Takashi Toritani apparently did not want a multi-year deal and instead opted for a 1-year deal worth 260M yen (which is a high for active shortstops and a new high for the Tiger shortstops since they paid Makoto Imaoka 230M yen in 2004).
Toritani's decision apparently has nothing to do with the fact that he'll be earning his domestic FA in 2011 and his international FA in 2012. According to him, a 1 year deal is less complicated and more comfortable.
The team will evaluate Kenji Jojima's condition during the coach's meeting in January and decide where he'll start spring camp -- Ichi-gun camp in Okinawa or Ni-gun camp in Kochi.
Keiichi Hirano got a nice raise on Thursday and now wants to pass a little of that to Hanshin fans by inviting fans to baseball games next season for free. While nothing is set in stone yet, the current plan seems to be 5 seats (the same as his uniform number) behind home plate per game (at 600,000 yen per seat that works out to about 3M yen per game).
According to Nikkan Sports, Takahiro Arai isn't going to place much of any thought or concern on the new regulation baseball.
"I'm not going to worry about," said Arai. "I've heard other players and coaches talking about how it's different, but it doesn't do a thing to worry about it. ... I'll [try the new ball] at [spring] camp. You can really get a real feel for it unless you hit it in an open area. You might be able to get a grasp of what it's like to hit the ball, but not how far you can hit it."
A Daily Sports report also mentions that Arai will continue to use the modified stance he started using on 6/19: an open stance closer to home plate that allowed him to reach the outside pitches. Regarding insides pitches, he had this to say:
I'm not afraid [of inside pitches]. Some people think I can't hit inside pitches, but I don't think that. I can hit the inside pitches better than the outside pitches and I'm sure the data back that up.
The Tigers are thinking about installing new turf at the indoor training facilities at Naruohama. The indoor facilities were built in 1994 and the turf has yet to be replaced since then. If the team decides to replace the turf, it'll most likely be during spring camp when the facilities won't be in use.
The Tigers are also fixing up recently vacated rooms in the player dorms for their next wave of new players.