Chiba Lotte Marines
...The city of Chiba understands the need for replacing the turf at Chiba Marine Stadium, but may not have sufficient funds to pay for it (estimates appear to be between 400M yen and 600M yen). The two sides will now begin discussions on various ways to pay for the construction, including the possibility of the Marines contributing some money.
...Hirokazu Ibata plans to keep his spot at the top of the line-up in 2010.
...Hitoki Iwase tried to pick up a new pitch prior to the 2009 season, but couldn't due to limitations in time. Iwase thinks he'll have enough time this year to get his new pitch ready for the 2010 season.
...Masahiro Yamamoto told reporters on Monday that he's working on making some tweaks to his delivery.
...Club owner Shinya Sakai visited four shrines during the New Year break in order to pray for the team's success in 2010.
...Sakai also received a New Year card from Makoto Imaoka and wished the former Tiger the best during his tryouts with the Chiba Lotte Marines.
...Katsuhiro Nagakawa held his first practice of the year on Monday at Mazda Stadium; he did some running and sprints.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...The dorm room that Yu Darvish lived in until 2008 (room 404) will remain unoccupied for the second straight year. Seems they plan on saving his room, along with the number 18, for their next ace.
...The Buffaloes set a deadline for Tuffy Rhodes on Monday. The team will hold an organizational meeting around the 15th and would like for Rhodes to decide on what he intends on doing before then.
The Buffaloes are also thinking about reaching out to Rhodes to see what he's thinking. IMHO, if they really wanted him back, they would have contacted him sooner.
...Hisashi Iwakuma will be heading to Guam on the 10th for training.
...Satoshi Nagai held his first practice of the year at the Toyo University baseball grounds in Saitama.
...Takeya Nakamura once said that curry was a drink. On Monday he added another item to his drink list: raw liver.
...Nobuhiro Matsuda will be heading off to Guam today at his ideal weight: 85-kg. He stayed away from alcohol and kept to a strict diet during the New Year holiday.
...Nobuhiko Matsunaka will be focusing on strengthening his lower body and getting in shape to run during his training in Guam. He doesn't plan to swing the bat.
...Nagisa Arakaki thinks his best season was in 2006 when he won a career high 13 games and weighed in at 88-kg. To that end, he plans on gaining about 6-kg in order to match his weight from his best year. Arakaki will begin his training on Tuesday and will focus on strengthening his lower body.
...Tsuyoshi Wada also hopes to get a little bigger during his overseas training session. He'll be taking in about 6,000 calories a day while he works out Hawaii.
...Sadaharu Oh was selected as the Hawks' new Organizational Committee's Vice Committee Chairman on Tuesday.
...Hirotoshi Ishii continues to work his way back from left shoulder surgery he had back in 2006. He's hoping he'll have a chance to pitch with Ryoji Aikawa behind the plate this year.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Naoyuki Shimizu wants to make sure that his bat doesn't become a liability during his starts. He's already thinking about scenarios where he'll need to take the mound immediately after swinging the bat and running the bases.
...Giants Stadium in Kawasaki was officially open for business again. Players like Kiyoshi Toyoda, Ken Kato, Masafumi Togano, and Masahide Kobayashi were at the park for training.
Toyoda has apparently been working out non-stop during the off-season. He jokingly told reporters that he would die if he stopped.
...En-Yu Lin was released by the Rakuten Eagles back in November. It now seems he'll be making a return to the CPBL.
...Tadashi Sugimoto, Yokohama Bay Stars pitching coach in 2009, will be heading to the KBO to be a pitching coach for the Kia Tigers.
...NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato left for the States on Monday for his meetings with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and COO Bob DuPuy.