- Mr. Takagi, the Dragons’ energetic and cuddly new manager, wants fans to touch his butt if they win the Central League Pennant in 2012.
- In preparation for the upcoming season, Utsumi and several of his teammates went shopping in Guam.
- According to this report compiled by Yakyu Baka, Yomiuri will likely lose a player to Yokohama as compensation for picking up free agent third baseman Murata.
- And Yomiuri will likely have to pay 80% of Sugiuchi’s salary to Fukuoka since the 2011 Japan Series Champion isn’t interested in any of the players on Yomiuri’s unprotected list. Why all this compensation idiocy is a part of free agent signings is beyond me.
- As always, there is tons of news coming out of Osaka about every inane aspect of every inane player’s inane daily routines. Nothing worth relaying to you though.
- Reporter Saho Naruhashi (26) made ace pitcher Kenta Maeda (23) an honest man. Their ‘paper marriage’ apparently took place on New Year’s Day. Rumors of the impending marriage surfaced in October last year.
- The ‘Stars signed 33-year-old RHP Giancarlo Alvarado. Often referred to by his nickname, Gio, he had a 3.46 ERA and 11-15 record over two seasons with Hiroshima.
- Free agent Munenori Kawasaki (30), formerly Fukuoka’s shortstop, has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners.
- Free agent RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (30), formerly of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, signed a one-year deal with the Mariners as well. Suck on that, Oakland.
- Hiroyuki Nakajima wasn’t so lucky though. The New York Yankees won negotiating rights with Saitama’s prized shortstop through the posting system, but this one was doomed from the start. And it also sounds like the Yankees might have been trying to lock him in long-term for cheap. Will Aoki’s quest to play in MLB follow a similar path and see him back in Tokyo for another year?