News and notes from December 2, 2011 (this post will be updated throughout the day, as needed):
- New uniforms will not be unveiled until next year.
- Kimiyasu Kudo told reporters on Thursday that he felt Daisuke Miura needed to step up and pull the team together. He also said players should not get preferential treatment and that running builds a solid foundation ("runners do not get hurt" is what he is quoted as saying). And while Kudo originally said he wanted to make up his mind on his retirement before the end of November, he admitted to reporters on Thursday that he decided to put off his decision for a bit longer.
- The voting ended 11-1 and the Rakuten Eagles were against the sale until the very end. NPB commissioner Ryozo Kato then stepped in and pushed the approval through.
Sports Hochi is carrying the following comments from DeNA chairman Makoto Haruta (taking during DeNA's press conference on Thursday):
What are you thoughts now that the sale has been approved?
Honestly, it felt like a long time. In addition to feeling relief, I also feel the burden and responsibility of owning a team. We want to run this team in a way that will make fans say how good it was that DeNA made the purchase.
What about the deal with Yokohama Stadium?
In terms of the team, I think it makes sense to keep things going over the long-term so this is a very important discussion we feel the city should also be a part of. It is not so much about splitting what is currently available, but about making what we have even bigger. Our job is to make it bigger.
What about repairs to Yokohama Stadium?
I would like to create something that will make fans excited as they approach the stadium from Kannai Station.
What about the current team?
Unfortunately, they were a last place team. And they lost quite a bit, so I do not think what they have now is good enough. To that end, there are improvements we would like to make.
What are you plans for the team?
We will begin moving tonight (12/1) and we hope we can start making announcements early next week. We are also scheduled to meet with [Shuichi] Murata tomorrow (12/2).
What about the [new] uniforms?
We are still thinking about that. We would like to present at some point before the start of spring camp next year.
UPDATE @ 5:52pm - Additional updates:
- DeNA received 66.92% of the team's stock from TBS Holdings for a total 9.5B yen. TBS originally purchased the team for 14B yen in 2002.
- The Rakuten Eagles' strong opposition to the sale had some insiders asking if they had some sort of personal grudge against DeNA. And Sponichi is already "pumping up" their first regular season match-up on 5/25 and 5/26 (Interleague).
- Yokohama City mayor Fumiko Hayashi told reporters she hoped DeNA would work toward creating a team that could provide fans with memorable moments.
- The owners' meeting started at 2pm and ended around 5:30pm, just 30 minutes before the NPB awards ceremony. Of the three and a half hours the meeting lasted, over one and half hours was spent on discussing the Yokohama Bay Stars' sale.