This post will be updated throughout the day.
While Masahiro Araki's goal this year is to bat .300, he also has his sights set on becoming the first Dragon to collect 200 hits. After general practice at Nagoya Stadium ended on Friday, Araki stayed back and took extra grounders. His plans for spring camp: taking grounders from Hiromitsu Ochiai and spending lots of time in the cages for BP.
It seems there might be a good chance that Yasutomo Kubo will not be signed before the start of spring camp. Negotiations have not gone well and there appears to be about gap greater than 30M yen between the two sides. If Kubo doesn't sign before spring camp, he'll have to pay for camp expenses out of his own pocket.
Takumi Akiyama tossed 25 pitches (standing catcher) in the bullpen, next to Daiki Enokida (1st round), at Naruohama today. Akiyama told reporters that he wasn't going to throw any off-speed pitches until he got to Okinawa. He also plans on having the catcher squat beginning on the 24th.
Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi was named an Ambassador of Tourism for Amami on Friday. An Amami rep told reporters that the city decided to name Shimoyangi an ambassador because he's been doing things to help draw tourists, like hold his off-season workouts in Amami (since 2006), make charitable contributions, and spread word about Amami when he can.
The media learned on Friday that the Swallows hired former manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu to be a temporary hitting coach during sprig camp (beginning on 2/6). This will be the first time Wakamatsu returns to the field since stepping down as manager of the Swallow after the 2005 season. Wakamatsu named two players he wanted to work with: 32-year-old Osamu Hamanaka and 27-year-old Shinichi Takeuchi.
Former Yakult manager Tatsuro Hirooka gave Yasuhiro Ichiba pitching advice on Friday. Hirooka worked with Ichiba for about an hour on a new delivery that was a little more relaxed.
Aoyama Business School's will be using Tsubakuro as part of a research project the school will be conducting (over a period of 4 months, beginning in April) on mascots and baseball . ABS approached the Swallows for their permission to study Tsubakuro and in turn for granting them full access, will provide suggestions on how things might be improved, from a management perspective.
Takahisa Ueno tossed about 30 pitches in the bullpen today (squatting catcher).
Jumpei Ono returned to Japan on the 21st from his training in Guam and was already working out again today with players like Tetsuya Utsmi and Tetsuya Yamauchi. Ono worked out for about 3 hours (running, playing catch).
Yoshinobu Takahashi and Tatsunori Hara were in Chiba to record a golf TV program (with pro golfer Ryo Ishikawa) on Friday. During the recording, Takahashi spoke of how he knew if he won a starting job, he would need to play out a full season. Hara added that if Takahashi won the job, he'd probably start in right and bat 5th.