Tuesday, December 12, 2006

NPB Roundup: Iggy Don't You Lose That Number

We've received a heads-up from Patrick Lagreid that the newly-traded Mariners pitcher Horacio Ramirez is going to be one of the guests on the "Hot Stove League" show on Mariners Radio tonight (Tuesday Dec 12th). It airs from 7-8pm on KOMO 1000 radio, so if you want to hear the new guy, tune in.

Just a few funny things today:

There was a talkshow a few days ago with Munenori Kawasaki and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who are apparently now the super-hot "Faces of the Pacific League", what with Matsuzaka going to the MLB, Ogasawara going to the CL, and Shinjo retiring. Whether or not this "cool guy combo" will be fighting for the honor of being the hottest young player in the PL or not is yet to be seen, but it sounds like they may at least be fighting for the stolen base title or the trashtalking title next year.

Here's another picture from the talkshow. And in other "Best Hawks Picture EVER" moments, I give you Saitoh and Matoba with their "Most Valuable Battery" awards.

Kei Igawa better get a deal worked out with the Yankees -- because if he doesn't, and he has to come back to the Hanshin Tigers, there's going to be a scuffle between him and Tatsuya Kojima, as the former Osaka Gas lefty has already been assigned Igawa's old uniform number 29.

At least if Matsuzaka fails to sign a contract, his old #18 will still be open. The newly-drafted Lions class has mostly taken numbers of guys who have been released. Kibouwaku pre-pick Takayuki Kishi from Tohoku Gakuin is taking #11, which used to belong to Shinji Mori (who went to the Devil Rays via the posting system for $750k last offseason, then tore his labrum and is still recovering). Jun Yamamoto from TDK Chikumaguma is taking #20, which used to belong to Kiyoshi Toyoda, former Seibu closer, now Giants closer.

And despite rumors that Nippon Ham's 4th-round draft pick outfielder Hisayoshi Chono was softening and considering the possibility of signing, it's sounding more like he's pretty much made up his mind to go play for Honda and hope the Giants take him when he's draft-eligible again, saying "two years of waiting is not that long".

The Fighters did announce their staff for next year, and it looks like Dave Owen was indeed hired as a coach.

Fighters shortstop Makoto Kaneko got up and sang Tatsuro Yamashita's "Christmas Eve" at a fan event recently. Now if only the Fighters put clips of stuff like that on their site... they could put that, Hichori's rendition of Yutaka Ozaki's "Happy Birthday" from Fan Fest, round it out with a few other songs and make an album!

And in completely unrelated events, Barry Zito hosted a "Strikeouts for Troops" event at the Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek tonight. Sounds like a blast. (EDIT:) And as expected, someone on AN posted pictures, and pretty good ones at that!

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