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Pacific Leagues News and Notes: January 27, 2011

by on Jan.27, 2011 @ 3:39 pm, under NPB

This post will be updated throughout the day.


Chiba Lotte Marines

The Marines held a press conference for Bob McCrory today at Chiba Marine Stadium.  The Marines see McCrory as a possible closing candidate.

Shingo Ono and Tatsuya Uchi are both nursing injuries (right middle finger stress fracture and an old right ankle injury, respectively) and will be starting the year at Ni-gun camp.  Toshiaki Imae also won't be able to attend the Nippon Series parade that was scheduled in Ishigakijima on the 30th (minor left calf strain suffered while running on the 25th).  All three players could rejoin the Ichi-gun roster around mid-February depending on their progress.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Wirfin Obispo tossed about 30 pitches in the bullpen today (catcher sat partway through).  He told reporters he didn't have any problems with the new regulation baseball.

Orix Buffaloes

Aarom Baldiris arrived in Japan today with a fully healed left knee.  He also said that he started swinging the bat about a month ago and that he worked on improving his conditioning during the winter.

Mitsutaka Goto arrived in Miyakojima, Okinawa yesterday with his hair shaved down.  He told reporters he wanted to change something and decided to shave his hair in early January.  Goto had been wearing a cap during his works and openly revealed his new hair cut yesterday.

Mike Hessman told reporters how he played every position during his last year in the Detroit Tigers' organization (he played at all 9 positions in 2009) after he arrived at Kansai Airport yesterday.

The Buffaloes held a press conference for Hessman and Evan MacLane at Kyocera Dome today.  Hessman was assigned the number 5 and MacLane the number 50.

Rakuten Eagles

Akinori Iwamura took 90 swings of the bat during practice yesterday; Kazuo Matsui 98.

Takeshi Yamasaki returned to Sendai on the 27th.  He had been working out in Hawaii until the 22nd.

Senichi Hoshino jokingly said, during a Sportan! Live broadcast on 1/22, that he planned on having Hisashi Iwakuma and Masahiro Tanaka take part in a game of rock-paper-scissors for the opening day start.

Masahiro Tanaka threw 29 pitches to a standing catcher yesterday (first bullpen session of the year).  He also showed off a new delivery that supposedly places less strain on the shoulder and elbow.

Daisuke Kusano worked out at Kleenex Stadium yesterday and appears to have accepted his possible conversion to first.  Said Kusano, "[First base] is the infielder's cemetary, it's where players that can no longer field end up going to as a last resort. ... But I need earn my salary.  I'm in no position to say no. ... First baseman's mitt?  Don't have one yet, but I've ordered one."

Seibu Lions

The Lions held their send-off ceremony today at Seibu Tetsudo Honsha in Tokorozawa, Saitama today.

Takumi Kuriyama was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis today (左慢性副鼻腔炎) and is scheduled to go under the knife on 2/1.  He'll require a stay in the hospital (about a week) and will need to get some rest at home (about another week) and will therefore not be able to attend spring camp in Nango, Miyazaki.

Yusei Kikuchi tossed 22 pitches in the bullpen (including off-speed pitches) to a squatting catcher in the bullpen on Wednesday.  He told reporters after his session that he felt great during his session.  Bullpen catcher Taichi Yoshimi said that while Kikuchi was only able to throw good pitches inside to right-handed batters last year, he was also throwing good pitches to the outside this year.

Softbank Hawks

Hiroki Kokubo and Nobuhiko Matsunaka returned to Japan from the the US and Guam, respectively, today.  Kokubo spent time working on his lower body and packed on an additional 5kg.  Matsunaka managed to do some running and was even able to swing the bat at full strength, despite having surgery on his left wrist on 10/22/2010.

Shota Oba arrived in Fukuoka airport on the 26th (after spending time in Kagoshima and Miyazaki for his training) with his head shaved.  Seems he decided to shave his head a few days before and after he was told by Tsuyoshi Wada that he needed to work a little harder on keeping his private life in order a little better.  The two spent about 20 days working out together.

Shinsuke Ogura tossed 50 pitches to a squatting catcher yesterday for the first time this year, but not before throwing 40 pitches to a standing catcher first.  He threw all his pitches and later told reporters that he still wasn't throwing that hard.

Even though the Hawks slogan is technically just one kantana character ダ (da), it has a fairly deep meaning - it's an auxiliary verb that means decision or conclusion.  So it can actually be used with a lot of things.  The Hawks are zeroed in on three specific words: やるんダ!(yarunda!)  勝つンダ!(katsunda!) 超えるんダ! (koerunda!), which roughly means, We're going to do it!  We're going to win! We're going to surpass ourselves / everyone else!

The Hawks announced today that they signed a sponsorship deal with Showa Construction.  Showa's logo will now appear on the Hawks' uniform's right hip area.