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PL News and Notes: January 1, 2012

by on Jan.02, 2012 @ 1:55 am, under NPB

Softbank Hawks

Koji Akiyama is hoping that Hiroki Yamada and Sho Iwasaki continue to pitch well enough so that he can have at least four core starters (throw in Tadashi Settsu and Kazuyuki Hoashi at the top of the rotation).

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Hiroki Kokubo would like to reach the 2,000 hit milestone some time in May (he needs 38 hits).

Nippon Ham Fighters

Hideki Kuriyama celebrated the New Year by hitting on some Taiko drums.

On Saturday, Kuriyama said he wanted Sho Nakata to become the type of batter that can hit clean-up and guide the team to a championship.

And when reporters asked Nakata if he had any desire to play in the Majors, he replied, "I do not know about the future, but right now, I have none."

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Atsunori Inaba is hoping to record his career 2,000th hit some time during Golden Week in May (he needs 34 hits).

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GAORA will be broadcasting Fighters' spring camp (about six hours everyday, aside from their days off).  This will be a first for the franchise.

Orix Buffaloes

With the additions the team made and the starters the Softbank Hawks lost, Akinobu Okada feels his team is in good position to win the PL (assuming the players are also ready to believe that as well).

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The Buffaloes could have the following three thru five: Mitsutaka Goto, Dae-Ho Lee, and Takahiro Okada.

Rakuten Eagles

Masahiro Tanaka's dream is to toss a perfect game.

15 pitchers have tossed perfect games in NPB history.  The last by Hiromi Makihara on 5/18/1994 (vs Hiroshima).

Chiba Lotte Marines

Yoshihisa Naruse's official blog caused a stir on Sunday after fans found a post from the left that said he was thinking about retiring.  The post was later uncovered as false in both a follow-up post by Naruse and a tweet from the Chiba Lotte Marines.

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1st round draft pick Takahiro Fujioka will be attended a sales event at QVC Marine on Monday (1/2).