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Jeremy Powell to SoftBank

Discussion in the NPB News forum
Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
I just read that Jeremy Powell signed with SoftBank. The article says that the Pacific League never announced that Orix had signed him, making the contract void. Is that Orix's fault? This is unbelievable.
Comments
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Jan 29, 2008 11:12 PM | YBS Fan ]

For those of you wondering, the article is here on Japan Ball.

This is too weird to even try to comment on at the moment. I'll wait until I read a little more about it.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jan 30, 2008 1:21 PM ]

What a piece of work Jeremy Powell is. He signs a tentative contract with Orix, then secretly signs another contract with SoftBank. Can you say Benedict Arnold! Orix was nice enough to take the trader back. Then Powell screws them and runs off just as training camp is set to begin. Jeremy Powell has no morals or ethics, and now no reputation to speak of. We now know Jeremy Powell is not a man of his word. What a jerk.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: do you work for Orix? | Posted: Feb 13, 2008 8:10 AM ]

The Orix organization is the one with no ethics or morals. Make sure you get the facts straight before you start calling out someone's character.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 13, 2008 10:45 AM ]

I have the facts straight. Just because I said Powell is jerk doesn't mean Orix is not a jerk. They both are wrong. If you only go by the letter of the law, then what Powell did is fine. If you believe in good faith then you would think what Powell did is wrong. If someone deals with me in good faith then abruptly changes course, I would think they were untrustworthy. I guess it depends on ones perspective.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Jan 30, 2008 10:40 AM | CLM Fan ]

Yeah, I'm totally confused about this right now. Did SoftBank really have to do this to a team like Orix? Seems kinda low to me. It's like stealing a starter from Rakuten or something. This also isn't going to help the image of the money hungry suketto who only have an allegiance to the almighty dollar.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jan 30, 2008 1:10 PM | HAN Fan ]

It doesn't seem ethical at all, by either Powell or SoftBank. However, Orix are also guilty of slack procedural practices and have once again shown themselves to be pretty clueless.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Dennis | Posted: Jan 30, 2008 1:15 PM ]

I agree. SoftBank is already a strong team. They got Shota Ohba, because of a warped draft system. Now they have to secretly steal Powell away from the weak Buffaloes. Talk about taking candy from a baby. Shame on SoftBank!
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jan 30, 2008 9:02 PM ]

Let's not gang up on the player here. Let's realize that we are dealing with the Orix organization, or should I say disorganization? And on the flip side we are dealing with a strong organization in the Hawks. I'm sure if it wasn't legal they wouldn't have gone after Powell. Sounds to me like Orix didn't cover their tracks that well in order for SoftBank to slip in and get Powell away from the Buffs.

Until this issue is resolved, we won't know the facts. All we can do is assume, so it will be interesting to see what the real story is. When will this decision be made?
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Jan 30, 2008 11:46 PM | YBS Fan ]

Deanna chimes in with her take on the situation (I love the title!). In it she also points to this Daily Yomiuri article which has a little more detail than the previous Kyodo article (linked to above).

I had a short talk with a member of the press today, and was told that Powell's agent says that the Hawks initiated contact with him, not the other way around. What isn't known is if that was initiated before or after the agreement with Orix. This would be a major point effecting how things will be perceived with regard to the Daily Yomiuri's article mentioning:
"The responsibility about whether or not to hold negotiations with us rests with the the other side," [Hawks executive Takanori] Takeuchi said. "If they do sit down with us, and there is a problem, then it is up to the other side to clear it up beforehand."
Well, I would agree with that but for Takeuchi also stating, "And while we were in the process of finding out whether we could or could not acquire him, we reached an agreement." That kind of suggests that they knew about Powell and Orix having made an agreement. Yet then continued on in talks with Powell's agent anyway. Now they're blaming the agent for continuing to deal with them?

