akinobu Okada as a central figure in all their team advertising posters.

...And it seems Okada would also like to finalize candidates for closer and set-up positions by early March.

Rakuten Eagles

...Hisashi Iwakuma and Kazuo Fukumori were guests at the Eagles' final meeting of the year.

...A complete 180?  Speaking on a TV program on NHK Sendai, Katsuya Nomura said he thinks the Eagles can win it in 2010 but that it will depend on how good Marty Brown is.  He also said that Iwakuma has come a long way over the last 4 years and is finally developing qualities befitting an ace.

...The Eagles are making a few modifications to their away uniforms for the 2010 season.  You can take a look at the design at the official Eagles website.

...In preparation for fireballer Juan Morillo, the Eagles' will be modifying the big screen TV in center field to display the speed of any pitches that exceed 160 km/h on the radar gun.

Softbank Hawks

...Izumo City in Shimane Prefecture is currently thinking about renaming Izumo Dome after Tsuyoshi Wada.

Wada has been donating 3M yen to Izumo every year in order to help promote baseball in his home town.

...Shota Ohba is currently working out with Nippon Ham Fighter Kazuhito Tadano at their old high school, Yachiyo Shoin.  With some advice he received from Hiroki Kokubo earlier in the month, as well as advice from Tadano, Ohba is trying to become more of a thinker on the mound.

...Speaking of Kokubo, seems he's thinking about wearing high socks next season as a way to "return to basics."

...Munenori Kawasaki held his final 2009 practice at Yahoo Dome on Sunday.  He plans on heading out to Miyazaki on January 11th with Shotaro Ide for training.

...Yuichi Honda practiced for the first time on Tuesday since having an operation on his left ear earlier this month.

...Hiroaki Takaya held a wedding ceremony with his wife Mariko on the 19th but doesn't plan on going on a honeymoon until he manages to puts up some results.

...The Hawks said that they would like their players to observe the club's new rules banning personal trainers from Yahoo Dome, but also said that they are willing to be flexible in areas where they can be.  While the club won't bend the rules by allowing personal trainers into training rooms at Yahoo Dome, they might be willing to provide players and trainers with separate rooms they can borrow / rent out.

The players and the Hawks will continue discussing various resolutions to this matter.

Yakult Swallows

...The Swallows' goal for 2010 will be to strengthen their player development system.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...The Bay Stars are currently thinking about trying to get their cheer song, Atsuki Hoshitachi (熱き星たちよ), played on game dates at Kannai Station.

Yomiuri Giants

...Tatsunori Hara told reporters that Norihito Kaneto is a possible candidate to fill-in for the role vacated by Tetsuya Yamaguchi.  He's also expecting to see some competition from other pitchers like Soichi Fujita and Yasunari Takagi.

...Takahiro Suzuki doesn't plan on taking any time off for the upcoming New Year's holiday.

...The Giants appear to be close to re-signing Dicky Gonzalez but will likely not be able to hammer out all the details until January.

Other

...The NPB will be trying to trim some costs by merging various Central and Pacific League offices into one over the next couple of years.  The official scorers will be merged into one office next season while the umps will be merged into one group in 2011.