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Around the NPB Horn: Munenori Kawasaki open to free agency after 2010 season

by on Jan.12, 2010 @ 9:54 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

...Kazuki Yoshimi made an appearance at an event on Monday and told 1,300 fans that he'd love to be the opening day starter.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...The Fighters held a staff meeting on Tuesday to work out the basic schedules for Spring camp.

Ichi-gun Spring camp will run from 2/1 to 2/26 in Okinawa; Yu Dravish is currently scheduled to begin Spring camp with the Ichi-gun team.

Full rosters and practice game schedules will be decided during another staff meeting set to take place on the 26th.

Orix Buffaloes

...Naoyuki Ohmura's lucky colors, according to Dr. Copa, are wine red and gold.

Ohmura is 135 hits short of 2,000.

...Tomotaka Sakaguchi opened his training up to the media on Tuesday.  His workouts included sprints and batting practice in the cages.  He will likely be batting lead-off and playing center in 2010.

Rakuten Eagles

...Katsuya Nomura spoke in front of about 1,500 people at an event in Yamagata on Monday.

He told audience members that he liked the team itself and that he hoped everyone would cheer for them.  Nomura also expressed his concern about possible communication breakdowns between Marty Brown and the players.

...Teppei opened up his training at the Nihon Aerobics Center to the media on Tuesday.  He had to cancel his original plans of playing catch and taking some BP due to the rain, but still ended up working out for about 5 hours.

Teppei told reporters that he's shooting for at least 80 RBIs in 2010.

Naoto Watanabe is also working out with Teppei.

Softbank Hawks

...The Softbank Hawks and the Lotte Giants out of the KBO will play a game against each other on 2/28 at Yahoo Dome.

...Munenori Kawasaki left the door open to free agency after the 2010 season (he'll earn his FA option during the season) on Monday after he told reporters that he could exercise his option.

...Shotaro Ide had lunch with Yakult Swallow Norichika Aoki during the New Year's holiday and was surprised at how thick Aoki's lower body was.  As such, Ide is currently focusing on strengthening his lower body.

...Takahiro Mahara and Tadashi Settsu opened their training to the media on Tuesday.

The two arrived at the training grounds on bike (it's about a 1 hour ride from where they're staying) in the morning.  At night, the two checked out their pitching motions using slow-motion footage.

Yakult Swallows

...Chang-Yong Lim and Hye-Chun Lee arrived in Japan today.  They will be training with the SK Wyverns out of the KBO in Kochi prefecture.

...Yoshinori Sato and his classmates from elementary school dug up a time capsule they buried 10 years ago.  In it was a baseball with the words, "I will become the world's best pitcher."  Sato also wrote, on paper, "I want to see what it's like to win the Koshien" and "I want to throw a ball faster than Daisuke Matsuzaka's 155km/h fastball."

Sato never experienced a championship at the Koshien, but did manage to hit 157km/h on the radar gun.  All that's left now is becoming the world's best pitcher.

...Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi flew out to Arizona with Sato today.

...Shinya Miyamoto opened up his training to the media on Tuesday.

Miyamoto is currently 297 hits short of 2,000.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Tasuku Hashimoto opened up his training to the media on Tuesday.

Yomiuri Giants

...Tetsuya Matsumoto is working on strengthening his right hand after realizing that his left is a lot stronger.

...Micheal Nakamura began his training at the Giants' Kawasaki training grounds on Tuesday.  He held a light bullpen session, throwing about 60 pitches.

...Noriyoshi Ohmichi worked out for about an hour and a half at the Giants' Kawasaki training facilities on Tuesday.  He focused primarily on running.

...Tetsuya Utsumi's main focus during his training in Guam is to learn the cutter.  He worked out for about 6 hours with Tetsuya Yamaguchi and Shun Tono on Tuesday.

...The Giants will hold a staff meeting on the 13th to discuss Spring camp details.

...The Giants are thinking about creating a women's only section for about 10 home games in 2010.  The section will likely be on the third base side and will encompass an area of about 100 seats.

The Giants are also thinking about increasing the number of day games they play in 2010.