I don't want to believe that Son-owner knew anything about this. I truly believe that he's trying to help bring the Pacific League and NPB together, to form a more stable league. I sincerely hope that he'll step in and take the advice of Katsuhiro Nakamura:
"This rocks the core of manners within the baseball world," said Katsuhiro Nakamura, Orix's director of baseball operations. "We urge SoftBank to exercise self-restraint so as not to set a bad precedent."
This kind of reminds me of the NPB owners' meetings last week and a comment that Negoro-acting commissioner said. Regarding the players' objections and firm statements about free agency reform, Negoro said something to the effect of, "the players have one, unanimous direction that they want to go, whereas the owners have 12 fragmented directions." (Please don't use that as a direct quote - that's just the gist of what I understood him to say.) This is not the way to promote cooperation.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jan 31, 2008 7:42 AM | HAN Fan ]

According to today's Yomiuri Shimbun, the Pacific League president has ruled that both clubs have valid contracts with Powell. This is in spite of what was previously indicating to SoftBank (according to SoftBank's representative), that Powell was unsigned.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Bob | Posted: Jan 31, 2008 12:33 PM ]

Orix's Nakamura had the faxed contract on January 22, 2008. If he had only faxed it to the Pacific League that day and not wait for Powell to arrive in Japan we wouldn't be in this mess. Nakamura screwed up, too.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Dan | Posted: Jan 31, 2008 12:49 PM ]

I read where if Orix and SoftBank can't reach an agreement Powell won't be allowed to play. Good! Serves him right by signing two contracts.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Jan 31, 2008 7:25 PM | YBS Fan ]

I'm not convinced that Powell deserves so much harsh treatment. We just don't know enough about what happened to judge him quite yet. If his agent told him that the Orix deal hasn't been completed and he got a better deal from SoftBank, then it certainly makes sense to accept the SoftBank deal - still in good faith on his part.

Let's step back and have a look at the various actors in this saga:
  • Katsuhiro Nakamura: Orix's director of baseball operations - understood that there was an agreement between Orix and Powell (through Powell's agent) - received a signed copy of the standard player contract via fax on January 22, 2008.

    There are those who say that Nakamura dropped the ball by not faxing the agreement to the Commissioner's Office. From my understanding, the fax copy would not have been allowed as proof of signing. They need the original. Therefore, Orix was waiting for Powell to show up at camp on February 1 to finalize the process. While one can claim that Orix has screwed up a number of times in the past with unenforceable contract conditions, it was the standard procedure that failed Orix in this case.

    I agree with Nakamura that a "gentleman's agreement" should have been all that was necessary in the interim. When one has to turn to strict interpretations of laws and rules to keep a society together, that society is failing.

  • Takanori Takeuchi: An executive with the Hawks - needs a replacement starter for Wada and Saitoh, both of whom will most likely miss Opening Day - noticed Powell on the list of free agents (as the Giants released him) - pursued that lead.

    The above are all assumptions on the role that Takeuchi has played. His public announcements have all sounded like shady lawyer tricks that are within the letter of the law, but not the spirit of it. This sets off warning flags, so far as I'm concerned, that he knows what they're doing is wrong, but is trying to justify it by pointing out the failures of the other actors in this plot. It reminds me of the kid who thinks that two wrongs do make a right.

    The fact that Takeuchi had looked up Powell's status with the Commissioner's Office suggests to me that Powell's agent had told the Hawks that his client was already signed with the Buffaloes. Powell's agreement with Orix had been covered in both the English and Japanese press, so only going to the Commissioner's Office and not asking Orix looks very suspicious.

    The thing is, the red flags Takeuchi's language raises and the suspicions of deliberately not knowing Powell and Orix had an agreement are not enough to say that Takeuchi's actions (or lack thereof) had ill intent. He may simply be incompetent and blissfully ignorant of proper protocol in signing foreign players. I can't say which it is without further information.

  • Powell's Agent: looking for the best deal for his client.

    Powell has been pitching in Japan since 2002, and I assume that he's had the same agent over that period of time. So his agent isn't somebody unfamiliar with dealing with Japanese teams. If the Hawks initiated contact, and if he told them that Jeremy has already signed with the Buffaloes, then how did this all come down?

    I have yet to hear an explanation from his end, but I would very much like to hear it and stop relying on speculation and possibly false assumptions.

  • Jeremy Powell - another foreign player with critical words about the Giants' organization - only threw in 7 games in 2007 - released at end of season - announced that he would return to Orix on January 11, 2008 - SoftBank signs Powell on January 29, 2008.

