The Colonel Sanders figure that was rescued from Dotonbori River and recently installed at a KFC near Koshien Stadium will, on most occasions, be facing out the window from inside the restaurant. But a swivel base underneath the Colonel's display case means that on days the Tigers' game is televised, employees will turn him around so that he can watch along with the rest of the customers.
Tag: Colonel Sanders
Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan welcomed the return of the Colonel Sanders figure to its KFC shop (close to Koshien Stadium) on Friday. Customers that were at the store at 12:00 noon also had a chance to watch the unveiling of the old Colonel Sanders figure, which now stands inside a protective glass case within the store.
It seems there's also a good possibility this won't be the last resting place for the figure as KFC has mentioned there is a chance he could be sent to various locations at some point in the future.
To commemorate the Colonel's return, KFC is selling their 5-piece chicken nugget set for 190 yen (usually 380 yen) over a four day period (3/19 - 3/22) at all their stores across Japan.
=== 11:12pm JST
...Matt Murton experienced dizziness and nauseous on Saturday and was given the day off to rest. His status for tomorrow will be dependent on how he's feeling.
On Friday, Kazuhito Futagami complained of pain in his left flank and was diagnosed on Saturday with a bruise on his left abdomen (左内腹斜筋の筋挫傷). Futagami will likely require a week's worth of rest.
...Kodai Sakurai is perhaps one step closer to a starting job after going 2-for-3 in Saturday's game against the Yokohama Bay Stars. His 2-run home run in the 2nd accounted for all the runs that scored in the game.
...The old Colonel Sanders figure recovered from Dotonbori River will become a permanent fixture at a KFC near Koshien Stadium. He will be on display beginning the 19th. The KFC store is also planning a ceremony for the same day.
=== 2:46pm JST
...Akihiro Yano was 0-for-5 with 4 strike outs prior to his home run on Friday.
...Tatsuya Kojima likely secured a spot in the opening day starting rotation with his performance on Friday: 5 IP, 22 BF, 94 NP, 5 H, 3 SO, 2 BB, R, ER. It seems it could be a toss-up between him and Casey Fossum.
...Ken Nishimura pitched for the first time since 3/3 on Friday against the Hiroshima Carp. Despite the prolonged rest, Nishimura still tossed a scoreless inning in relief.
...Matt Murton stole his first his base in Japan on the Friday. He also went 2-for-3 in the game.
...Tomoaki Kanemoto will likely play in his first exhibition game on Sunday against the Yomiuri Giants. He should be with the team on Saturday but probably won't see any playing time against the Yokohama Bay Stars. On Friday, Kanemoto two about 68 swings during BP. He also switched over to his regular bat -- he had been using a training bat until now.
...If everything goes smoothly, Takahiro Arai could play in an exhibition game as early as the 16th (Yomiuri Giants).
...Yasutomo Kubo's start against the Yokoahama Bay Stars on Saturday was canceled after he was diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis on Friday. No word on when his next outing might come. The Tigers are expected to give him a couple days of rest before starting him back up. The Tigers don't expect this to affect their plans for the opening day starting rotation.
...Kenji Johjima is 4-for-10 during exhibition play.
... Yuya Ando threw 43 pitches in the bullpen on Saturday in preparation for his start against the Yomiuri Giants on Sunday. And Atushi Noumi played some catch and ran some sprints in preparation for his start against the Yokohama Bay Stars on Saturday.
...Shunsuke Fujikawa was set to play in an Ikusei League game on Saturday against the Chunichi Dagons.
The Colonel Sanders figure got a new pair of glasses on Saturday.
A company in Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture sent Colonel Sanders a new pair of glasses on Saturday -- the same type that the figure originally wore before it was thrown into Dotonbori River almost 24 years ago.
The Colonel Sanders figure is currently on display at the Osaka Central Public Hall in Osaka Kita-ku until the 23rd.
A bit of trivia: all Colonel Sanders figures wear glasses with real lenses.
Chiba Lotte Marines
...Hiroyuki Kobayashi was taken off the active roster on Wednesday after he was diagnosed with the influenza A virus.
Saburo, who also wasn't feeling well yesterday, was re-tested today and his tests came back negative.
...Katsuhiro Nakamura was recently asked about Daijiro Oishi situation and he replied, "There's nothing I can really say. There are still games left on the schedule. I don't have the authority to say anything more. Regardless, I haven't received any instructions or orders from the owner. Whether he continues or whatever, I'm sure we'll take the proper steps in getting there. This is really a discussion for a future date."
...Takeya Nakamura started in a Ni-gun rehab game on Wednesday; he was the starting DH and batted fourth. Nakamura went 0-for-2: foul out to first and a strike out.
...Ryuma Kidokoro was taken off the active roster due to the flu on Wednesday. No word as to whether or not it is of the type A strain or not.
