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CL News and Notes: December 14, 2011

by on Dec.15, 2011 @ 12:45 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

The Dragons left for their Hawaii championship trip on Wednesday -- the took an ANA chartered flight with the number NH1954, which is also the first year the team won a Nippon Series.  The return flight will be NH1953, or the year Hiromitsu Ochiai was born.

Hanshin Tigers

Yutaka Wada was a guest on MBS radio's Toragumi Tigers Live! on Tuesday and promised Masayuki Kakefu that he would use Takahiro Arai at third base the entire year.

He also plans on testing the young talent as much as possible during their 20 scheduled exhibition games.

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Akihito Fujii is prepared to start spring camp at full-speed and plans on being the starting catcher for the team's first exhibition game on 2/19 (vs Yomiuri).

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Kenji Jojima and Tsuyoshi Shimoyangi hosted the 2nd Pro Yakyu Nagasaki Fair on 12/11.

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Jojima visited his alma mater Ainoura Junior High School on Tuesday for the first time in 20 years.

And when reporters asked Jojima about a possible move to first (the team already has Fujii and Shinji Komiyama; the knee surgery) he replied, "I am a catcher.  It would be best [for the team] to leave me there."  He then added that players were also pawns.

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Shimoyanagi is still not ready to call it quits.

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Minoru Iwata met with the Tigers on Wednesday and placed a 55M yen (up up 25M yen) offer on hold.

Yomiuri Giants

Tetsuya Utsumi donated 144 randoserus (school backpacks) to various schools this season (one for everyone strikeout he records).  He visited a child care facility on Wednesday and personally handed out seven.

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Daisuke Ochi and Itaru Hashimoto attended a Christmas Party held for children and their families at Tokai University Hospital in Isehara, Kanagawa on Wednesday.

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Tatsunori Hara told reporters that Shuichi Murata will probably bat fifth behind Hisayoshi Chono (third) and Shinnosuke Abe (fourth).

The Giants also considered taking Murata during the 2002 draft but needed pitching and instead went with Hiroshi Kisanuki and Yuya Kubo.

Yakult Swallows

Yasushi Iihara wants to add about 5-6kg during the winter (with the help of three boiled eggs after weight training sessions) after losing about 7kg over the course of the season (he is hoping to get up to around 89kg).

Yokohama Bay Stars

GM Shigeru Takada told reporters on Tuesday that he plans to release Hiroki Sanada.

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Daisuke Miura placed a 160M yen (down 140M yen) offer on hold on Wednesday.

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Kiyoshi Nakahata is thinking about bringing back evening practices during spring camp (which could mean ten-hour practice days).

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Senryokugai Tasuku Hashimoto had problems with his lower back/hips this season and required surgery in October.  He has been rehabbing in Chiba and finally started swinging the bat on Tuesday.  Hashimoto would like to continue playing and is hoping that he will be healthy enough to take tryouts some time in February.