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Orix Buffaloes News and Notes: December 29, 2010

by on Dec.29, 2010 @ 11:25 pm, under NPB

Akinobu Okada's thoughts on the Softbank Hawks' addition of Alex Cabrera:

A stronger team with Cabrera?  But there's a lot of overlap.  It means a player like [Nobuhiko] Matsunaka won't be able to play.  I wonder if that means [Hiroki] Kokubo becomes a DH. ... If the pitcher is any good, he won't be able to hit that well.  Teams that rely on offense hardly ever win.

Okada was also asked how Cabrera leaving might affect players like Aarom Baldiris and Francisco Caraballo.  His response:

They didn't like hitting with him.  Their biggest problem might be losing someone [that treats them to dinner]. ... Baldiris and Caraballo have a good feel for Japanese thinking.  Their attitude / approach is different.  Cabrera is a hired gun (suketto).  Kind of like he's here in Japan just to make money.

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The Buffaloes announced the following uniform number changes: Kazuki Kondo from 65 to 11; Hikaru Ito from 61 to 54; Keisuke Kaneko from 54 to 6; and Hisao Arakane from 50 to 31.

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The Buffaloes also announced the front office additions / changes:

Motoyuki Akahori - chief of Ikusei group (球団本部管理部育成グループ育成担当)

Masanobu Okubo - corporate business group (事業本部営業第3部地域営業グループ)

Hideo Furuya - domestic player development, chief scout (球団本部編成部国内グループ長)

Takuma Nito - advance scout auditor (球団本部管理部査定・スコアラーグループ)

Terumitsu Kumano - retiring as assistant chief of player development, effective 12/31 (球団本部編成部副部長兼国内グループ長)

4 comments on “Orix Buffaloes News and Notes: December 29, 2010

  1. Alex

    Wow, bitter much? How very professional of Okada. I know they had their disagreements last year but Cabrera still hit .331/ .569/ .428, 24 HR, and 82 RBI in 112 games. A rotation system with an aging Kokubo and recovering Matsunaka would only help each player, considering Cabrera’s own advanced age.

    I’m sure Okada’s spanish is so good that he knows what Baldiris and Caraballo think of Cabrera. I’m sure if Okada had spoken poorly of a Japanese player the media would have a field day. Double standards are alive and well in Japan Baseball.

    1. Gen Post author

      I thought Okada was a bit over the top with his comments on Okada as well. I don’t really see why he felt the need to say all those things.

      Then again, this is a manager that doesn’t seem to really like foreign players. In the past he’s been quoted as saying things like he never feels any attachments to foreign players (http://yakyubaka.com/2009/11/30/around-the-npb-horn-lotte-ohmine-gets-a-raise-nemoto-see-a-drop/), made it a point to mention he didn’t want to fill every foreign player spot on the roster (http://yakyubaka.com/2009/11/18/the-front-office-swallows-to-pursue-fujimoto-bay-stars-hashimoto/), and that he didn’t want to rely on foreign players (http://www.nikkansports.com/baseball/news/p-bb-tp0-20091019-557142.html).

  2. Alex

    Maybe he’s bitter from the Baslingame/Hilton mess at the beginning of his career, or the fact he’s in the history books as the first Japanese manager to have lost to a foreign manager in the Japan series.

    Still, pretty classless.

  3. muratafan

    This is a really bad idea on the part of Okada-kantoku. Orix isn’t really top of the heap when it comes to pitching and I am pretty sure that a riled up Cabrera might make it a point to scorch Orix’ pitching staff. I WILL say that Cabrera looked awfully out-of-shape (fat, to be blunt) last year and it will be interesting if he comes to camp in shape this year. He’s not a kid either so I can see why Orix shed his salary….BUT, still no need to talk trash about a player who will be facing Orix a minimum of 20 times next season. At least there will be SOMETHING interesting when the Hawks play in the almost-always empty Osaka Dome!

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