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Yuki Saito News and Notes: January 20, 2011

by on Jan.20, 2011 @ 4:21 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated with information as it becomes available so keep checking back if you have any interest in Yuki Saito.

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In addition to the Saito T-shirts, face towels, and mobile phone straps, the Fighters will also begin selling a special limited edition Saito mug (1,000 in all, each with an individual serial number, and with a price tag of 1,800 yen).  All items will be available for pre-order at the Fighters' official online store between 1/21 and 1/31.

FYI: the mug with the serial number 18 will go to Saito.

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Saito spent his day off yesterday shopping and eating out.  And even though he didn't show up at Kamagaya Stadium, about 150 still showed up.  There will be two more days off (23 and 27) before the final day of rookie training camp on the 30th.

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The Fighters Support Group in Nago, Okinawa is thinking of a plan to ensure Saito's safety when he arrives in Naha Airport on the 31st.  It seems they're thinking about rounding a number of people to escort Saito to the bus.

Naha Airport also plans on beefing up security in the lobby -- their plan is to create a path for Saito by lining staff members up in two columns and cordon areas off from fans.  And while a reception is in the works, organizations might cancel if the crowd is too unruly.

The Nago police department also plans on increasing their patrols around the spring camp facilities (they'll leave security within the facilities up to the Fighters), like checking on parking violations, traffic accidents, and traffic conditions.  And it seems the 27th could end up being an extremely busy day for the Nago police department, as that's the day the Fighters play an exhibition game against the Rakuten Eagles (Senichi Hoshino and Masahiro Tanaka).

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Kamagaya city mayor, Kiyoshi Shimzu, told reporters of his idea of naming a pear after Saito on Wednesday.

Said Shimizu, "It would be nice if they could create a pear that is like Saito, bittersweet and refreshing.  I'm going to talk to the Pear Association to see what might be possible."

FYI: Kamagaya is known for its pears.

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Pitching coach Masato Yoshii told reporters he wanted Saito to take pride and responsibility of his situation.  He recalled how Hideo Nomo (former teammates) arrived at camp fully prepared, just like the veterans.

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Saito wore red shoes and black training wear to practice today.  He also told reporters that he wanted to throw to squatting catcher during his next bullpen session, scheduled for tomorrow.

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Koji Akiyama (SOF) doesn't plan on doing any advanced scouting of Saito during spring camp since there are other teams that need to be checked.