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Around the NPB Horn: Lions and Marines pray for successful seasons

by on Jan.29, 2010 @ 5:16 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...The 130 members of the Marines (players, front office personnel, coaches, various other staff) visited Naritasan Shimshoji Temple on Friday to pray for a successful season.

Hanshin Tigers

...Ando Yuya worked out at Koshien on Thursday.  Yuya has managed to lost 8kg over the off-season and is a little concerned about where his stamina will be after he throws 100 pitches.  As such, he's prepared to throw a lot more during Spring camp this year than he did last year.

...Kodai Sakurai finished BP on Wednesday without a home run.  On Thursday, he managed to hit 6 out in 70 swings, including one that traveled about 130m.

...Wei-Chu Lin hit four out in 77 swings.  He led the team in swings during practice for the second consecutive day.

...Ryo Watanabe held a bullpen session on Thursday and tossed 41 pitches.

...The Tigers are thinking about making modifications to the radar gun system at Koshien Stadium so that it'll register and show the velocity on Casey Fossum's Fossum flip.

As is, the radar gun will only register speeds of 95km/h or over for NPB games and 85km/h or over the High School games.  It is, however, capable of reading speeds of pitches much slower.  It appears to be a programming issue.

Rakuten Eagles

...Takeshi Yamasaki visited sick children at Sendai Medical Center on Thursday.

Seibu Lions

...Hisanobu Watanabe, along with members of the front office, visited Hakone Shrine on Friday to pray for a successful season.

...A breakdown on the number of people that watched the Lions' send-off ceremony on Thursday: of the 5,250 fans in attendance, only 4,650 actually fit into the hall at Seibu Railways Building 2 where the ceremonies took place; 600 watched on big screens at the Seibu Railways Building; and the remaining 100 or so people gathered at the Tokorozawa station.

Softbank Hawks

...Takahiro Mahara held a bullpen session on Thursday and tossed 27 pitches with the catcher squatting.  Mahara told reporters that he was feeling great and that he was probably ahead of where he was at this time last year.

...Nobuhiko Matsunaka's schedule during Spring camp:

Begin soft toss BP before 2/9.  Depending on how the knee feels, 10 and 20 meter sprints at full speed.

BP against a live arm between 2/11 and 2/14.

Lots of BP between 2/26 and 3/7.

He would like to try to make a start during a stretch of 6 road exhibition games beginning on 3/9.  But if Matsunaka wants to make the Ichi-gun roster, he'll need to play in one of the first two road games in order to make Koji Akiyama's deadline of 3/10.

...Nobuhiro Matsuda is taking advice from Matsunaka and making a change to his batting stance: he'll be taking a slightly shorter stride into the ball.

...Yuichi Honda is focusing on collecting lots of infield base hits.

...The Hawks will be wearing uniforms (no design changes) made out of new material for Spring camp.  The new material, also used to make the WBC uniforms, are about 28% lighter than material normally used for uniforms.

The Hawks are also moving towards printing the team logos, numbers, and names on uniforms instead of stitching them on.

...RKB Radio is changing the name of the Hawks' game broadcasts from Excite Nighter to Excite Hawks.  They will also be broadcasting more exhibition games this year.

Yakult Swallows

...Seems the practice games the Swallows have scheduled on 2/11, 12, and 13 will further determine which levels players will play at this year.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...About 10M yen went into making improvements to the roof of the bullpen at Ginowan Stadium.

Yomiuri Giants

...Tetsuya Utsumi and Shun Tono helped pick out toppings for a new ice-shaving desert that will be offered at a Xuehua no Sato cafe located in the Aoshima Palm Beach Hotel in Miyazaki.  They selected mango juice, chocolate, strawberry powder, and yogurt.

The new desert will be available on the menu as Hisya kakigori (飛車角氷) and will sell for 600 yen.  If you mention the word ShunTetsu Love (峻哲LOVE) during your order, you'll be eligible for a 50 yen discount.

...The Giants' PR department are banking on Hayato Sakamoto and Hisayoshi Chono putting more female fans into the seats.

...Chih-Lung Huang apparently has his girlfriend's name stitched on his glove.