• Kyodo


Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie said Thursday he may consider creating a new professional baseball club if his company fails to purchase the Kintetsu Buffaloes.

Horie made the remark at a meeting with members of the Osaka prefectural assembly to exchange views on his company’s bid to buy the Buffaloes, participants at the meeting said.

“It is very difficult for a newcomer to enter (the baseball business), but I will continue to do whatever I can. I may create a new baseball team,” Horie was quoted as saying at the meeting.

Kintetsu Corp., the owner of the Buffaloes, has rejected the idea of selling the club to Livedoor, an Internet service firm which offered to purchase the team for up to 3 billion yen.

Kintetsu has agreed to merge the Buffaloes with the Orix BlueWave.

Horie, however, said he does not have any concrete plan to establish a new baseball club yet, the participants said.

At the meeting, Horie also called for support for his company’s entry into the professional baseball business, saying the business will be boosted through the use of the Internet.

Pujols set for Japan

St. Louis Cardinals infielder Albert Pujols is among five major league players on the primary list to take part in an eight-game exhibition series in Japan in November, baseball officials said Thursday.

Pujols will be featured on the 28-man roster, which also includes Texas Rangers infielders Alfonso Soriano and Hank Blalock, Atlanta Braves catcher Johnny Estrada and Chicago Cubs outfielder Moises Alou, for the Nov. 5-14 series in five major cities.

Pujols, the National League batting champion in 2003, set a major-league record by hitting 30 home runs in four consecutive seasons since his rookie season.

All-Star MVP Soriano once had a stint with the Hiroshima Carp and joined the Texas Rangers this season after playing for the New York Yankees.

Daiei Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh will skipper the Japanese squad, which will be named from the 56 players who appeared at this year’s All-Star games.

Hillman to stay

SAPPORO (Kyodo) Nippon Ham manager Trey Hillman has reached a basic agreement to return for a third season, top officials of the Pacific League club said Thursday.

Hillman, whose two-year contract expires at the end of this season, will work out the details of a one-year deal before formally signing with the club over the next few days.

Mounce sidelined

Yakult Swallows southpaw Tony Mounce will be restricted from pitching for the next four weeks after being diagnosed on Thursday with damaged joints in his left shoulder, team officials said.

Mounce, who had complained of a strain in his shoulder for some time, received the diagnosis at a Tokyo hospital but is likely to seek a second opinion from his doctor in the United States before deciding on the next course of action.

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