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CL News and Notes: December 28, 2011

by on Dec.29, 2011 @ 4:39 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

As chairman of the team's player group, Kazuki Yoshimi brought up a number of ideas to help improve fan relations next season, like creating more time for players to meet with fans during spring camp and update the women's bathrooms.

Hanshin Tigers

Wednesday (12/28) was the last day of official business in 2011 for the Tigers' front office.  They also officially announced that beginning on 1/1/2012, Eiichi Takano will be the new GM and Tatsuhiko Kido will be a team assistant involved in providing team development support.

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The Tigers posted their new logo for the 2012 season on Wednesday.

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According to Sanspo, the Tigers are in the market for a right-handed bat (via trade).

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According to Sponichi, the Tigers plan to reassess their salary offer to Atsushi Nomi and may consider giving him a bit more.

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Team trainer Yasunori Gonda appears to be a little worried about Kenji Jojima's weight and will monitor his weight fairly closely.

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Shinjiro Hiyama plans to be ready to swing the bat by 2/1, the start of spring camp.  To get to that point, team trainer Gonda explained that Hiyama will work his way up, beginning with swinging a light stick, first with just the right hand, and then with both.

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Matt Murton is scheduled to return to Japan in late January and will attend spring camp beginning on 2/1.  He has also already started lifting and taking BP.

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The Tigers could not agree to salaries with three players before the end of the year: Nomi, Keiichi Hirano, and Yasutomo Kubo.

Depending on circumstances, team president Nobuo Minami could attend the next round of salary negotiations for the three players.

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Sanspo reports that the Tigers are continuing to keep an eye on Ryota Igarashi in case he becomes available again.

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The Tigers officially announced on Wednesday that Jiro Ueda (assistant to the administrative chief) was leaving the team.  A press conference was also held on Wednesday.

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The media learned on Tuesday that athletic director Satoshi Shimamura will be promoted to assistant GM.

Yomiuri Giants

Wednesday (12/28) was the last day of official business in 2011 for the Giants' front office.

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Shun Tono returned from Los Angeles on Tuesday and closed out his training at Giants Stadium on Wednesday (he spent about two hours working out).  While Tono has plans of returning to his home in Ibaraki, he told reporters he will not take any days off from practices so that he will be fully prepared for his workouts in Guam in January.

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Tatsunori Hara told reporters on Tuesday he was thinking about starting Taishi Ota in the outfield (perhaps left) batting eighth next season.

Yakult Swallows

Wednesday (12/28) was the last day of official business in 2011 for the Swallows' front office.  Their offices will re-open on 1/5.

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The Swallows announced on Wednesday that they hired Masaru Sato as a BP pitcher and Atsushi Kinugawa as an advanced scorer.

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OF/base-running coach Tetsuya Iida's uniform number will be changing from 85 to 88 (since Lastings Milledge wanted the number 85).

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After having a chance to watch Ichiro Suzuki take BP up close during workouts on 12/24, Tsuyoshi Ueda decided to order some Ichiro Suzuki style bats -- the bat will be about 20 grams heavier at around 900 grams and a little thinner.

Hiroshima Carp

Team owner Hajime Matsuda wants the Carp to aim for three things next year: 1) aim for a team ERA around 2.50; 2) come through in the clutch; and 3) reach the 1.7M mark in attendance.

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The Carp will be constructing a cafe near the front entrance of Mazda Stadium next season.  They also plan to pain the walls so that fans can write on them with chalk.

Yokohama Bay Stars

Wednesday (12/28) was the last day of official business in 2011 for the Bay Stars' front office.

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Kiyoshi Nakahata visited Motoshi Fujita's grave on Tuesday and paid his respects.

Nakahata also told reporters on Tuesday that he wanted to give his players some pointers on public speaking during spring camp next year.  Better speakers can help sell the team and excite the fans.

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9th round draft pick Takuro Ito closed out his training for the year on Wednesday and told reporters he will be returning home on Thursday for a couple of days and will return on 1/31.  Ito is currently scheduled to move into the player dorms on 1/7 and will attend the training session for the 2011 draft class that begins on 1/9.