Pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi told reporters that he planned on starting Yuya Ando at Ni-gun spring camp. The Tigers feel Ando might feel rushed if they send him to Ichi-gun camp and want to avoid a setback with his right shoulder.
Fielding / base-running coach Koji Yamawaki told reporters yesterday that Tomoaki Kanemoto will most likely be starting 2011 season at Ichi-gun spring camp. Seems Yamawaki felt Kanemoto might be fine at Ichi-gun camp after he bumped into him at Naruohama and saw a healthy looking Kanemoto -- "He looked refreshed and it seems things are coming along well. He also looked happier. His body look good. It's like he has something in the balance this year."
If he does start at Ichi-gun camp, the Tigers will let Kanemoto set his own workout schedule.
The Tigers have a staff meeting on the 22nd and will finalize their decision on Kanemoto (and Ando) then.
Akinobu Mayumi told reporters that he plans on hitting lots of grounders to players during spring camp this year. He also feels the team could have title leaders for batting, homers, and RBI next season -- Keiichi Hirano and Matt Murton finished in 2nd and 3rd in batting last year; Craig Brazell finished in 2nd in homers; and Brazell, Takahiro Arai, and Takashi Toritani took the spots between 2nd and 4th.
Takahiro Arai spent about an 1.5 hours at a Saifukuji Goma Gyo on Friday (flames running as high as 3 meters, 300 degree temperaturs, 3000 incense sticks burned, and Arai sitting about 1 meter away from the flames). Arai has been attending Saifukuji Goma Gyos for the past 8 straight seasons. Arai also spent about 20-30 minutes studying under chief priest Gosen Ikeguchi.
The Hanshin Tigers and the players donated 20,211,637 yen to the Hyogo branch of the Japanese Red Cross Society on Friday. The Tigers and players raised the money last year through a number of different means, including a charity auction. The Tigers and players also asked the Japanese Red Cross Society to make sure that the money went towards disaster relief efforts, both domestically and internationally.