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Hanshin Tigers News and Notes: December 23, 2010

by on Dec.23, 2010 @ 11:49 am, under NPB

Keiichi Yabu visited Naruohama on the Wednesday for the first time since taking his coaching job with the team.

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Yasutomo Kubo apparently asked the owners of Koshien Stadium to open the facilities up on New Year's Day and on Sundays, but was turned down.  His suggestion to open the facilities up 30 minutes earlier every day was also shot down.

Kubo has actually been suggesting the changes to the schedule since last season, but stadium officials have repeatedly said "no" for a number of reasons, including not being able to secure the appropriate number of staff members.

It seems Kubo is now on a mission to recruit some teammates in the hopes that numbers can persuade the stadium officials to change their minds.

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Ken Nishimura has been watching a lot of footage of himself pitching this winter -- footage that has been taken from games in which he has pitched well.  Nishimura's reason for doing this: to keep a positive image of himself while he practices and to burn his "good" mechanics into his mind.

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Kogoshima Saifukuji high priest Ekan Ikeguchi feels that Tomoaki Kanemoto still has plenty left in the tank to keep playing, but needs to heal his right shoulder first.   To that end, Ikeguchi would like to help Kanemoto heal by giving him "ki" (氣).

Kanemoto has also stated that he'd like to play for at least another year or two.  On Thursday, Kanemoto woke up at 7am and then moved outside at around 8am for some stretches and running.  In the afternoon he spent about 3 hours working indoors (strengthening his right shoulder).

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Hirotaka Egusa started a throwing program at Naruohama on Wednesday.  For the first time since he injured his left shoulder, Egusa took the mound in the bullpen and tossed 30 pitches to a squatting catcher.  Egusa told reporters that he had a good feel for the ball and would throw again when the weather was a little warmer.