A man will parachute into an open Yahoo Dome on April 26 and throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Nagisa Arakaki, who is scheduled to start the game, started the last open dome game and won (September 10, 2008 vs Rakuten).
Nippon Ham Fighters
Sho Nakata spent about an hour taking batting practice on his day off on Monday. Nakata has been struggling a bit as of late: he has just one hit over his last sixteen trips to the plate and is 12-for-75 overall.
Hirotaka Koishi will likely get his first Ichi-gun start on April 26 (vs Softbank at Yahoo Dome).
The Lions are planning to invite mascots from the Saitama region to home games some time in early May. There are seventy-eight mascots in all.
Masahiro Tanaka (tightness in lower back) could begin playing catch again as early as today. The team is hopeful he will be ready to return to the active roster on May 2.
Kei Igawa started a Ni-gun game against Softbank today and gave up five runs on seven hits over five innings of work.
Akinobu Okada's tips on hitting: do not watch the ball too carefully while you wait for your pitch; there is no need to hit the ball at the same exact time every time; you need to have some fun.
Okada also wants batters to be more aggressive at the plate and will not mind if they hit into a double play as a result of it.
"If there is a runner on first and you have the sign to swing away, you are allowed to swing [at the first pitch]. If you end up hitting a grounder directly at third and they turn two, that is fine. A double play is the manager's fault," said Okada.
He added, "Kitagawa-san used to hit into double plays all the time when he was at Ni-gun Hanshin. In the dugout it was always like, you hit into another double play? But it was from there that he started to improve."