    Of all the players in this game, it seems to me that Powell is most likely the one who is least at fault. He leaves this stuff to his agent so that he can concentrate on getting ready for the season - wherever he ends up. If his agent tells him to sign this agreement with the Buffaloes, he asks a few questions then signs. Then his agent comes back and tells him that it looks like the Buffs deal didn't go through and the Hawks made a better offer, so he signs that. If there's any malice at all, it's of the passive "let them sort it out" variety.
Granted, I don't have all of the necessary information to make an informed judgment call on this. But from what I have, it looks like the two in the middle, the SoftBank executive and Powell's agent, should have known better than to try to pull this little stunt.

Will the necessary information ever be released? That's unlikely as NPB is not big on openness in their governance. They'll hope that SoftBank and Orix can work this out amongst themselves, and if that fails, they'll make a decision based on the truthiness of the explanation that they can come up with to accompany it. That's just the way NPB works.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 1, 2008 12:38 AM ]

"This rocks the core of manners within the baseball world."

*

What a farce. Players are discarded at the drop of a hat. Orix dropped the ball, SoftBank took advantage, and I reckon Powell will be the one left hung out to dry.

I hope to see Powell in a SoftBank uniform, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he doesn't play another day in NPB. For a gaijin pitcher to last as long as he has continues to amaze me. Either way, this should get exciting sometime soon.

Is this a sport, or a business, or simply mere advertising for the parent company? Maybe SoftBank can do a Daiei and just give Kokubo away again for free. Then maybe baseball manners would be back in place.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 1, 2008 7:46 AM | SFT Fan ]

Well, this saga gets more interesting. Here is more from the Daily Yomiuri that says that indecision by the Buffaloes led to Powell's switch. It also mentions thats both the Hawks and Buffaloes produced documents, but that the Orix deal fails to include the necessary salary details and is conditional on him passing a physical, while the SoftBank deal isn't conditional on him passing a physical.

Powell's agent, Craig Landis, said that Powell wanted to play for the Buffaloes, but that the team just couldn't get the deal done. Powell's agent said that neither him or Powell received an official contract.
They sent Jeremy a two-page fax in Japanese. They said, "With very little time left before camp starts we need to get working on your visa when you do sign." I didn't know what it was. It was in Japanese.

We never signed a personal contract with Jeremy's salary. I have seen Japanese contracts before and they run much longer than two pages.
According to Katsuhiro Nakamura, the Buffaloes announced the signing on January 11th, but Landis denied that claim, saying that Powell never agreed to any contract terms, and that therefore they couldn't be prevented from talking with other teams.

PL secretary general, Shigeru Murata, went on to mention:
No contract is considered complete until it includes the salary terms and conditions. In that sense, Orix's contract cannot be considered complete. It is a fax, has no terms and is conditional upon the passing of a physical.
Murata went on to say the Hawks deal is also done, but said that it doesn't really mean much that Softbank's deal is 100% done:

The Hawks' deal is 100 percent perfectly complete. However, under the law it doesn't matter who gets the contract done first. In terms of whose case is the strongest, the Hawks have the most complete contract, but that is not the issue.


Okay, so here I'm lost. If the PL says that Orix's offer isn't considered complete since the fax has no terms and is conditional on passing a physical, and that SoftBank's deal is 100% complete, then how are we at this standoff still? Murata then goes on to mention that the PL is unable to take either contract until a final settlement is received.

We're back to point one then, if Orix's deal isn't complete, he should be in route to SoftBank as the league says the Hawks deal is 100% complete and the Orix one isn't.

This is what you get when, like Christopher said, the people running NPB would lose their head if it wasn't attached to them. You seriously have to wonder about if the people running NPB are competent enough to run a baseball league.

Like what SoftBank suggested, since the PL sure can't solve the situation, we should leave the case of Powell to a third party to decide. Murata goes on to mention that this is likely the next course of action, and that if SoftBank does acquire him, then Orix would be entitled to damages. Which also makes no sense to penalize SoftBank, because the Orix front office lacks any baseball personnel skills.

Where does Powell prefer to play? Landis says at this venture, Powell prefers the Hawks. Let's get this over soon as spring training is coming up soon and then rewrite the language more clearly to prevent this from happening in the future.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: orixsucksagain | Posted: Feb 1, 2008 10:21 PM ]

There we go, finally someone speaking with some sense. We have all the seen people talking bad about Powell and about the agent, but the bottom line as this article states that it is the Orix front office at fault. They dragged their feet and JP and his agent had to do what was best for him.

