Chiba Lotte Marines
Takashi Ogino told reporters today that he planned on focusing all his efforts to working out at short during spring camp. He also said that he received the green light from his doctor (with regards to his right knee) and that he planned on getting ramping up his training in preparation for spring camp.
Norifumi Nishimura attended the 14th Annual Chiba Image Up Awards ceremony in Chiba today. The Chiba Lotte Marines were recipients of the award after winning the Nippon Series last year (it was the second time the team won the award).
Ichiro still apparently wants Takahiro Okada to make thongs (T-back in Japanese) his thing. Kind of similar to the way neck warmers have become Yuki Saito's (HAM 1st round) thing. Ichiro jokingly said, "If Saito is neckwarmers, then [T-Okada] is T-backs. And he can change the colors [of his T-back] every day. It seems he likes red, so red would be fine too. Of course, T-front would be too much. Saito can have the East and Okada can have the West."
Okada got some running tips from track and field runner Shingo Akimoto at Kobe Universiad Memorial Stadium today.
The Buffaloes announced that 30 players, including Okada and Mitsutaka Goto, will be attending a general training camp in Miyakojima, Okinawa between 1/27 and 1/31.
Motohiro Shima worked out at Kleenex Stadium today. He arrived at the stadium in the early morning and did some running and took some BP.
Kenji Tomura tossed about 50 pitches in the Kleenex Stadium bullpens yesterday. It was his second bullpen session of the off-season. Tomura has spent a lot of time this off-season doing a lot of running in order to strengthen his lower body (for more stability when he pitches).
Wednesday was Senichi Hoshino's last appearance as a "reporter" on Nippon TV's News Zero. And already he has given the news program permission to provide coverage of the Eagles' spring camp in February. Hoshino may even wear a mic during practice games / exhibition games to give audience members an idea of what it's like to be in the dugout.
A little more on Hisashi Iwakuma's donation plans: he'll be donating 100,000 yen for each victory he record this season. The money will then be used to help pay for building water tanks and toilets in Laos. In 2008, Iwakuma donated money to build a library in Thailand; in 2009, a sewing facility in the Philippines; and in 2010 8 water tanks in 3 countries including Kenya.
Jose Ortiz could be ready to play on opening day. There was initially some concern that he might not be able to make it after he underwent surgery on his right knee in October last year, but it now seems he could be ready. An unnamed club rep told reporters that Ortiz still isn't able to do any hitting, but doesn't have any problems running. The plan at this point is for him to begin hitting practice in early February and to get some playing time during the exhibition game season. Ortiz is also expected to arrive in Japan on the 28th, along with other foreign players like Alex Cabrera and Brian Falkenborg, in order to make it to the first day of spring camp.
Dennis Houlton should be ready to the join the team fully recovered from the right adductor muscle injury he suffered last year. According to an unnamed source, Houlton hasn't tossed a bullpen session yet, but has played long distance catch, hasn't had any problems with his leg, and is hoping to toss a bullpen session in early February.
Tsuyoshi Wada worked out at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya today. It seems he has added hammer throwing to his training as a way to help strengthen his trunk muscles. He has also managed to increase his weight from 77kg to 81kg.
The Hawks are thinking about having their San-gun players stay at various temples in Shikoku during road games in the Shikokuo area (like their games against Island League teams). Although it seems food could end up being a problem, since temples usually don't offer heavy meals.
Softbank and Softbank Mobile announced today that they will offer reserved INF tickets for exhibition games at Yahoo Dome for 490 yen via mobile phones (in other words, you'll only be able to purchase the tickets using your mobile phone). The tickets will go on sale tomorrow with a limit of 1,000 tickets per game.