Hey, it looks like Terry Collins wants to hire Shigetoshi Hasegawa as a coach for Orix. Collins managed the Angels when Shiggy first came over and played for them, and Shiggy came to the US from the Orix Blue Wave in the first place. It seems like it'll be a good fit if he wants it, though it sounds like Shiggy's just thinking about it for now and will give them an answer depending on the circumstances when spring camp starts. He's one of my favorite Mariners ever, and I think his unique set of skills and knowledge and intelligence would make him an excellent coach, should he choose to pursue it.
Industrial/College draft starts tomorrow, by which I mean Tuesday in Japan, which is Monday afternoon/evening in Seattle. I realize I still don't fully understand exactly how it works, but it sounds like Lotte and Rakuten don't get to take a pre-pick - Lotte because they actually took a second round pick in the high school draft, and Rakuten because they didn't decide in time or didn't have their unofficial offer accepted. The list of pre-picks (kibouwaku, whatever) is up various places; SportsNavi (among others) has profiles for them all, if you read Japanese -- and my guess is that anyone else who cares about the NPB industrial/college draft probably does :)
The list, anyway:
Yokohama: Kentarou Takasaki, Nissan, RHP
Hiroshima: Michito Miyazaki, Honda, RHP
Orix: Satoshi Komatsu, JR Kyushu, RHP
Giants: Norihito Kaneto, Ritsumeikan Univ, LHP
Yakult: Shun Takaichi, Aoyama Gakuin Univ, RHP
Softbank: Kenji Ohtonari, Kinki Univ, LHP
Tigers: Tatsuya Kojima, Osaka Gas, LHP
Seibu: Takayuki Kishi, Tohoku Gakuin Univ, RHP
Chunichi: Daisuke Tanaka, Toyodai Univ, C
Nippon Ham: Ken Miyamoto, Waseda Univ, LHP
I have to admit that Miyamoto's the only one I've really looked into at all, for obvious reasons.
The soon-to-be newest Devil Ray, Akinori Iwamura, apparently is going to try for the media 'Good Guy Award'... or something. He's also hoping to have a Japanese interpreter/trainer.
37,741 people came to Fighters Fan Fest at the Sapporo Dome on Sunday. Shinjo wasn't there, but Ogasawara was, and this is too cute for words. But never let the Fighters be without goofiness anyway, as Atsunori Inaba got the entire stadium to do an "Inaba Jump" and make the ground shake like it did during the Japan Series, and Hichori Morimoto apparently gave a rousing rendition of Yutaka Ozaki's "Happy Birthday".
(All the articles are also saying Ogasawara will announce signing with the Giants on Tuesday or Wednesday NOTLISTENINGCANTHEARYOUBLAHBLAHBLAHWAAAAAAHHHH)
The Fighters are looking at hiring Dave Owen as a coach. Owen and [manager Trey] Hillman both went to the University of Texas at Arlington (though not at the same time, I don't think), and with the release of pitching coach Mike Brown (for whatever reason -- the Fighters' pitching this year was sensational!), they wanted to find an American coach so Hillman would at least have someone he could discuss plans with in English (or Texan, as the case may be -- he's got the best drawl!) on his staff. Owen has been working as an infield coordinator in the Phillies minor league system.
I could talk about stuff going on in the MLB Hot Stove, but as usual you could just look at the tracker and see what's occurred, or look anywhere else on the net and see what rumors abound. The Big Hurt going to Toronto is probably the biggest news of the last week, or maybe the Big Contract going to Soriano supposedly. I guess the smallest news would be that Scott Spiezio signed for another two years with the Cardinals. In completely unrelated news, I bought a new pair of character shoes today made by Capezio. I hope they last me a while; if they wear out in a year and get released to Goodwill and someone else pays $3 and fixes them up and gets a good year or two out of them and wins a ballroom world championship, I'm going to be annoyed.