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[1/2/2015] Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters, Chiba Lotte Marines, Seibu Lions

by on Jan.02, 2015 @ 11:57 pm, under NPB

Softbank Hawks

  • Senryokugai Shota Miura (25) is planning to finish the teaching license program he started while enrolled at Iwate University before he was drafted by Softbank. His goal is to become a physical education teacher at a public junior high school in Iwate. Source: Nikkan Sports 1/1/2015

Orix Buffaloes

  • Yoshihisa Hirano on free agency and the Majors: "I had no plans to exercise my [domestic] option. I felt winning a championship with this team was important. It wouldn't be easy going overseas. I'm not sure if I can adjust to the MLB baseball. I can't imagine going to the United States, it was never a dream. The level of play in the Majors is high, but I think Japanese baseball has more subtleties. I want to do well in Japan and help bring excitement to the game. Last year, I worked hard and was able to bring some excitement to Kansai. I'm sure we can bring more excitement to Kansai if we win a championship for the first time in nineteen years. I want this team to become as popular as Hanshin." Source: Sanspo 1/1/2015

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani on his dreams of playing in the Majors: "It was where I wanted to go in the beginning. I was impressed when I played in the Nichibei series and it made me want to compete at that level. This isn't about going or not going, but rather about wanting to become a player at that level, wanting to become a player that can compete at that level." ... Otani on when he would like to go: "In terms of my skills, I still have a long way to go before I hit my stride, but I'd like to go when I'm peaking physically. I want to leave my mark with Nippon Ham as well. Winning a championship and becoming the type of player I want to be, it means nothing if I can't accomplish these things first. I would like to go when I am physically ready to take on the challenge." ... Otani on giving kids the dream of playing in the Majors: "It would obviously make me happy if I could influence kids, but I'm not really about telling them not to give up on their dreams or giving them something to strive for. I just love baseball, that's why I play. It would make me happy if they thought I was cool because I worked hard and made it to the Majors. But I don't want to force something out of them. I work hard for myself and if people around me want to watch, that's fine." Source: Nikkan Sports 1/1/2015 ... Otani on velocity: "I'm not really thinking about velocity right now, but during the 2013 off-season, when I trained and worked on my mechanics to help my overall game, I felt an increase in my average velocity. It was the opposite when I was in high school, I wanted to hit 160km/h and did the necessary training for that. Now, I feel I can just train without focusing on [velocity] and it will improve on its own." ... Otani on when he thinks he will hit his physical peak: "I think physically, around twenty-six or twenty-seven. But throw in skill and I think it's more like twenty-seven to thirty." Source: Sponichi 1/2/2015, Sponichi 1/2/2015

Chiba Lotte Marines

Seibu Lions

  • Takumi Kuriyama spent about two-and-a-half hours hitting 1,000 baseballs on New Years Day on Thursday. He told fans about it during a talk event on Friday and said he was going for "quantity over quality." Source: Sanspo 1/2/2015
  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi could make his debut during an exhibition game at Seibu Prince Dome in March. Source: Daily Sports 1/1/2015
  • Norio Tanabe finalized a one-year contract worth an estimated fifty million yen on Wednesday. Tanabe's contract as a hitting coach last season was worth an estimated sixteen million yen. Source: Sanspo 1/1/2015