In the year and a half or so I've been writing posts called "NPB Bullet Points", I've never written about actual bullets. Thanks to Chunichi Dragons pitcher Maximo Nelson, that changes today.
Nelson was arrested for violating Japan's weapons control law a couple of days ago when passing through security for a domestic flight. It turns out that he had a single bullet in his carry-on luggage. Nelson explained what happened at his apology press conference: "In the Dominican, I had put away about 50 bullets in that bag. When I was coming to Japan, I had planned on clearing out all the bullets and bringing that bag, but there was one left. I didn't notice it." I was wondering why that wouldn't have triggered security already, but Nelson had an explanation for that: "at the time I came to Japan, I had that bag inside a suitcase I checked with the airline. Also when I traveled to Okinawa, it was with the luggage the team collected and delivered. So it didn't get caught in the inspections."
Nelson bowed deeply and seems to be apologetic. It seems like the team is conducting its own investigation, but it doesn't look like this will cost Nelson his spot with the Dragons. In a Sports Hochi article, manager Hiromitsu Ochiai was quoted as saying "this experience was awful, but from this point on do your best."
On with the rest of the bullet points...
- Yusei Kikuchi, now known simply as Yusei, has been sent to Seibu's ni-gun (farm team) camp.
- Yu Darvish's wife, entertainer Saeko, gave birth to the couple's second child, a boy weighing in at about 3400 grams. Darvish wasn't present for the delivery, as he was tied up showing Buddy Carlyle how he grips his slider...
- According to the Yuma Sun by way of Nikkan Sports, Eri Yoshida was drafted out of the Arizona Winter League by the Golden League's Chico Outlaws. Yoshida has a deal to play this season with Mie of the Japan Future Baseball League, and is going to talk her options over with her parents.
- A great nugget from the previously referenced Yoshida article is that Ila Borders, who played Indy ball in the late 90's had and failed a tryout with the Kintetsu Buffaloes in 2000. I had never heard that before.
- College pitcher Yuki Saito, in the States training with his Waseda University team, was given the opportunity to throw off the mound at Dodgers Stadium. Nikkan Sports also picked up on the attention Saito is getting from SF Giants scouts John Cox and Shun Kakazu. That is the same Shun Kakazu that worked with Bobby Valentine's Chiba Lotte Marines.
- Giants rookie Hisayoshi Chono, who I'm skeptical of, is off to a great start this spring, going 14/32 over his first eight games.
- This isn't normal NPB Tracker news, but a couple weeks ago Taiwan's Brother Elephants signed Canadian Ryan Murphy. To me, this is notable because Murphy spent the last two years in Holland's Honkbal Hoofdklasse, and has experience in Australia as well.