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Around the NPB Horn: Pete LaForest no longer in Lions’ plans

by on Dec.30, 2009 @ 1:43 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...Sponichi apparently feels that the key to the Marines' offensive success next season lies in finding a power bat at DH.

Hanshin Tigers

...Tomoaki Kanemoto, Takahiro Arai, and a number of other Tigers, including Yuya Nohara, Hiroki Uemoto, and Shintaro Tanaka, worked out together for about 2 hours at a gym called Athlete in Hiroshima.

Most of them worked on strengthening their lower bodies.

...Team owner Shinya Sakai is sending individually personalized New Years' cards to about 70 Tigers (players, coaches, and personnel) including Akinobu Mayumi, Tomoaki Kanemoto, Akihiro Yano, and Shinjiro Hiyama.

...Sponichi notes that the Tigers' pitching staff lead the league in walks + HBP with 492 this past season.

Hiroshima Carp

...Kan Ohtake will try to limit himself to gaining 2-kg during the New Years' holiday (the New Years' holiday is kind of like Thanksgiving and Christmas with regards to people gaining weight in Japan).

...Jun Hirose plans on heading out to Los Angeles on January 7th for training.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Masaru Takeda is planning on selling some merchandise next season to help benefit stray cats in Japan.

...The Fighters would like to help support students preparing for entrance exams next season by sending college-graduate players to various schools and cram schools.

Orix Buffaloes

...The Buffaloes are thinking about wearing two throwback uniforms at some point next season: a Hankyu Braves uniform during a game in Kobe and a Kintetsu Buffaloes uniform during a game in Osaka.  Seems they're thinking about wearing the throwbacks during Inter-league play.

It would apparently be the first time a club wears two different types of throwback uniforms in one season.

Rakuten Eagles

...Hisashi Iwakuma was a Telephone Shocking guest on Fuji TV's afternoon variety program, Waratte Iitomo! (笑っていいとも!), on Tuesday.  Masahiro Tanaka will be the guest for the next show, to be broadcast on 1/6.

Seibu Lions

...The Lions will no longer go after Pete LaForest now that they have signed Dee Brown.

Softbank Hawks

...Sponichi points out that the Hawks really only had two reliable starters in the rotation last sesaon: Toshiya Sugiuchi and D.J. Houlton.

...It seems there's a good chance Munenori Kawasaki will be training with Bum-Ho Lee in  Miyazaki come January.

...Nobuhiko Matsunaka closed out his training for the year on Tuesday with some running and strength training exercises.

Yakult Swallows

...Yuhei Takai has been pushing his training hard pretty hard so far.  He started his training on Tuesday at 9am and ended after 2pm.  Takai doesn't plan on taking any days off from New Years.

Takai's Norichika Aoki model bat also arrived on Tuesday.  The bat weighs about 900-g and is 33.5 inches long.

...Yoshinori Sato will be in a charity calendar released by college students attending Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai.  Part of the proceeds from the sale of the calendar will go towards an organization that helps children living on the streets.

Yomiuri Giants

...Shinnosuke Abe is thinking about giving a reward / award to a starter that wins 15 or more games next season.  Seems he's trying to motivate the younger Japanese starters into focusing on winning more next year.

Nikkan Sports is reporting that he plans on giving the winner a Ermenegildo Zegna suit (usually worth about 300,000 yen).

...Hayato Sakamoto plans on taking advantage of his apartment complex's training room.  Sakamoto moved out of the Giants' player's dorm this off-season.

...The Giants are planning on expanding the areas out near the outfield at their Kawasaki training stadium to make it easier for players to run.

...The Giants' bunt success rate was .696 last season, worst in the league.  Tetsuya Matsumoto lead the club with a .750 success rate.  In comparison, the Yakult Swallows' Hiroyasu Tanaka lead the league with a .950 clip.