Chiba Lotte Marines
...A 1-hour drug awareness class was held at Chiba Marine Stadium on Friday after the new uniforms were unveiled.
...Tsuyoshi Nishioka showed up to Friday's uniform press conference with fairly short hair dyed black, a departure from past seasons where he usually played with long hair dyed brown.
...Head coach Shigekazu Mori told reporters of his plan to have pitchers throw lots of BP during the first 2 days of Ichi-gun Spring camp in order to see if anyone needs to be sent down to Ni-gun Spring camp. Mori is expecting every pitcher to be ready to throw BP.
...Akifumi Takahashi held a bullpen session on Friday and tossed 35 pitches, mostly fastballs, with the catcher squatting.
...Hitoki Iwase worked out with Atlanta Brave Kenshin Kawakami on Friday.
...Randy Messenger spoke to reporters about how he used to be a shortstop in high school and was converted into a pitcher partway through. He also told reporters how much he likes to hit.
Looks like he's looking forward to stepping into the batter's box this year.
...Casey Fossum showed off the Fossum flip while playing catch on Friday. Fossum played catch at a distance of about 40m and threw the ball about 74 times.
...Tomoyuki Kubota held his third bullpen session in as many days on Friday and tossed 36 pitches.
...Craig Brazell stepped into the cages on Friday and took 37 cuts of the bat. While in the States, Brazell apparently worked out 3-4 times a week, focusing mostly on his lower body.
Incidentally, IMHO, if you're a baseball player in the States aspiring to play in Japan, you might want to look toward Brazell for some hints. Based on media reports, he's really been the type of player Japanese people love.
...Matt Murton hit the batting cages on Friday and took 49 cuts of the bat. Prior to takes his swings, he played some catch and did some stretching with Brazell.
...Wei-Chu Lin swung the bat 72 times during practice on Friday and hit 8 out for home runs. Lin switched over to a regular bat after using a training bat the previous times.
...Pitching coach Yasuo Kubo told reporters that he plans on making decisions regarding the Ichi-gun pitch staff beginning the second session of Spring camp. He'll use the first session to decide which pitchers he wants to see pitch and then have then throw BP during the second session.
...Team owner Shinya Sakai is hoping to catch the first Tigers' exhibition game on the schedule (2/27 vs the Orix Buffaloes). Should be an interesting game for him to attend since he'll also be able to watch his former manager.
...The Tigers continue to talk contract with Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi and Yasutomo Kubo, but still have nothing to show for.
...Akihiro Higashide has not hit a home run during the regular season since July 17, 2005. That's a span of 2,294 plate appearance, good for second on the all-time list.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...After playing catch at a distance of about 50m on Friday, Yu Darvish held a bullpen session, tossing 40 pitches to a catcher standing, and then 15 pitches to a catcher squatting. He also mixed in his secondary pitches.
...Shota Ono is in the running to completing to become the team's starting catcher. He caught Darvish's bullpen session on Friday.
...The Eagles prayed for success at the Osaki Hachimangu Shrine on Saturday.
...Kohei Hasebe will be starting the season at Ni-gun Spring camp. The club made the decision after Hasebe complained of some tightness in his left adductor muscle.
...Todd Linden apparently added wood chopping to his training during the off-season. He told reporters that he helped his father back in Seattle chop wood for the winter.
...Hisashi Iwakuma told reporters he won't be throwing any bullpen sessions during Spring camp but will instead focus on pitching in actual games (practice and exhibition I'm guessing).
...Marty Brown tried out the new e-ticket system the Eagles have started in order to make buying tickets to games easier.
...Kazuyuki Hoashi declared himself ready for the season as he closed out his training in Saitama. Hoashi played catch at a distance of 50 meters on his last day of private workouts; he also threw in some off-speed pitches.
...Takeya Nakamura has been working out at Seibu 2 Stadium this January. He told reporters that things were moving along as usual and that he was satisfied with his current weight. On Saturday, he spent parts of his training playing soccer and running sprints in the outfield. Nakamura has also made a minor tweak to his batting stance and is pleased with the result so far.
...Brian Falkenborg, D.J. Houlton, and Jose Ortiz arrived in Japan on Friday.
Falkenborg told reporters that his elbow was feeling fine. Houlton said he felt refreshed and enjoyed his off-season, including a new son.
...16 pitchers held bullpen sessions on Friday, including Tadashi Settsu, Kenji Ohtonari, Masahiko Morifuku, and Reo Chikada.
Morifuku and Chikada are both working on curves that they learned from Toshiya Sugiuchi.
...Tsuyoshi Wada told reporters that he would be focusing on running, more than throwing bullpen sessions during Spring camp. Wada apparently feels he was able to do enough throwing in January and now wants to shift his workouts to running.
...Hiroki Kokubo has decided to go with the high sock look this season. He's also thinking about playing in every exhibition game on the schedules. Last year Kokubo played in 18 of the team's 24 exhibition games.
...Masanori Ishikawa's mobile phone site, Katsuo Boy, opened on Friday. Ishikawa told reporters that he'll be selecting 100 messages that he receives through the site (from Friday through 2/14) and will personally reply to each of the 100 senders.
...Norichika Aoki's legs are feeling good after undergoing surgery in November and told reporters that they were at 100%.
Aoki also managed to lose about 5kg (85kg > 80kg) during the off-season. Seems Aoki is ready for a season full of running and hitting.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Takao Obana doesn't want to do any night training and instead wants all of his players to rest at least 12 hours between each practice during Spring camp. So it will essentially be, train as much as you can before dinner, and then after dinner, focus on recovering the body for the next day of practice.
...Kentaro Nishimura held a bullpen session on Saturday and tossed 40 pitches. He threw at about 50-60% capacity.