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Samurai Japan News and Notes: February 26, 2013

by on Feb.26, 2013 @ 11:29 pm, under WBC

Kazuo Matsui was left out of the starting line-up today with some tightness in his lower back (not serious, precaution).  He should be ok for the last practice game against Yomiuri on the 28th.

Source: Sanspo 2/26/2013, Nikkan Sports 2/26/2013

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Kenji Otonari is scheduled to start the practice game against Yomiuri on the 28th.

Tetsuya Utsumi could start Game 3 against Cuba on March 6.

Source: Sponichi 2/26/2013

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Koji Yamamoto is fully committed to keeping Shinnosuke Abe his clean-up hitter, no matter how things go.  All the other spots in the line-up are open to changes, depending on performance.

Samurai Japan had time blocked off for team practices at Kyocera Dome on Monday, but the players got the day off instead.  Abe still showed up at the stadium for light workouts.

When Cuba learned that Japan was taking the day off, they contacted the NPB to see if they could use the stadium instead.  League officials were thinking about turning them down, but allowed the last minute schedule change (Abe confined himself to a small portion of the facilities).  Despite all this, Cuba ended up canceling their workouts.

Source: Sponichi 2/26/2013, Nikkkan Sports 2/26/2013, Nikkan Sports 2/26/2013

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Utsumi worked out at baseball field in Osaka on Monday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/26/2013

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Takashi Toritani could end up playing third with Matsui at second.  Yamamoto was planning to test this out today, but could not because of Matsui's back.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/26/2013

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Samurai Japan manager, coaches, and several players caught the Brazil vs Orix game today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/26/2013

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Samurai Japan will set up a "data room" at the team hotel where their players can get all the latest scouting reports on other teams.

Source: Sports Hochi 2/26/2013

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The Yomiuri Giants will hold a public viewing of the China-Japan WBC game at Tokyo Dome.  Anyone with a ticket stub to an exhibition game between Softbank and Yomiuri earlier in the day will be allowed to watch

Source: Sanspo 2/26/2013

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Kenjiro Mori will become the first NPB umpire to work behind home plate during the WBC: Pool B, March 2, Australia vs Taiwan.  He will be in charge of three other games as well.  He is a veteran umpire with twenty-four years of experience.

Two other NPB umpires are also slated to participate in the WBC: Katsumi Manabe, Second Round, Pool 2; and Masanobu Sasaki, Championship Round (assuming Japan does not make it to the finals).

Source: Sponichi 2/26/2013

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Orlando Roman (WBC Puerto Rico) has reportedly been told that he will start Game 2 against Venezuela on March 9.

Source: Sanspo 2/26/2013

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Andre Rienzo is expected to join WBC Brazil on the 27th or 28th.  He pitched in an exhibition game against San Francisco on the 25th and could not record an out (0.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR, 1 WP, 11-3 NP-S, 5 BF.

Source: Sponichi 2/26/2013, Daily Sports 2/26/2013

Samurai Japan is having difficult securing footage of Rienzo.

Source: Sponichi 2/26/2013

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WBC Cuba worked out for about two hours at Hotto Motto Kobe today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/26/2013

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The top five sports broadcasts in Japan so far this year:

  1. Nippon TV, Hakone Ekiden, Day 1 (January 2): 29.1%
  2. Nippon TV, Hakone Ekiden, Day 2 (January 3): 27.9%
  3. Fuji TV, Japan vs Latvia Soccer (February 6): 17.6%
  4. TBS, Samurai Japan vs Australia (February 24): 17.0%
  5. TV Asahi, Samurai Japan vs Australia (February 23): 16.9%

Source: Sponichi 2/26/2013