...Eri Yoshida was at yesterday's Hanshin Tigers - Chunichi Dragons game at Koshien Stadium. It was her first time watching a pro game at Koshien. She left after 5 innings.
The Colonel is coming, the Colonel is coming!
That's right. KFC Japan announced earlier today that the Colonel Sanders figure that was dropped into Dotonbori River by crazed Hanshin fans will make an appearance at Koshien Stadium on the 9th.
Ticket holders will be able to see the Colonel between 3:00pm and 6:30pm at gate 5 on the first base side of the stadium. Non-ticket holders will also have a chance to take a peak at the Colonel for free after 6pm.
The Kobe Shimbun mentions that it's just a one-day event so if you're in the area, you may want to swing by and check him.
Incidentally, September 9th is a special date in KFC history: it's Mr. Colonel Sanders' birthday (9/9/1890).
Chiba Lotte Marines
...Tsuyoshi Nishioka established a new team record when he belted his 12th career lead-off homer in Tuesday night's game against the Nippon Ham Fighters.
...A new superstition: Yuta Ohmine hummed a tune while taking the mound during his last home start and won his first home game of the year. He did it again on Tuesday night and won his second straight game at home. I guess it helps him clear the mechanism.
...43-year-old pitcher Satoru Komiyama and 40-year-old infielder Koichi Hori appear interested in returning for one more season. And it would seem as though the team is interested in keeping them both because they might be able to provide the younger players on the staff with some advice.
...Kodai Sakurai complained of discomfort in his right leg (the thigh area) during Tuesday night's game and was replaced by a pinch hitter in the 4th inning. If Sakurai misses any time, it could be a big blow to the Tigers' offense. He is schedule to have the leg checked out at a hospital on Wednesday.
...Tsubame Killer? Yuya Ando has a 7-game winning streak against the Yakult Swallows. The last Tiger to do that was Shigeru Kobayashi between 1979 and 1980 with an 8-game winning streak.
...Makoto Imaoka hasn't decided if he'll keep playing or retire. The club president, Shoji Watanabe, said there have been no discussions of a retirement, neither by the club nor by Imaoka.
Earlier in the day there were some rumors floating around that Imaoka might be retiring at the end of the season, but apparently those were all untrue.
...Shinjiro Hiyama collected his 74th career pinch hit RBI in Tuesday night's game against the Yakult Swallows. That moves him into sole possession of 4th place on the Tigers' All-Time pinch hit RBI list.
...No Colonel Sanders? He's apparently so busy making publicity calls around the country that he might not be able to make it to the Koshien in time for the end of the season.
...Miyazaki Prefecture is hoping the Hanshin Tigers make the Climax Series cut. Why? Because apparently when they make it, more fans end up going to Miyazaki to watch the Pheonix League. Or at least that's what happened 2 years ago (the Tigers were ousted in the first round).
...The Tigers are hoping to go 20-11 over their next 31 games. I guess they think if they can do that, they'll be able to overtake the Swallows. Incidentally, they have 8 more games left to play against the Swallows and trail them by just 4 games.
...Seems like hotel reservations at the Novotel Hotel are finally start to pick-up again with the Tigers showing signs of life.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...Pacific League chief ump Yoshio Maekawa visited the Nippon Ham Fighters at Chiba Marine Stadium Tuesday night to talk to Masataka Nashida about an offensive interference call made against Tomohiro Nioka in a game against the Softbank Hawks on the 30th. It was basically a meeting to clarify the situation.
Incidentally, according to an early report by Sponichi, the Ham Fighters are not necessarily interested in a re-match, but rather want confirmation as to whether or not a mistake was made in the ruling by the ump.
...Keiji Ohbiki was hit by a pitch in Tuesday night's game against the Softbank Hawks. It was learned after the game the Ohbiki suffered a fractured ulna in his left hand. No further information is known at this time.
...Yoshihisa Hirano's start was skipped and the coaches gave him a somewhat strange order: Eat!
Hirano started the season with reflux esophagitis and has been bothered by it since. He has had a tough time keeping his weight up and the order was apparently just a reminder for him to keep himself ready for his next start.
...With all the injuries they've suffered this season, the Buffaloes are considering a move to replace all the artificial turf at Kyocera Dome. The Buffaloes last replaced the entire field back in 2003 and replaced just the infield back in 2007. Based on rough estimates on replacement periods of 3-4 years for the infield and 6-7 years for the outfield, this off-season would actually be right about the time for a full replacement.
...Forget Kikuchi and Futagami, the Buffaloes want 24-year-old Toyota hurler Masato Nakazawa.
...Hissahi Iwakuma may not be known for striking batters out, but on Tuesday night, he was dealing. He became the 4th pitcher in the Pacific League to strike out every batter in the line-up at least once and even had a streak of 7 consecutive strike outs (between the 3rd and 5th innings).
