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Around the NPB Horn: Spring Camp begins Today!

by on Feb.01, 2010 @ 2:09 am, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...Norifumi Nishimura told reporters that he'll be bringing back early morning walks and stretches this year.

...Makoto Imaoka appears to be ready for his tryouts with the Marines.  He'll likely know if he has a new place to call home by the 4th.

Chunichi Dragons

...The Dragons will invite a doctor to give the team a refresher course on drug abuse on Sunday.  This coming after Kazuki Yoshimi caused a stir last year with his garlic shots.

The players and coaches also used the time to confirm what is and isn't allowed against the rules.

...Hiromitsu Ochiai told reporters that you can only have winning if you've experienced losing.

Hiroshima Carp

...Kan Ohtake held his first bullpen of the year in Hiroshima on Saturday -- he tossed 30 pitches with the catcher standing and 20 pitchers the catcher squatting.

...Tomonori Maeda closed out his training on Saturday with training that including playing catch and taking grounders.  Maeda has been struggling to keep his legs healthy and in shape, having had surgery on both of them over the years.  He missed out on the 2009 season (both Ichi-gun and Ni-gun) with problems in his legs.

Orix Buffaloes

...Seems Akinobu Okada wasn't entirely impressed by the bullpen sessions Satoshi Komatsu and Daisuke Kato threw on Saturday.  Okada thinks that they might be trying too hard after having bad years last season.

...Okada and the coaches surveyed the Ichi-gun and Ni-gun Spring camp facilities on Saturday.  While at the Ni-gun grounds, they checked the length of the grass, the height of the mound, and how hard the dirt was.

Seems they found a number of issues with the Ni-gun field and submitted a request to get them address ASAP.

...Foreign players and Ni-gun players and coaches arrived in Okinawa on Sunday.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...All the Fighters were scheduled to be in Okinawa by Sunday in preparation for the start of Spring training on Monday.

...The Ni-gun staff and players gathered for a meeting on Sunday to remember Shigeru Kobayashi.  They all took a moment of silence prior to the meeting.  Sponichi mentions it was the whole team that took part.

...Bobby Keppel told reporters that he'd like try and find the host family he stayed with when he was 11-years-old and came to Japan to play baseball.

...Toshimasa Konta is working on bulking up during the off-season.  He's already gained about 2kg and currently weighs in at 78kg.  His goal is to reach 80kg at some this this year.

Seibu Lions

...The Lions will be building a covered bullpen to their Spring camp stadium in Nango, Miyazaki.  It should be ready for the next Spring camp.  The Spring camp stadium the Lions use doesn't have a bullpen so the team usually builds 6 temporary bullpens.

...The Lions held a press conference for Brian Sikorski on Sunday.  The Lions are the fourth team Sikorski has played for in the NPB (Marines, Giants, Swallows, and now the Lions).

...About 1,500 fans greeted the Lions at Miyazaki airport on Sunday (many came to see Yusei Kikuchi).  And according to various reports, it seems the airport rounded up 30 airport security guards, 10 police officers, and 150 of their own employees to be present in case something happens.

Rakuten Eagles

...The Eagles flew into Kumejima, Okinawa on a charter plane on Sunday.  There was also a welcoming ceremony waiting for the team at the airport.

...Makoto Kosaka suffered a hernia (not sure if it's a herniated disk in his back) and won't make it to Spring camp.  That makes two player injuries heading into Spring camp (Kohei Hasebe is the other).

It doesn't seem like either injuries are serious, but they also won't be rushing the players either.

Softbank Hawks

...Munenori Kawasaki rounded up the players at Yahoo Dome on Saturday and held a mini-meeting to remind everyone that they were professionals and that they should all be working towards having a winning season.  In the evening he attended a talk event at a hotel.

...Hiroki Kokubo plans on holding early morning practices during Spring camp.  Seems he's thinking of a 1-hour training menu that includes running, stretching, and trunk strengthening exercises.  Kokubo was officially named captain of the team again.

...Acting owner Kazuhiko Kasai told reporters that Sadaharu Oh is basically the face of the front office and will act as something of a scout.

...Brian Falkenborg might be able to throw a bullpen session as early as the first session of Spring camp (possibly the 3rd).  He told reporters that he was at about 60%.

...Tadashi Settsu got his Mercedes on Saturday for winning the 2009 Yanase Fukuoka Softbank Hawks MVP award; he gave the car to his parents as a present.

Yakult Swallows

...Masanori Ishikawa and Shohei Tateyama are the only two pitchers that have set jobs in the rotation.  The other four spots will be filled during Spring camp.

...Shigeru Takada, club president Tadashi Suzuki, player rep Masanori Ishikawa, and other members / staff from the team visited Naminoue Shrine in Okinawa to pray for a successful season.

Yokohama Bay Stars

...Spread out over two flights, all Bay Stars' players and coaches flew out to Okinawa on Sunday.

...Takao Obana told reporters that he wants to lay down a firm foundation during Spring camp.  As such, practices will be about 2 hours longer than last season.

Yomiuri Giants

...Kimura Takuya took part in the parade at Miyazaki.  Hayato Sakamoto did not because he was getting treatment for  a cold.  About 48,000 fans attended the parade.  Sanspo has a few pictures from the event.

Miyazaki prefectural mayor Hideo Higashikokubaru was also in attendance.

...Marc Kroon told reporters that he wanted to pace himself during Spring camp.

...Sounds like Ryuichi Kajimae managed to get all his things back: bat, cleats, glove, golf bag.  The police tracked down the alleged suspect and arrested him on the 29th.  On Saturday, Kajimae told reporters that everything was returned and that he was grateful to the police for their hard work.  His equipment was sent ahead to Miyazaki.