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Around the NPB Horn: Buffaloes extend deadline on Tuffy Rhodes

by on Jan.15, 2010 @ 10:16 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...Tomoya Satozaki is set to earn his FA option this season.  He told reporters that it's still too early tell whether or not he'll use the option.  Seems like he's trying to leave the door open in case he wants to jump-ship.

With Tasuku Hashimoto out of the picture now, the team will likely rely more on Satozaki this year.

...Keisuke Hayasaka submitted marriage papers with a Shiho Murayama on the 11th.  The two were introduced to each other by a common friend in January of 2009.  Shiho is currently 3 months pregnant.

...Nagisa Arakaki may hold a bullpen session on the 20th.  Arakaki had a tooth removed on the 13th and took things slow on Thursday.

Chunichi Dragons

...Kazuhiro Wada worked out in front of reporters on Thursday.  He's currently working out while also taking advantage of various hot springs in Kyushu.

...There were about 40 players at the joint training sessions being held at Nagoya Stadium on Friday.  The joint training sessions will run until the 25th.  Most players will likely move on to Okinawa after that in preparation for Spring camp.

Hanshin Tigers

...On Thursday, Daiki Kiyohara became one of the first pitchers to hold a bullpen session at the Naruohama training facilities this year.  He threw about 20 pitches.  Kiyohara would like to avoid an injury at all costs (he hurt his right elbow during Spring camp last year).

...Akihiro Yano is working on making sure he's ready to catch in the bullpen on the first day of Spring camp.  Seems physically, Yano is feeling fine.

...The Tigers are thinking about using their pinstriped home uniforms (1976-78) during Inter-league play this season.  Uniforms used between 1979 and 1981 are also being considered.

...Takahiro Arai sat in front of an open flame and chanted Buddhist scriptures for about an hour and a half on Friday (a Buddhist rite).  Arai plans to take part in this rite over a period of 4 days, lasting until the 18th.

...The following uniform number assignments were announced on Friday:

Randy Messenger - 54
Casey Fossum - 58
Matt Murton - 9

...The Tigers held a staff meeting on Friday to set their schedules for Spring camp.  The 1st round of camp will begin on 2/1 and last until 2/18; the second round will begin on 2/20 and last until 2/26.

It was also decided that the team will play two practice games against the Nippon Ham Fighters on 2/13 and 2/14.

The Tigers will hold another meeting on or after the 21st to decide which players will be working out where.

Hiroshima Carp

...Suntory will be sending 50 cases of their Kuro Oolong Tea (黒烏龍茶) to Carp Spring camp this year.  And the team can thank Katsuhiro Nagakawa for that.

The media reported that Nagakawa picked up 120 bottles of the tea after hearing that it might help with his diet.  After Suntory caught word of that newstory, they decided to provide the team with 50 cases of the tea; Suntory also plans to ship Nagakawa 10 cases of the tea.

...The Carp joint training sessions got started on Friday.  Most of the big named players didn't attend (they're all training on their own), but players like Kan Ohtake and Ken Takahashi did.

Orix Buffaloes

...The Buffaloes decided to give Tuffy Rhodes until the end of the month to make his decision about whether or not to accept their offer.

...Akinobu Okada wants his Ni-gun pitchers to play with vim and vigor, even suggesting that they should be hoping that their Ichi-gun counterparts fail so that they'll get their chances sooner.

...The Buffaloes' Ichi-gun Spring camp stadium, Miyakojima Municipal Stadium, will be undergoing a couple minor improvements.  Miyakojima City is in the midest of adding a 6th mound to the bullpen and will be refitting the outfield fences with new material.  This is the first time improvements are being made to the stadium since 1992.

...The Buffaloes held a staff meeting on Friday and announced their Spring camp schedules.

Ichi-gun camp

2/1 - 2/17 at Okinawa
2/19 - 3/4 at Kochi

Off-days: 2/5, 9, 15, 23, 3/1

The Buffaloes will meet again on the 21st to split the players into Ichi-gun and Ni-gun groups.

Softbank Hawks

...Sadaharu Oh will drop by Spring camp and spend about 10 days watching the team practice.  The Hawks are also thinking about sending a scout to the US in February to see if they can find someone who can help the team this year.

...Bum-Ho Lee arrived at Fukuoka Airport on Friday.  He plans on heading out to Miyazaki on the 20th in preparation for Spring camp.

Lee told reporters that he managed to lose 5kg during his own private workouts.  He also said that he'd like to focus on being a third baseman.

Lee's trainer while playing in Korea was also hired by the Hawks to be his private interpreter.

Yakult Swallows

...As mentioned before, Tsubakuro will be getting into the ring as a special guest at Dragon Gate on the 20th at Korakuen Hall.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Takao Obana worked out in front of the media on Friday.  He started things off with some walking along the beach at 10am.  After getting his body warmed up, he played some catch (about 43-50 throws).  His workout lasted about an hour.

Pro-golfer Hideki Kase was training with him.

Yomiuri Giants

...Taishi Ohta is working hard to prove to the Giants that he's a different player, i.e., he has grown / improved.  He hit the batting cages on Friday to work on hitting the curve.


...Former Taiyo president Goro Takeda passed away at 11am on Wednesday (1/13); he was 87 years old.  He suffered complications due to blood poisoning.  He is survived by his wife, Koko.

...The IBAF presented Tatsunori Hara with his Top Coach Award on Friday.

...Five players, including Yomiuri Giants Taishi Ohta and Nippon Ham Fighter Shota Ono took part in an event on Friday called "Playing Catch with Adults."  About 200 men and women showed up for the event.