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CL News and Notes: December 5, 2011

by on Dec.06, 2011 @ 1:47 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Kazuki Yoshimi is apparently scheduled to workout with Yudai Ono and Wei-Ying Chen in Fukuoka some time around mid-January.

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Ono participated in a baseball clinic for about 400 kids on Sunday.  He later told reporters he planned on throwing everyday.

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Morimichi Takagi hails from Gifu City in Gifu prefecture.  If he helps the Dragons finish in first for the third straight year next season, Gifu prefecture and Gifu city could consider holding a victory parade for him.

Takagi also appeared as a Manager Inauguration Celebration in Gifu on Sunday and said that he would like to enlist the help of Chunichi OB Eiji Bando to help bring more fans out to Nagoya Dome.  Bando got to work right away and raised 401,574 yen (of which 30,000 yen was out of his own pocket) in about 30 minutes, all of which he gave to the Dragons as money to put towards providing free tickets to kids on opening day.

Hanshin Tigers

Takahiro Arai is apparently less concerned with leading the league in RBI than in leading the league in memorable clutch hits.

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Yasutomo Kubo is looking for more consistency in his pitches and is looking toward Kyuji Fujikawa's style of pitch for ideas.

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Shinta Hifumi is scheduled to have his right shoulder examined some time this month.  He may require surgery depending on the results.

The Tigers shut Hifumi after he started felling pain in his right shoulder while playing catch on 2/7.  He was allowed to play catch again beginning on 5/19 and was up to playing catch every other day when they shut him down again on 8/17.  Hifumi has not been allowed to play catch since then.

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Ryota Arai worked out at Naruohama on Sunday.  After his practices, he told reporters that he was talking to Hirokazu Ibata (CHU) about working out together in January.

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Yuya Ando is thinking about repeating the same kind of training program he went through before the start of the 2008 season.

"I was coming back from an injury back then as well," said Ando.  "I would like to try and do the same kinds of things [during the upcoming offseason].  If I do some throwing now, things will be different next year in the spring."

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The Tigers plan to play Maki Oguro's hit song Atsukunare during practices at Koshien next year.  The song could also be used during spring camp practices.

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Takahiro Arai wants to continue providing support to regions recovering from the March 11 earthquake/tsunami and is thinking about organizing some sort of a youth baseball tournament in northern Japan next year.  He also plans to continue donating money to relief/reconstruction efforts.

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants announced that Hidetoshi Tsuburaya's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy weighing 3,172 grams, at 8:23am on Monday.

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Hirokazu Sawamura visited his alma mater Omiya Kita Elementary School on Monday and met with about 830 students.

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Michihiro Ogawasawa Yoshihiro Murai Miyagi prefecture governor on Monday to donate 10M yen toward helping children that lost their parents during the March 11 earthquake/tsunami (the money will be put into the Higashi Nihon Daishinsai Miyagi Kodomo Ikuei Bokin fund).

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The media learned on Sunday that Hayato Sakamoto will be working out with Shinya Miyamoto (YAK) during the winter.

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Shinnosuke Abe took part in an event in Matsumoto, Nagano on Sunday.  About 600 people attended.

Abe's comments on Tetsuya Matsumoto and Taishi Ota: "The desire in Matsu's eyes are gone.  Marriage means different things [to different people].  I said to Taishi during our Nokai, 'Play as if you are prepared to quit if things do not go well this season.'  There is no doubt he has the ability."

Abe's ideal line-up on opening day: "Hayato Sakamoto, Matsumoto, Hisayoshi Chono, Abe, Shuichi Murata, Taishi Ota... no, Michihiro Ogasawara, Yoshinobu Takahashi, and Daisuke Fujimura.  The opening day starter Toshiya Suiguchi... no, Tetsuya Utsumi."

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Tatsuro Hirooka was at the Giants' OB gathering on Sunday and told reporters he was disappointed more former Giants were not being hired as coaches by the team -- former GM Hidetoshi Kiyotake brought in two coaches from the "outside."  He also did not think GM Atsushi Harasawa knew enough about baseball -- he suggested the team hire an assistant to help him in that area.  Hirooka then added that things probably could not get worse and that the team should take this opportunity to make the necessary reforms.

Yakult Swallows

The Yakult fielders held their golf competition in Chosei, Chiba on Monday.

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During fan appreciation day on Sunday: The Swallows tossed Norichika Aoki up into the air five times.

Hiroshima Carp

Akihiro Higashide thinks weight-training is equally important for pitchers and invited Hideki Kishimoto, Jumpei Shinoda, Keisuke Imai, and Yuki Saito to a gym in Hiroshima that he has been going to since he joined the Carp.

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The media learned on Sunday that Hiroshima Carp manager Kenjiro Nomura will be heading to the US today in order to check out the Winter Meetings in Dallas (he will be in the US for 4-5 days).

Said Nomura, "I have my personal connections here and there are GM I have ties with.  I want to put all kinds of information in my head.

Nomura is also expected to meet with their US-based scouts Erik Schullstrom and Scott McClain.