Samurai Japan Manager Hiroki Kokubo will be visiting all twelve NPB teams during spring camp to talk to thank managers for allowing their players to participate in the Taiwan exhibition series last November and to seek their continued support. He will also be checking on talent for future internatoinal games. His schedule so far:
- February 1 - Rakuten
- February 2 - Lotte
- February 3 - Orix, Yakult
- February 4 - Nippon Ham, Hanshin
- February 5 - Chunichi, Yokohama
- February 6 - Softbank, Yomiuri
- February 7 - Seibu, Hiroshima
He is also planning to watch a number of exhibition games, beginning in mid-February.
The NPB issued Kokobu an apology on Wednesday for losing track of some Samurai Japan uniforms during their recent move.
Source: Nikkan Sports 1/23/204
The 21U Baseball World Cup is scheduled to take place in November. The team will be a mix of professional and amateur players. Current candidates from the NPB could include Hanshin's Shintaro Fujinami (19), Nippon Ham's Shohei Otani (19), and Rakuten's Yuki Matsui (18). Candidates from the amateur ranks could include Meiji University's Kenta Uehara and Shun Takayama, Keio University's Seigo Yada, Aoyama Gakuin University's Masataka Yoshida, Saibi High School's Tomohiro Anraku, and Maebashi Ikuei High School's Kona Takahashi.
Professional bat maker Isokazu Kubota (70) has decided to retire. Mizuno announced on Thursday that Kubota will hold a retirement press conference on the 28th. Kubota's successor will also be named at the press conference.
Kubota has made bats for players like Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and Hiromitsu Ochiai.
Source: Daily Sports 1/23/2014