Put it this way, if you were trying to get a job and the company kept dragging their feet in the negotiations and another company came along and gave you a no strings contract for more money, what would you do? I think SoftBank should get Powell and someone, whoever is responsible for this (sounds like Nakamura) with Orix should be fired. They really messed up again.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Frank | Posted: Jan 31, 2008 12:20 PM ]

If they both have valid contracts then it stands to reason that since Orix signed him first he is a Buffalo. If it's not the case then any team can sign any player at anytime even if they are under contract.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jan 31, 2008 4:27 PM | HAN Fan ]

Sometimes there comes along a situation which reassures you that a lot of the people who run Japanese baseball would lose their heads if they weren't screwed on. This is one of those occasions.

Firstly, Orix are lax, incompetent, and lazy in resigning Powell (and at best their handling of the situation can be said to be dilatory).

Then SoftBank, on querying the situation, are told that Powell is unsigned and as a result they go and offer him a contract which he signs. Not strictly speaking ethical, but it shows that at least some people know which end of the telephone is the right one.

The Pacific League Head Office, which presumably is aware of Orix's previous contract, accepts SoftBank's contract with Powell. When queried by the angry (and no doubt embarrassed) Orix, Koike-san, president of the PL, says both contracts are valid. Really? Do they adopt a biblical solution and chop Powell in half? Either Orix's contract was invalid as the PL indicated initially, because Orix failed to follow the proper procedure, or SoftBank's contract is invalid because it was signed after Orix's valid contract. If Orix had a valid contract then their permission is needed before Powell can be approached and it would not have been forthcoming.

One has to question Koike-President's approach - washing your hands of the whole affair is not a wise idea as it only makes you and your office look incompetent.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Dan Miceli | Posted: Jan 31, 2008 10:16 PM ]

I hope Powell plays for SoftBank this season. It would make the games between the Hawks and the Buffaloes a lot more interesting, especially with JP on the mound. I'd love to see him buzz Tuffy or Alex Cabrera with a few high-and-tight fastballs and then watch them charge the mound.

Hitting Greg LaRocca probably wouldn't make much difference. He's used to it.

Maybe Terry Collins could find a way for Kiyohara to earn a little of the million bucks he's supposed to get this season by activating him to take one for the team from JP and then watch him run to the mound to practice his take down skills for his post-retirement job in pro wrestling.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Steve | Posted: Feb 1, 2008 10:15 AM ]

I think Orix dropped the ball. They are totally incompetent. Nakamura is terrible. When will they ever get rid of him? As a manager he sucked, and now as a special adviser he sucks. Wake up Orix and clean out the front office.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: YakyuFan | Posted: Feb 1, 2008 11:59 AM ]

Whatever happens, this is just bad for baseball and the NPB!

If it is JP's fault, he should be banned from the league this year and maybe permanently. Maybe he can get picked up by the Pakistani Cricket League.

If it is his agent's fault, he should be banned from the league permanently! He has been around long enough to know about what the contract process for foreigners is.

If it is Orix's fault for not properly signing and processing the paperwork in a timely fashion, then they should not be compensated by SoftBank. It is their fault for being incompetent, and they should just sign somebody else. Also, if JP plays for Orix, is he gonna give 100% when he could have gotten double the money with Softbank? Big question??

If it is SoftBank's fault for signing a player under contract, then they should only be allowed to sign a maximum of 4 foreigners this year and not the maximum of 5. Also, they should have to compensate Orix with either a player now or a #1 draft pick next year.

This whole thing is kinda funny, because they are fighting over a player that has been only average at best and is coming off a knee injury to boot.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Feb 1, 2008 9:44 PM | CLM Fan ]

Yeah, Powell has been the very definition of an inning eater for his entire NPB career. It's not always pretty, but he'll take a good amount of innings for you.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 2, 2008 9:20 AM | HAN Fan ]

Today's Daily Yomiuri contains more developments. It seems that they are edging towards SoftBank's contract not being valid. This makes the Pacific League head office look even more stupid than they said it was. Orix has included Powell on their 70 player register, but Negoro-Commissioner is talking about banning Powell entirely under Article 83 of the rules, and certainly it is difficult to see how Powell could play for Orix now.

