I have writer's block. Sorry.
Japan got a spot in the Olympics by beating the crap out of Taiwan and the Phillippines and slapping Korea. The real benefit of all this is that Senichi Hoshino was on TV a lot, and he's really funny. Well, and it's pretty exciting stuff, too, although that final game was really close for a while, and I lost track of how many guys got hit by pitches.
This is the time of year when guys are resigning contracts with their team and you can see who got raises and who got salary cuts. Most of the guys listed aren't the big name players though, but the ni-gun types and others who don't really have much to negotiate. We'll undoubtedly see a few interesting salary negotation stories popping up in the news soon enough (like last year when I was following the stories of Sekimoto, Morino, and Satozaki, as they all used different negotiation tactics (crying, laughing, yawning) with their respective teams).
Ex-Mariner Hiram Bocachica will be playing for Seibu next year.
Seibu also signed Craig Brazell and Matt Kinney.
Scott Seabol will be playing in Hiroshima next year.
The Fighters officially seem to have gone into post-Seguignol mode, as they reissued number 5 to Naoto Inada, and they also signed Terrmel Sledge.
The biggest OMGYOUHAVETOBEKIDDING move is that Yomiuri signed Marc Kroon, who spent the last three years closing for the Bay Stars. At first I was pretty surprised over it, but now that I've had time to think about it it not only doesn't surprise me, but it seems almost like something I should have expected to happen. Have I mentioned recently that I hate the Giants?
Lew Ford, one of my favorite baseball nerds, is supposedly pretty close to signing a deal with the Hanshin Tigers.
Yokohama seems to have signed a bunch of foreigners as well, among them Dave Williams and JJ Furmaniak and Mike Wood.
Yakult seems intent on sucking next year. I don't really understand why.
On the MLB side of things, a few big trades have gone down. Some are awesome. Some are frightening.
Oh yeah, the thing that makes me most happy is that the Pacific League finally released their 2008 schedule. You can now find both Central League and Pacific League 2008 schedules on the official NPB site. I'm already starting to decide which games I want to go to, although the biggest disappointment for me is that it looks like I wouldn't be able to realistically hit both Sapporo and Fukuoka during Golden Week, alas. Sadly the first time the Fighters will be anywhere near me on a Sunday isn't until April 13th (well, there's March 30th in Sendai, but honestly, going to Sendai in March and getting snowed out? DO NOT WANT). The Dragons also won't come to Kanto on a Sunday until April 20th, which is sadly against the Bay Stars. Argh.
Still, it looks like I'll probably spend the first two Sundays of the baseball season out in Tokorozawa, oddly enough.