The Central League held their usual board of directors meeting today in Tokyo and decided that all six teams will wear caps with the league slogan (セが制す！ The Central League will beat them down!) during Inter-league play.
Source: Sponichi 4/8/2013
The NPB held two meetings in Tokyo today. The following issues were discussed:
- The NPB and amateur organizations are in the midst of creating a new system that will allow former professional players to coach amateur players after they take a training course. The NPB is hoping to supplement the course with a new training program.
- A Samurai Japan team made up of NPB players will not play any international games in November. Instead, the league approved the decision to allow teams competing at four amateur international tournaments later this year to wear the Samurai Japan uniform.
- The CL would like to decrease the number of Inter-league games to eighteen. The PL does not want any changes.
Source: Sponichi 4/8/2013, Mainichi Shimbun 4/8/2013, Jiji Press 4/8/2013
Seventeen home runs were hit on Sunday (five games). Before Sunday, August 25, 2010 was the last time seventeen home runs were hit in one day (six games). Since the introduction of the new standard baseball: fourteen each on April 15, 2011 and May 3, 2011.
Last year, ten or more home runs were hit in one day nine times. This year, there have already been three days of ten or more home runs: thirteen on April 5, ten on April 6, and seventeen on April 7. This marked the first time ten or more home runs were hit each day over a span of three days since the introduction of the new ball.
The league is currently averaging about 1.39 home runs per game. Over a year, that works out to about 1,199 home runs. Home runs totals, beginning the year before the introduction of the new ball: 1,605 in 2010, 939 in 2011, and 881 in 2012.
Yakult Swallow Shinichi Takeuchi was quoted as saying the following: "Even when looking at footage from games, it seems like the ball is traveling more this year, compared to last year. ... It could be that everyone has finally gotten used to the new ball and is handling things better."
Source: Nikkan Sports 4/8/2013, Sanspo 4/8/2013, Sanspo 4/8/2013
UPDATE 4/9 @ 3:26pm - Sponichi notes that of the seventy-two home runs hit through the 8th, seventeen, or twenty-four percent, have been recorded by players that appeared in the WBC. The same players hit just three home runs over the same period last year. SP also notes that the 2011 season began in a similar way before dropping to lower levels.
Source: Sponichi 4/9/2013
Shintaro Fujinami (Hanshin) and Shohei Otani (Nippon Ham) will appear in a video presentation at the next IBAF meeting in Japan on the 14th. There were plans to use other players (retired/active), but the two youngsters were selected because they are considered two of the best of the next generation of candidates for the national team.
The IBAF and ISF is also planning to make a "major announcement regarding the bid for inclusion at the 2020 Olympic Games" on the 14th. A new website (www.playball2020.com) will also open on the same day.
Source: Nikkan Sports 4/8/2013, IBAF 4/6/2013