What I found really amusing were the reported comments from Kiyohara. He seems to have no sense of irony, but he was wrong about one thing. It wasn't Powell making Japanese baseball look stupid but Japanese baseball itself.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 2, 2008 11:11 AM | SFT Fan ]

- It seems that they are edging towards SoftBank's contract not being valid.

Okay, I'm lost again. Didn't the same PL office say that Orix's contract wasn't complete? Then they say later that SoftBank's deal isn't complete, when they previously said it was 100% complete. It's time to get some new people in the PL office who actually know how to run a league.

- Orix has included Powell on their 70 player register [...]

Again, I'm lost here, too. How can Orix add someone to their roster that the league says they don't even have since their contract isn't even complete? Doesn't a team have to formally complete a deal to add someone to a roster?

- [...] but Negoro-Commissioner is talking about banning Powell entirely under Article 83 of the rules [...]

I guess that's one dirty under the table way to clear NPB of this mess. Though it also shows that Negoro has no clue what he's talking about either. But again, what's new there?

Second, it's kind of "bush league" to ban Powell entirely due to the league's inability to get this mess right.

- What I found really amusing were the reported comments from Kiyohara [...]

Just interested, could you give us the general understanding of Kiyohara's comments? Like you said, this isn't Powell making NPB look stupid but the inability of the people running the lead who need no help in making it look stupid.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Feb 2, 2008 2:20 PM ]

Cash boy? When Kiyohara returns his salary from last year and half from the year prior, he can attempt to make such commments.

Kiyohara is the ultimate waste of money on the Orix team.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 2, 2008 11:26 AM | SFT Fan ]

Nevermind, I read some of Kiyohara's comments that were in that Daily Yomiuri story that Christopher mentioned.

Yeah, Kiyohara needs to take a look in the mirror, too. Cash Boy, are you kidding me Kiyohara? Are you seriously that ignorant to the whole situation and to how incompetent the Orix front office is?

Yeah, once again this is another underhanded way to push this all under the rug, by banning him because the league can't do anything right and then proceed by allowing Kiyohara to open his mouth and then inserting his foot and ego in it.

Also, please Kiyohara, the league doesn't need any help in making itself look bad. The league executives and the majority of team owners do a good enough job themselves making NPB look bad. This whole situation is unbelievable and it's unreal that Powell is made out to look like the villain because of the league's inability to do anything right.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 2, 2008 1:13 PM | HAN Fan ]

The commentators on the TV programs are saying that a ban is the most likely result. I agree with you 100% John, the whole situation is unbelievable. And by trying to cover up their incompetence the league is just making itself look even more useless.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Feb 3, 2008 12:15 AM | YBS Fan ]

Looks like Kiyohara is also guilty of speaking before getting all the facts. Unfortunately, I don't think that facts would do much to change what he said much.

And, yes, my impressions turned out to be all wrong as well. I gave Nakamura too much credit, and the Hawks' executive and Powell's agent not enough. (Notice that I did qualify everything as in desperate need of more information, however.)

Now Negoro-acting commissioner is really confusing me. I had read in Nikkan Sports that he certainly didn't expect foreign players or agents to be able to read Japanese, and was shocked that Orix would send them documents only in Japanese. He sounded rather reasonable - for a day. Now he wants to ban Powell?

Well, it looks like my truthiness NPB reaction wasn't off the mark.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: JR | Posted: Feb 3, 2008 10:35 AM ]

Interesting that Negoro immediately put all the blame on J.P. instead of considering how dysfunctional a baseball league must be in the first place to allow such a situation to even happen!
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Feb 3, 2008 10:56 AM | YBS Fan ]

- Interesting that Negoro immediately put all the blame on J.P. [...]

That wasn't his first reaction. His first reaction was that there needed to be an investigation.

His second reaction, after Powell stated that he received something in Japanese that needed to be signed to process his visa, was that foreign players and agents can't be expected to fully comprehend rush forms written only in Japanese.

I still have no idea where this third comment about banning Powell came from. After the first two reactions, this came out of the blue. I almost feel like maybe some overzealous reporter and/or translator read a list of possible remedies and only reported the most extreme one.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 3, 2008 11:27 AM | HAN Fan ]

Negoro-acting commissioner is now reported (Daily Yomiuri) as saying that the Pacific League response that Powell has two contracts is ridiculous (about time) and that this is not a decision that should be left to the clubs. I would say this is a long overdue instruction to the Pacific League to get a move on.

