First bullet points collection in a couple of days... favoring English articles for this round.
- Congratulations to 36 year-old 3rd baseman Scott McClain, who slugged his first MLB home run for the Giants last week. McClain played four seasons with Seibu in the early 00's and had a strong year in ‘01.
- The Yankees sent exec Gene Michael on scouting trip to Japan. The usual suspects are named in the article: Koji Uehara, Kenshin Kawakami and Hitoki Iwase. I suspect Michael might have a look at Junichi Tazawa as well.
- Deanna has more great photos from an NPB minor league game on her blog, including this one of submariner Yuta Shimoshikiryo.
- Bobby Valentine was in the news again last week: first over speculation on his future with the Marines, then from his interest in managing Japan's 2009 WBC team.
- 18 year-old rookie Yoshinori took home his first pro victory in Yakult's Sept 06 7-4 win over Yomiuri.
- Junichi Tazawa continues to impress both Japanese and American scouts, this time with 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief in Eneos's 1-0 win over JFE in the Industrial League Tokyo Intercity Baseball Tournament. Scouts from the Yokohama BayStars, Yankees, and Pirates as well as Braves GM Frank Wren were in attendance. When asked about Tazawa, Yankees scout Kida commented, "please ask Cashman".
- Orix has gone on a tear and gotten themselves all the way into 2nd place in the Pacific League. This has pleased team owner Miyauchi, who commented: "the team is clicking" (note: that's a very loose translation).
- However, assuming Orix makes the playoffs they'll have to compete without retiring slugger Kazuhiro Kiyohara, who intends to stop playing after his October 1 retirement ceremony. I've never been a Kiyohara fan, but I'd like to see him go out on a high note.
- Chunichi super-sub Tomas De La Rosa is making a play to stick with the team for next season. He's considered a key man in the team's run up to a playoff spot.