Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s another stab at a news roundup for our beloved Central League.
- Under new management, the Dragons seem to be taking the whole ‘fan experience’ thing very seriously. Both the manager and the head of the team’s player group, starter Kazuki Yoshimi, have a bunch of ideas that range from more face time between the players and fans to cheaper tickets at Nagoya Dome. I would suggest making draft beer cheaper and playing a style of baseball that doesn’t put people to sleep, but hey.
- Despite making it all the way to the Japan Series yet again, the Dragons lost money on the year. Second season in a row, apparently. Not that it’s that big of a deal though. The parent company, Chunichi, can just write it off as an advertising expense.
- There will not be a special veterans group at spring training this year, according to the team’s manager, Tatsunori Hara. Players such as Abe, Takahashi, Ramirez and Tani were granted special privileges during spring training last year and everyone except for Tani missed time with an injury in 2011.
- Sounds like the Tigers are on the prowl for a right-handed bat. Any chance we can offload Yasushi Iihara for a number four or five starting pitcher?
- Left out of Hanshin’s plans for 2012, former ikusei infielder, Marco Vechionacci wouldn’t mind another shot at playing in Japan.
- There’s a new cafe or something going in at the stadium, but other than that not a whole lot is going on down there.
- The closer’s role has yet to be decided according to Nakahata. Shun Yamaguchi has been getting better and better over the past three years, but in announcing that the ninth inning is still up for grabs it seems like Nakahata doesn’t want him to relax too much.
- The team has been salivating over the sliver-thin possibility that Hideki Matsui could return to Japan. This is, of course, despite the fact that Matsui himself has stated publicly that he has no desire to play in Japan at this time. However, if he does play in Japan again one day, it would be absolutely hilarious if he decided against playing for the Giants.