Takahiro Arai found out during a radio show recording on New Year's Eve for ABC radio that Akinobu Mayumi is planning on batting Arai in the clean-up spot. Arai was apparently surprised at the timing, but was flattered.
"I never would have thought I'd be told during a radio show," said Arai. "To have him say that makes me really happy. That makes me want to work hard again."
During the recording, Arai was also asked questions (submitted by listeners) like which team he enjoyed playing for more (Hanshin or Hiroshima) and why he tended to drop easy fly balls. Arai answered each question seriously, only to find out later that the questions were submitted by Tomoaki Kanemoto.
In other team news:
Kyuji Fujikawa has not given up his dream to play in the Majors. He's also set to earn his domestic FA option some time in April, which means he'll also earn his international FA during the 2012 season.
Minoru Iwata's wife gave birth to the couple's third child on 12/30. Both the mother and baby are healthy (the baby weight 3,220 grams).