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Chunichi Dragons: January 16, 2012

by on Jan.16, 2012 @ 11:51 pm, under NPB

A group of Dragons visited Inuyama Naritasan in Aichi today and spent about 30 minutes praying for a successful season.  They also spent some time signing autographs after their prayers.

The group included team officials, Morimichi Takagi, Kazuki Yoshimi, Takehiro Donoue, and Naomichi Donoue.

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Masahiro Yamamoto worked out at World Wing (gym) in Tottori today.  Yamomoto, making his way back from right ankle surgery in September 2011, told reporters that his training was going well and that he had no problems throwing the ball.

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Yoshimi told reporters on Sunday that he is prepared to compete for the opening day start.

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Hitoki Iwase's career ERA is currently 2.02.  He told reporters on Sunday that he would like to try and drop that under 2.00 this season.  But more importantly, he wants to play out a full season (which also means remaining healthy and pitching well the entire season) and is beginning to wonder how much gas he has left in the tank.  Iwase is in the final year of a four year deal.

FYI: there are only four pitchers that have ERAs under 2.00 and 500 or more appearances: Kyuji Fujikawa (515 G, 644.2 IP, 1.80 ERA), Jiro Noguchi (517 G, 3447.1 IP, 1.96 ERA), Kazuhisa Inao (756 G, 3599.0 IP, 1.98 ERA), and Tadashi Wakabayashi (528 G, 3557.1 IP, 1.99 ERA).

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Takagi took the field during practices at Nagoya Stadium on Sunday in order to address the fans over the PA system.  He also had Hidenori address the crowd after practices.