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PL News and Notes: December 16, 2011

by on Dec.17, 2011 @ 1:29 am, under NPB

Softbank Hawks

Sponichi notes that Yuichi Honda is the most likely candidate to move into the lead-off spot next season.  There is also an outside chance he might play some games at short (he has been taking grounders at short).

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Yuya Hasegawa plans to workout at the Saitozaki training facilities during the off-season  He also hopes to improve his hitting by watching footage of his at bats from the past season.

Chiba Lotte Marines

Toshiaki Imae and Tatsuya Uchi visited various areas in Iwaki, Fukushima (including an elementary school) on Friday.

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Chiba will begin fixing earthquake damaged areas at/around QVC Marine during the winter.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Makoto Kaneko worked out at Kamagaya on Thursday.  Said Kaneko, "The off-season is over.  I need to make sure my body is ready when I begin my workouts next year in Yamanashi. ... Right now I am feeling no pain."

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Masaru Takeda will be both the vice chairman of the team's player's group and the leader of the pitching staff next season.  He also passed a medical exam on the left elbow he had problems with twice this past season.

Orix Buffaloes

Chihiro Kaneko met the Buffaloes for almost two hours on Friday (1 hr, 50 m) and placed a 165M yen (up 15M yen) offer on hold.  Kaneko later told reporters during his press conference that while he was willing to compromise on the salary to some degree, it was not close enough to what he was hoping for.

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Akinobu Okada is apparently excited about his team's chance next season.

"You can never really say something definite when dealing with competitions," said Okada.  "So even though there are no definites, we will definitely win next year."

He added, "The front office has made some big moves this off-season to improve the team.  Compared to other teams, we got a lot better.  Dae-Ho Lee was of course big, but so was Ming-Chieh Hsu.  Next season, the players will do their best to give back to the front office."

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Hiroshi Kisanuki plans to training in Kumamoto this winter instead of heading overseas.

Kisanuki, in addition to team mascots Buffalo Bull and Buffalo Bell, appeared at a New Year's Card mailing event at Kobe Chuo Post Office on Thursday.

Rakuten Eagles

Hiroki Yamamura received an estimated 1.8M yen raise on Thursday.  He later told reporters he plans to give that full amount back to the victims/survivors of the March 11 earthquake/tsunami -- use the money to invite them to games, provide them with needed items.