Seiichi Uchikawa left for a family trip to Hawaii today. He packed his bat with his golf clubs because he also plans to do get in some training during his overseas vacation. Uchikawa will return to Japan on the 24th. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2012
Uchikawa carried close to ten different bats around with him during the season. He plans to carry just one next season because he had a hard time determining if he was struggling because of the bats or because of a physical condition. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2012
Shota Takeda wants to "...increase the number of ways [to get batters out]. It is important to have a pitch to get swinging strikes and a pitch that can easily get batters [to get themselves out]. There are times when I want to record an out on one pitch. ... Even when there are no pitch limits, I would like to strive for pitching a shutout in under one hundred pitches." Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2012
Tu-Hsuan Lee met with the front office today for the second time this off-season and agreed to a 3.2 million yen raise -- he got the team to up their offer 800,000 yen since their last meeting. Lee will make eight million yen next season. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2012
Toru Hosokawa will be in the third year of a four-year deal.
When Masahiko Morifuku was asked how much he spends on clothes a month during an appearance on Kyushu Asahi Broadcasting's Asasedu today, he replied, "When I am serious about shopping, I will spend about 500,000 yen. I tend to buy a lot at once." Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2012
Nippon Ham Fighters
Mitsuo Yoshikawa, Masaru Nakamura, Brian Wolfe, and Bobby Keppel will all most likely make the starting rotation next year. 6th round draft pick Shogo Yagi will likely get a chance to start. The Fighters are also looking for another foreign pitcher for the rotation. That means Yuki Saito may not have a spot depending on how things go during spring camp. Source: Sanspo 12/17/2012
On Sunday, Saito was quoted as saying, "It is not just about the money. I am interested in what they will say to me. I would like to take what they say into consideration for next season. ... Ideally, I would like to go [on a championship trip] after a productive season. The young players need to take charge and pull the team together." Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2012
Hideki Kuriyama on next season, via Sponichi: "All the young pitchers will start from scratch [next year]. It will be a very important year for Yuki." Source: Sponichi 12/17/2012
Shogo Akiyama will be using a bat that is slightly heavier than the 900 gram bat he used this season -- the bat will more or less remain the same, but the barrel will not be cupped at the end. Source: Sports Hochi 12/17/2012
Sponichi figures the bat will be about ten grams heavier. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2012
Hiroshi Kisanuki, Shun Tono, and Kazunao Yamamoto, all former Yomiuri Giants, worked out for about three hours at the indoor training facilities in Kobe on Sunday. For Tono and Yamamoto, it was their first time training in Kobe. Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 12/17/2012
Ryo Hijirisawa has his sights set on his third straight season of fifty or more stolen bases. Only five players in NPB history have managed to string together three consecutive seasons of fifty or more stolen bases. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2012
The Eagles are thinking about holding a press conference for Andruw Jones at a hotel in Sendai some time in late-January. Fan club members might also get an invite to attend. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2012
Senichi Hoshino feels women could be 1st round draft pick Yudai Mori's biggest problem.
"Mori's enemies will be women," said Hoshino. "He is good-looking, kind of like how I was when I was younger. As long as he does not make any mistakes with women, he will be fine. It is just a matter of the women."
Source: Sanspo 12/17/2012
Chiba Lotte Marines
The bat Toshiaki Imae used to hit the second grand slam of his career -- September 22, 2012 against the Orix Buffaloes -- was auctioned off for 190,000 yen on Sunday. Source: Daily Sports 12/17/2012