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Around the NPB Horn: Swallows decide to make a push into the Dominican Republic

by on Dec.31, 2009 @ 4:09 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...The Marines are planning on holding baseball clinics for adults that coach children. They are hoping to raise the level of play amongst children by providing coaches with advice on how to prepare young baseball players.

Hanshin Tigers

...Kenji Johjima will hold his usual baseball clinic for elementary kids in Sasebo on January 16th. About 70 kids showed up for his clinic earlier this year.

...Yoshitsugu Sugita will be stepping down as a trainer at the end of February next year. He has been a trainer with the club since 1970.

Hiroshima Carp

...The Carp will be celebrating their 60th anniversary next season.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Hisashi Takeda wants to extend his consecutive streak of 50+ appearances in a season to 5 next year. That would set a new club record.

...Tomohiro Nioka will be working out with Manabu Iwadate beginning in mid-January in Okinawa.

...The Fighters are thinking about making their "ace number" 11 instead of the customary 18, primarily because of who currently wears the number 11 right now. Yu Darvish appears to like his number and doesn't want change his uniform number to 18.

...Sponichi notes that the Fighters finished 12-12 against the Seibu Lions in 2009, including a very pedestrian 4-7 at Seibu Dome. The last time the Fighters had a winning season at Seibu Dome was back in 2000 when they went 8-6.

Orix Buffaloes

...Tomotaka Sakaguchi promised to shave his head if he doesn't reach 150 hits next season.

Rakuten Eagles

...Golfer Chie Arimura will be joining Kazuo Fukumori, Shinichiro Koyama, Kanehisa Arime, Koji Aoyama, Shingo Matsuzaki, and Hiromichi Fujiwara for training in Okinawa in January.

...Satoshi Nagai told reporters that he wants to decrease his pitch count so that he can throw deeper into games next season. Seems he plans on using his shuto a little more as a tool to help him attain that goal.

Seibu Lions

...Hisanobu Watanabe told reporters that he feels no obligation to start Kimiyasu Kudo at Ichi-gun start next year.

...Sponichi recalls that the Lions had 14 walk-off losses in 2009.

Softbank Hawks

...Kazumi Saito told reporters that he'll pitch in whatever role the team wants him to pitch in.

...Yuichi Honda wants to be the stolen base king next season, as well as win a Golden Glove and be named to the Best Nine.

Yakult Swallows

...Masanori Ishikawa plans on donating some money to his home prefecture (Akita), under the Furusato Nozei (ふるさと納税) plan, now that he's making the big bucks.

...The Swallows announced on Wednesday that they will begin pushing harder into the Dominican Republic moving forward.

...Sponichi notes that Aaron Guiel and Jamie D'Antona had some "big hits" (hits that put the team in front first, tied a game, reversed the score of the game, or were walk-offs) for the Swallows this past sesaon. Of the team's 138 big hits, 50 were collected by the two foreigners for a 36.2% clip. Tha was the highest rate for any club in the Central League in 2009.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Bay Stars' president Takao Kaji would like to see some of his younger players appear in commercials. No Bay Stars' players were involved in any commercial deals this past season.

...Sponichi mentions that the Bay Stars had 6 different catchers in 2009 and that they collectively managed to stop only 18.1% of all base runners. It was the first time since 1997 that a Central League team finished the year with a percentage under 20%.


...19-year-old Tsubasa Fujii, given his walking papers by the Hawks on 10/31/2009, has decided to call it quits.