Nikkan Sports notes that the Chunichi Dragons may be relying on 5 players that will be around their forties next season: Masahiro Yamamoto (45), Takahiro Saeki (40), Motonobu Tanishige (39, but turns 40 on 12/21), Kazuhiro Wada (38), and Hitoki Iwase (36). And if Junichi Kawahara (37, turns 38 on 1/22) can turn the corner, that could make 6.
Hirokazu Ibata told reporters on Friday that he'll be cutting back on the number of times he plays golf during the off-season in order to focus more of his time on training.
Said Ibata, "I usually play golf about 5 times a week this time of year. I've only gone about once or twice so far this year. I don't plan to play much golf from here on out either. ... I'm feeling good physically. [At the rate I'm going at,] I probably don't even need spring camp. I'll be practicing tomorrow and the day after. I spent more than enough time resting during the season this year."
At the Mizuno meetings, Yamamoto suggested that Mizuno create a new type of "sliding pants" for pitchers.
Said Yamamoto, "I ask if they'd be interested in creating sliding pants for pitchers. Pitching don't do much sliding during the year, maybe once or twice a year. And if the pants are too tight, it can make throwing difficult. They might just suggest I wear briefs, but that's not right either. ... If they make the [sliding pants] as I've suggest, I can get Takuya Asao to model the pants. I'll take full responsibility in asking Asao myself. I wouldn't be a very good model."
Kazuki Yoshimi also attended the Mizuno meetings yesterday and placed an order for a second pair of cleats he'll be using next season.
Said Yoshimi, "The heal of the shoe will go from being resin to leather. This is really the only time I can make requests like this. I'll try out a number of things and use [the new cleats] alongside my current cleats."