=== 10:31pm JST
...In preparation for the Fighters' home opener, Atsunori Inaba worked out for about 2 hours (playing catch, taking BP) at Sapporo Dome on Friday. He told reporters that while they won the Pacific League title last year, they can't forget what it feels like to be the challengers.
...Yu Darvish also took part in general team practice on Friday and went through his usual workouts (playing catch, running sprints). He told reporters that opening day was just business as usual for him.
...After general practice on Friday, Sho Nakata told reporters he was really excited about his opening day debut on Saturday and wanted to show everyone what he's been working on until now.
...Masataka Nashida is one win away from 500 career wins as a manager.
=== 4:24pm JST
...Tomohiro Nioka is working his way back from tightness in his left calf. Nioka didn't take any fielding practice on Thursday and worked out under a separate menu. He'll likely be the DH batting second on opening day.
...Yu Darvish tossed 45 pitches in the bullpen on Thursday. Shinya Tsuruoka, his likely battery-mate on opening day, caught his session. Pitching coach Takeshi Shimazaki stood in the batter's box at one point and later told reporters that Darvish looked great and that he had no worries.
Darvish gave up 3 early runs against the Eagles during his opening day start last year. Tsuruoka said that Darvish was likely tired from the WBC last year and that he was looking much better this year.
...Masayoshi Kato got a baggy uniform. Why? When he was a kid, he apparently had a thing for pro players wearing loose uniforms.
...Part four of the Nikkan Sports' series on Yu Darvish is now up.