Friday, October 12, 2007

Rumors and Rumblings from the Bird Cage

The season is over and change is the force du jour in Swallows-land.

Here's a quick recap:

Furuta's replacement as manager looks to be Shigeru Takada.

The head pitching coach will be Daisuke Araki (a former Swallows player) who is being brought in from Seibu.

It appears that Alex Ramirez has played his last game in a Swallows uniform. The likely Central League MVP is now a free agent, and the boys at Yakult don't seem to care enough about winning to keep him around.

Dickey Gonzalez (who missed the entire season due to surgery), Adam Riggs, and Adam Guiel are slated to return.

Pitchers Greisinger and Sikorski would be logical hold-overs for the team (they're the only two pitchers on the team who consistently did their job well), but Yakult doesn't like people who demand market-value in contract negotiations. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

Career saves leader, Shingo Takatsu, has been told to find employment elsewhere. Takatsu experienced his worst season ever in Japan, and saw his era balloon to above six.

More to come...

Update 1: [10/13/07, 1:55pm]

Shigeru Takada, the man who has been offered the Tokyo manager's job, said that he cannot make a full commitment to the job until after his current team is done playing. Takada is now the GM of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. His team, as you know, is prepping to defend its Japan Series title.

Update 2: [10/22/07, 11:39pm]

My prediction that Alex Ramirez would win the CL MVP award was probably not the wisest thing I've typed this month. Ramirez, as I've bragged a million times before, plays for the Tokyo Swallows...the worst team in Japan this year. MVP's in Japan, at least so far, do NOT come from last place teams.

However, I will state once again that he had, without a doubt, the best numbers in the league this season.


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