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Yuki Saito News and Notes: December 22, 2010

by on Dec.22, 2010 @ 9:16 am, under NPB

The Kamagaya police department is prepared to call on the Chiba prefectural police department for additional help should the Nippon Ham Fighters request it.

"If the club contacts us, we'll make our move.  We'll contact the Chiba prefectural police and ask them to dispatch an additional force of officers.  This would be in an effort to prevent traffic accidents and trampling accidents," said a rep for the Kamagaya police department.

A total 110 officers work at the Kamagaya police department.  The most they'll be able to assign to Fighters' Town (the area around the stadium and player dorms) is about 50 officers.  And since about 8,000 fans showed to Yuki Saito's (1st round) press conference at Sapporo Dome, the Fighters and the Kamagaya police department are expecting a fairly large crowd to show up to catch a glimpse of Saito when he moves into the player dorms and when the Fighters hold their rookie training camp between 1/12 and 1/30.

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Eiichi Koyano won't mind giving Saito pointers from the perspective of a position play.

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Before taking off on a Waseda victory trip to Guam on Tuesday (with a return date of the 24th), Saito apparently told reporters he was interested in working out with Ichiro Suzuki.  Saito won't be able to do anything with Ichiro during the current off-season because he's required to attend the Fighters' rookie camp in January in next year, but it's possible something could be set up for the next off-season.

Incidentally, Saito plans to workout while in Guam.

Said Saito, "I think there's a field [I can use] so I'll practice as much as I can.  I've got my training clothes, running shoes, glove, and everything else I need.  I've also got my swimming trunks just in case.  Swimming will also be a part of my training too."

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Takahiro Arai (HAN) is looking forward to a possible match-up against Saito when the Hanshin Tigers and Fighters play three exhibition games against each other next year (3/19 - 3/21).

Said Arai, "I faced him once [in the past] and that was over a year ago.  I'm sure he has improved since then.  I'm looking forward to  facing him.  But it is the last three games of the exhibition game season.  I plan to take these games seriously."

FYI: Arai collected a timely hit to right in his only at bat against Saito during last year's game against college players.

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The Fighters announced that they will begin selling a second round of "fortune items" in the form of a Otoshidamabukuros (in packs of 6 for 500 yen), which will go on sale beginning on the 23rd.  The Fighters will also be selling a limited number (about 500)  of handkerchiefs and mobile phone straps from the first round of "fortune items."