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NPB NOTEBOOK

The Marines' Roki Sasaki pitches in the bullpen during spring camp in Okinawa on Thursday.
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Feb 9, 2024
Roki Sasaki gets back to business after weeks of speculation about future
After weeks of rampant rumors, the "Monster of the Reiwa Era" is back to the business of baseball, and the MLB questions are back on the shelf for now.
Hawks reliever Ryosuke Otsu (left) is comforted on the mount by pitching coach Kazumi Saito after surrendering the game-winning run against the Marines in Game 3 of the first stage of the PL Climax Series in Chiba on Monday.
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Oct 17, 2023
Hawks relievers and coaches endure agony of 10th-inning collapse
That bell tolled for Yuki Tsumori and Ryosuke Otsu on Monday night at Zozo Marine Stadium as they allowed four pitches in the bottom of the 10th inning.
New Giants manager Shinnosuke Abe (right) poses with former manager Tatsunori Hara during a news conference on Friday.
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Oct 9, 2023
Shinnosuke Abe hoping to join special group of Giants managers
Shinnosuke Abe is hopeful of guiding the Giants back to the Central League summit.
The Eagles' Hiroaki Shimauchi has helped key the team's second-half resurgence.
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Sep 25, 2023
Pacific League playoff race set for frantic finish
Three Pacific League teams are fighting for two playoff spots as the season nears its conclusion.
Marines pitcher Atsuki Taneichi will try to help full the void left behind by Roki Sasaki.
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Jul 28, 2023
Atsuki Taneichi set to step into spotlight in Roki Sasaki's absence
Taneichi is often overlooked because he pitches in the same rotation as Roki Sasaki, but the 24-year-old righty is a solid pitcher in his own right.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Sep 12, 2022
Pacific League pennant race heading toward photo finish
The Pacific League standings have been tight all year, and the season is heading into its final stretch with five of the six teams still in the title race.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Aug 29, 2022
First-place Swallows and Munetaka Murakami make statement by sweeping away BayStars
The Swallows strengthened their bid to defend the Central League pennant by beating the second-place BayStars.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Jun 20, 2022
NPB experiencing surge of no-hitters
With four no-hitters and a couple of near misses already this season, it's possible there is more misery on the horizon for NPB hitters.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Nov 22, 2021
Olympic memories and the record books color the 2021 Japan Series
Yoshida and McGough are among the handful of players giving this year's Japan Series a little Olympic flair.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Jan 5, 2020
Milestones in play for many in 2020 season
With the NPB season set to begin on March 21, it won't be long before players are back in uniform and training with their teams in preparation for 2020.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Dec 29, 2019
Ryosuke Kikuchi joins list of players to hit wall in posting system
Musing about whether or not certain players will get posted is fairly commonplace in discussions about the top NPB players these days.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Dec 8, 2019
Handful of players from 'Matsuzaka Generation' still holding on
Daisuke Matsuzaka returned home on Wednesday, solidifying a deal to spend his 20th season in pro baseball with the Saitama Seibu Lions, the club he spent Year 1 with back in 1999.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Aug 2, 2019
Tatsunori Hara has shot at top 10 for most wins by a manager
Tatsunori Hara moved into rarefied air when his Yomiuri Giants beat the Hiroshima Carp on Tuesday night, becoming the 13th NPB manager to reach 1,000 career victories.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Feb 10, 2019
Chihiro Kaneko draws attention from Yu Darvish, others, because of change-up
Chihiro Kaneko, as a 35-year-old veteran of 13 seasons, probably possesses a fair amount of wisdom he can impart on the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters pitchers younger than him.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Jan 12, 2019
Eagles announce plans to make Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi world's first cashless stadium
The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles want you to leave your cash at home.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Jul 23, 2018
Slugger Guerrero remains in limbo on Yomiuri's farm team
Sometimes the fake grass isn't always greener in the other dome.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Jul 6, 2018
Warren Cromartie featured in new series on YouTube
Warren Cromartie was a star for the Montreal Expos and a league MVP and Japan Series champion (both in 1989) with the Yomiuri Giants.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Apr 22, 2018
Kiyomiya shows off power on farm
After a slow start to his first season as a professional, Kotaro Kiyomiya provided fans with a small glimpse of what made him the most sought-after player in last fall's NPB draft.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Mar 18, 2018
NPB stars look to build momentum in spring
While most baseball fans know spring numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, some players make it hard to remember at times. Because however meaningless the actual numbers are during this time of year, the process is still fun to watch.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball / NPB NOTEBOOK
Feb 3, 2018
Now or never for Dragons hurler Daisuke Matsuzaka
Daisuke Matsuzaka stepped into the bullpen for the first time during camp on Friday and threw 32 pitches in his still unfamiliar white No. 99 Chunichi Dragons uniform.

Longform

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