Akiyama, Tsutsugo talk warming up

Sports Nippon has reported that outfielder Shogo Akiyama is now in the United States to meet with his agent as major league teams hunker down in San Diego for the baseball winter meetings.

Outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is also nearby according to a Sankei Sports report, working out in Los Angeles. He will need to sign a contract this week or return to the DeNA BayStars for 2020.

Williams excited about Korean chance

Nothing to do with Japanese baseball, but happy to meet former Nationals manager Matt Williams and ask him about his upcoming gig as manager of KBO’s Kia Tigers.

Asked about the reason for going, Williams put it down to the rapport he had the club’s executives from the get-go when he was surprised to learn he had competed against one of them as a member of the U.S. national university team in a tour of South Korea.

“The organization has told me they want to learn, they want to progress, they want to do different things, and I want to help them do that,” Williams said. “I’m so excited because it’s a chance to do something different. You can go through life and be a coach or whatever and never get to do something like this. So I jumped at the chance.”

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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