Friday, December 15, 2006

NPB Roundup: Down Beat Stamp

I have a whole bunch of posts in my mental queue, but unfortunately due to a gigantic wind-and-rain storm in Seattle yesterday, last night my house's power kept flickering and we didn't have internet at all -- nor this morning -- so I'm just going to do one of these link roundup posts, since I couldn't upload my Koshien pictures.

Joel Zumaya, Guitar Hero. You know, even the first time I played Guitar Freaks about six years ago, I thought "This game is just not fun enough to be worth the arm pain I get from it," so I'm pretty amused to see a major-league pitcher go to the other extreme.

The Red Sox signed his Royal Hypeness. The Devil Rays signed Akinori Iwamura to a 3-year, $7.7 million contract.

The Softbank Hawks want you to know that they are not messing around anymore, as they just signed Rick Guttormson and Brian Buchanan. Guttormson pitched a no-hitter for the Yakult Swallows last year, and got a two-year contract from the Hawks for about $2 million. With last month's signings of Adam Hyzdu and CJ Nitkowski, though, it seems that unless they're planning a farm-team shuffle on a regular basis, that leaves Julio Zuleta off of the 4-foreigner quota on the roster. Hmm. Nitkowski has written a neat "I'm going to Japan!" article on his website.

(Speaking of the Hawks new players, Hitoshi Tamura looks a LOT different than he did before in the WBC. I think the short undyed hair looks good on him, though.)

The Fighters signed Andy Green and Brian Sweeney. I knew about Andy Green from months ago when he first said he was interested in playing for the Fighters, but I wasn't aware they were after Brian Sweeney, so that's cool -- I've actually seen him pitch a bit between Seattle and Tacoma. Now if only they could sign Fernando Seguignol already, we'd be in good shape.

Also, they signed Keisaku Itokazu, their third-round pick in the college/industrial draft, a right-handed pitcher out of Asia University. Yay! He will wear uniform number 20, which formerly belonged to Satoshi Yano. Fourth-round pick Hisayoshi Chono is going to Honda, but we knew that.

Rakuten closer Kazuo Fukumori went in to negotiate and sign a new contract, and forgot to bring his signature stamp. Oops. It's not really news, he just cracks me up.

If you live near Las Vegas, you could perhaps stalk the Chunichi Dragons, as they are taking their CL victory trip to Vegas from the 14th until the 19th. You may see such sights as Tyrone Woods helpfully showing his teammates around.

The Fighters are currently off on their victory trip to New Zealand too, but that's a lot further away to randomly go stalk players.

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