...After juggling the players in the top of the line-up against the Orix Buffaloes (Hiroyuki Nakajima 1st, Takumi Kuriyama 5th, and Yasuyuki Kataoka 8th) , Hisanobu Watanabe went back to hitting Kataoka 1st, Kuriyama 2nd, and Nakajima 3rd.
...The Lions suffered their 11th walk-off loss of the season Tuesday night, the most since 1953.
...Despite going the distance in Tuesday night's game, Hideaki Wakui could still pitch an inning or two in relief during the third game of the series, if needed. Or at least that's what they were saying prior to his start.
...The Hawks announced on Tuesday that Kameron Loe would be returning to the States on the 2nd to have his lower back checked out. Loe has struggled this season (0-4 in five starts with a 6.33 ERA) and has been off the active roster since May.
...Nobuhiko Matsunaka was in the starting line-up on Tuesday night for the first time in 9 games (because of a cranky right knee). He was the DH, batted 5th, and went 1-for-4.
...The Swallows went out for yakiniku on Monday night to try and get the team back on the same page. With their loss on Tuesday night, they are now on a 5-game slide.
...Ricky Barrett has struggled this season. He also hurt his left elbow and hasn't been allowed the throw. And from the sounds of it, he won't be able to throw at least until the end of August. As such, Barrett will likely leave the team at the end of the season.
...Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi will get his first start of the year on Thursday. Masubuchi has been sidelined since being hit in the chin by a batted ball during practice on April 28th. (His last start actually came against the Yomiuri Giants on July 26th, 2008.)
Yokohama Bay Stars
...For the 8th consecutive season, the Bay Stars will finish with a record under .500. After losing Tuesday night, they are 41-73 with 30 games left on the schedule.
...Things that make you go hmm: Yuki Yoshimura was thrown out of Tuesday night's game for abusive language. After coming off the field in the top of the 4th, Yoshimura apparently said something while passing by the first base ump and was immediately thrown out of the game. Yoshimura was apparently surprised by it, saying that if he had something to say to the ump, he would have said it to his face.
And from the same article, it appears as though Hayato Terahara's next start might be in jeopardy after he gave up 3 runs (all earned) on 4 hits, a walk, and a home run.
...For the first time since going down with an injury, Shuichi Murata took some fielding practice for about 20 minutes and then spent some time in the batting cages.
...Yoshiyuki Kamei broke through his slump with a 2-for-4 night. It was his first hit since August 23rd.
...Yukinori Moriyama will undergo surgery some time this week after being hit by a pitch that fractured the ulna in his right hand (8/29 during a game against an industrial league team). Moriyama actually also suffered a fracture in his left hand earlier during the season.
...Yoshinobu Takahashi is apparently feeling a little better and was working out at the Giants' training grounds in Kawasaki. But he's still on track of surgery at some point during the month.
KFC Japan is currently planning on going public with the Colonel figure during the Aqua Metropolis Osaka 2009 Festival that begins on August 22nd. What happens after that still hasn't been decided, but it appears likely he'll be put on display at Koshien Stadium.
The work done on the Colonel Sanders figure was handled by JCP, a non-profit that specializes in repairing cultural assets.
Sponichi reports that KFC Japan will also be selling a miniature version of the Colonel Sanders figure as a mobile phone strap.
Said KFC Japan, "We want to show the public [Colonel Sanders] as soon as possible. Hopefully some time this month, but at the latest by July 4th."
While there has been no official decision as to where the figure will be displayed, one spot that seems likely is the KFC located inside Koshien Stadium.
KFC Japan added, "It's hard for us to imagine [that this figure] has any direct link to winning and losing, but we're happy if it helps energize the fans."
Tigers' fans may no longer be feeling all that excited about Colonel Sanders being recovered from Dotonbori River any more. Seems things haven't been going so well for the Tigers since he was fished out of the river.
Maybe he didn't want to be found...
Sanspo mentions the following as ominous signs for the team...
...and perhaps the start of a new curse?
- Tomoyuki Kubota continues to suffer from shoulder arthritis and there are still no significant updates about his status for the season.
- Yutaka Tamaki suffered an injury in a game the same day the Colonel was recoved. He hurt his right elbow and was dropped from the rotation.
- Kinihiro Matsumura, a huge (literally too) Hanshin Tigers fan, was hospitalized on the 22nd after suffering from cardiac arrest during the Tokyo Marathon.
- Akinobu Mayumi announced on the 22nd that Akihiro Yano might not be ready for the start of the season.
- While the Tigers did beat the Eagles on the day after the Colonel was recovered, they haven't managed to win a single game since then.
- Kevin Mench went hitless in 14 straight plate appearances (10 at bats) after that game against the Eagles.
- Norihiro Akahoshi was hit by a pitch on the 25th against the Softbank Hawks and has gone 0-for-6 since then.
Does this mean the Colonel won't be on display at the Koshien anymore?