Takuya Asao visited his alma mater Yawata Junior High School in Chita Aichi on Friday and told students he wanted to be selected for a hero interview along with another Yawata alum: Takeshi Yamasaki.
Yasutomo Kubo may not be able to sign a deal with the Tigers until late January because his schedule is already packed and because the front office will be closed for the New Year after the 28th.
If Kubo does not sign until after the New Year, it will be the third year in a row.
Tomoaki Kanemoto told Daily Sports that his goal for 2012 will be to bat .300 with at least 30 homers.
Trainer Kenji Ito added that Kanemoto's right shoulder, at this point, was more than twice as good as it was during the past season.
Takumi Akiyama was told by Ni-gun pitching coach Kiyooki Nakanishi to work on changing speeds. To that end, Akiyama managed to pick up a cutter and change during his Winter League stint in Australia. The pitches still need work, but he did get to throw them in some games.
Toshiya Sugiuchi is apparently one of three possible opening day starter candidates. The other two are most likely Tetsuya Utsumi and Hirokazu Sawamura.
Yoshinori Sato is thinking about inviting kids that were affected by the March 11 earthquakes to games at Jingu Stadium next year.
Yoshinori also has his eyes on becoming just the third pitcher to record at least 10 hits in one season over the last five seasons. The other two: Dicky Gonzalez (13) and Daisuke Miura (10) in 2009.
Jun Hirose will be using the same model cleats Ichiro Suzuki started using this past summer -- there are two fewer spikes and each spike is 10mm long (up from 7.5mm). Hirose also found out that his feet were actually a bit smaller than when he last had them measured (from 28cm to 27.75cm).
Yokohama Bay Stars
Kiyoshi Nakahata will be a guest on Nippon Hoso's 37th Radio Charity Musicthon.
Nakahata told reporters on Friday that he was mulling over the idea of asking Alex Ramirez to play some first because he was not thinking of him as an everyday outfielder. He is also willing to spend an hour everyday hitting grounders to him at first during spring camp.