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Softbank Hawks: March 27, 2012

by on Mar.27, 2012 @ 11:45 pm, under NPB

About twenty-four members of the organization, including Koji Akiyama and chairman Sadaharu Oh, visited the Hawks' Kannon at Yahoo Dome today and prayed for a successful season. [Ustream Video]

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Seiichi Uchikawa, who was taking things slow after feeling discomfort in his left shoulder, started taking batting practice today.

Said Uchikawa to reporters, "It has improved in comparison to how things were before, but it still does not feel completely right. ... I do not plan on taking any breaks before the start of the regular season and I am preparing under the assumption that I will be playing."

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Hiroki Yamada's first regular season start will likely be against the Rakuten Eagles on April 3 (Kleenex Stadium).

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According to Nikkan Sports, pitching coach Ikuo Takayama said on Monday that he told six pitchers when they will be making their first starts.  Assuming Tadashi Settsu is ok to go on opening day, Nagisa Arakaki will most likely start the second game of the season (March 31, vs Orix, at Yahoo Dome).

For Arakaki, it will be his first Ichi-gun game since May 9, 2009 (vs Seibu at Yahoo Dome).

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The Kyushu Sports Writers Association held a general meeting today in Fukuoka and awarded the Softbank Hawks (and the Higashi Fukuoka High School rugby team) with their top award for winning the Nippon Series last year.

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The Hawks announced today that Ericsson will be a helmet sponsor this year.