Jun Inoue, who retired at the end of the season, has joined the team's
Nippon Ham The team is going to hold a 6 p.m. intrasqaud game on the 17th and the public is invited. However, it costs about $60,000 for security and cleanup for each game and team officials are in a quandry about what to do since they don't like losing money on this deal. One solution that is being considered is to ask fans to make whatever contributions they think are appropriate as they enter. The last pre-playoff intrasquad game was free. You would thnk that tey would make it up in concessions.
Satoru Kanemura's suspension was lifted Saturday, enabling him to join the club for the Japan Series. He will catch up with the rest of the team when they get to Nagoya on the 19th.
TV ratings for the second plyoff game against Softbank were sky high, as it ganered a 31.3% share in Sapporo with a momentary high of 47.5%.
The figures were much lower in Kyushu, the Hawks bailiwick, where it drew a 23% portion of the audience.
In Nagoya, only about 11.5% watched it.
Waseda University southpaw pitcher Ken Miyamoto has been locked up by the Fighters and according to what I have seen in the press about him he is expected to have a short developmental arc. He has a fastball that tops out at 91mph and complements it with a slider.
Rakuten Former Rockies farmhand Yusuke Arakawa was billed as being able to run it up there as high as 93mph, but he was clocked only at a high of 88mph during workouts Saturday. His front side was also opening too early, which resulted in control problems. Manager Katsuya Nomura observed that Arakawa needs to use his legs better as well.
Also in camp is former Nippon Ham and Yomiuri hurler Hayato Nakamura, who is auditioning for a roster spot too. He was clocked in the low 80's.
Softbank First baseman Julio Zuleta would like to come back with the Hawks next season, but his reported contract demands are a little rich for the front office's taste. He is said to want a multiyear deal that will pay him in excess of $4 million a year. He had an .874 OPS and hit only .270 with runners in scoring position, but he still lead the team in homers, RBIs and total bases. Softbank has offered him around $2.5 million.
The problem for the Hawks, presuming that Hiroki Kokubo doesn't leave Yomiuri, is that if they don't have a power bat to protect Nobuhiko Matsunaka teams will just walk him or pitch around him even more than they did this year and go after the 98 pound weaklings to follow unless Nobuhiro Matsuda or Tomoaki Egawa suddenly emerge as consistent power threats. That is unlikely to happen next season.
Manager Sadaharu Oh will attend the club's fall camp, but he will do so only on a sporadic basis since he ins't phycially up to being there all day every day.