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PL News and Notes: January 4, 2012

by on Jan.05, 2012 @ 12:31 am, under NPB

Softbank Hawks

Hiroki Kokubo took off for Arizona out of Fukuoka Airport on Wednesday.  Kokubo will begin his workouts in Arizona and return to Japan on 1/27.

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Oita prefecture announced on Wednesday that they will be presenting Seiichi Uchikawa with his second Oita Prefecture Award (he received the first award in 2009).

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Masahiko Morifuku will begin workouts with Toshiya Sugiuchi in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima on 1/5.  Morifuku worked out with Sugiuchi last winter and messed up his shoulder a little by pushing himself too hard (he saw what Sugiuchi was doing and was trying to keep pace).  He does not plan to make the same mistake this time around.  He also does not plan on tossing a bullpen session in January.

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Seiichi Uchikawa has apparently hired Koichiro Ozeki as his personal trainer (known mostly for his work with Munenori Kawasaki).

Seibu Lions

The Lions opened for business on Wednesday.

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Takeya Nakamura, Ginjiro, and Kazuhisa Makita made appearances at a fan event at Seibu Ikebukuro on Wednesday.  3,500 fans submitted requests to attended; only 350 were selected.

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Ginjiro will be changing his registered name to his last name, Sumitani, this year.  His reason: because Yusei Kikuchi started doing better when he changed his registered name from Yusei to Kikuchi.

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The Lions announced on Wednesday that the Lions Cup: 1st Saitama Junior High Baseball Tournament will take place on 2/25 and 2/26.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Naoki Miyanishi worked out at his alma mater, Amagasaki High School in Hyogo, on Wednesday.

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Hideki Kuriyama would like Yuki Saito to step up and take more responsibility towards becoming the staff ace.

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The Fighters' cheer-leading group, Fighters Girl, with the help of AVEX Group, plan to make some changes to the way they operate, which will also include changes to their uniforms.

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Tomoya Yagi has been working on bulking up this winter and has managed to add both muscle mass and body weight.

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Yuki Saito visited a spa in Iwaki, Fukushima with an old college friend on Tuesday.

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Eiichi Koyano has lost about 8kg and is looking to lose about 2-3.

Orix Buffaloes

Akinobu Okada firmly believes that Dae-Ho Lee will be a productive player in Japan.

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles opened for business on Wednesday.

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Masahiro Tanaka could begin workouts with Yu Darvish in Miyazaki as early as later this week.

On Wednesday, Tanaka worked out at Kleenex Stadium for about two hours (running, weight training).  He plans on tossing a bullpen session on the first day of spring camp (2/1).  Tanaka has also turned down requests to appear at various events this month because he wanted to focus on his training.

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The Eagles hold an option on Akinori Iwamura for the 2013 season.  As such, Iwamura is prepared to do whatever it takes to get more playing time this year, including playing some first (he had been turning down requests/suggestions up until now).

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Hiroaki Yamamoto worked out near the Hanazono Rugby Field in Osaka on Tuesday.  Yamamoto was originally planning to begin his workouts on 1/5 at Kinki University with Takahiro Shiomi and Hanshin Tiger Akihito Fujii, but wanted to get a head start on things.

Chiba Lotte Marines

Yuki Karakawa worked out for about two and a half hours at QVC Marine Field on Wednesday.  His workouts included playing catch at a distance of about 20 meters and running.  Karakawa has been working on strengthening his lower body this winter.  He is also hoping to work on his change-up.

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The Marines announced on Wednesday that 26-year-old Takumi Kobe filed marriage papers with a 29-year-old woman on 12/1/2011.

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Ikuhiro Kiyota told fans during his talk session on Tuesday that he filed marriage papers with his high school sweetheart on January 1.  Kiyota proposed during a trip to Hawaii in December.