Interestingly, Kiyohara is also reported to have backed off his earlier remarks.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Feb 3, 2008 12:36 PM | YBS Fan ]

The Daily Yomiuri article referred to by Christopher above is here.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 4, 2008 10:59 PM ]

According to Kyodo News, SoftBank will get Powell, but he will be suspended for three months. Simply ridiculous.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: TimMac | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 12:57 AM ]

Unbelieveable! I can't even fathom how a decision like this can be made. A three month suspension for what?
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 9:48 AM | YBS Fan ]

- A three month suspension for what?

<sarcasm>
For being Kanji impaired, of course.
</sarcasm>

While I may have judged a couple of the participants wrong early on (but qualified it that I needed more information), I got the result right.

"My impression after reading about the decision in today's Nikkan Sports is that of a parent sick of hearing his children squabble. As a kid, I never understood how parents could care so little about justice that I would get in trouble for the what my brother and sister did. As a parent, I understand. Parents aren't concerned about what's fair. They just want peace in the household.

Well, neither Orix nor SoftBank are able to come to an agreement on this, so Koike-chairman (I always translated 会長 as "chairman," but see it being translated as "president" by a number of other sources) has solved the problem by punishing everybody. "Neither of you boys can play with your toy until you shake hands and apologize to each other."

One thing that is really bothering me about the reporting is that many people are saying that Powell had signed with Orix back on January 11. I had cited this Kyodo News article above, but perhaps not many people followed the link:
The Orix Buffaloes said Friday they have acquired right-hander Jeremy Powell on a one-year contract worth an estimated 55 million yen, plus performance-related incentives.

The 31-year-old former Yomiuri Giants player will play for Orix for the first time in three seasons, with the deal to be finalized over the next few days.
[Emphasis added.]

What happened in those days following what appeared to be a verbal agreement between Powell (or his agent) and Orix? Orix claims that their messages started going unanswered. Is this when SoftBank started courting?

What's my point in bringing all of this back up? Well, there is still a great deal about the situation that we don't know. If justice were the goal, then these and more questions would be getting answers.

But Koike-papa is tired and cranky. He just wants the kids to shut up and go wherever it is that children go when they're not causing trouble. Parents are only interested in peace - and now, not fairness.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Dylan | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 1:32 AM ]

I can't think of two bigger idiots than Tadao Koike and Katsuhiro Nakamura. This resolution is absurd. I cannot understand why Orix keeps Nakamura around. He was a terrible manager, and as a GM or "special adviser," he keeps them around last place. If he wanted Powell he should have gotten off his butt and taken care of business.

Let Collins run the show and bounce Nakamura.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 1:52 AM | HAN Fan ]

It is amazing that NPB continues to run such a "loose ship," even with millions of yen and championships at stake.

In 2003, the Chunichi Dragons had a similar situation with Kevin Millar. Kevin was seemingly signed to the Chunichi Dragons, and the Florida Marlins were compensated. But Kevin backed out after Boston claimed him on waivers, and the Marlins returned the money to the Dragons. Then Millar signed with the Boston Red Sox.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Tom | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 9:25 AM ]

SoftBank has set a new precedence in the NPB. What goes around comes around. If I were SoftBank I'd watch my P's and Q's. Revenge is sweet.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 8:46 AM | SFT Fan ]

- SoftBank has set a new precedence in the NPB. What goes around comes around. If I were SoftBank I'd watch my P's and Q's. Revenge is sweet.

Please, your kidding us right? Maybe Orix should fire the clueless Nakamura who should realize to actually know how to write specific contract language. If he wasn't signed formally, then it isn't a deal.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 4:34 AM ]

Will he be paid while suspended, since it is the league imposing it rather than the team?
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 9:36 AM | HAN Fan ]

This "solution" is a mess on so many levels that one has difficulty understanding how it could have been made.

Firstly, Powell is suspended for three months for something which isn't really his fault. Note, this is longer than someone receives for charging the mound and beating an opponent.

Secondly, the ban can be over-ridden if Orix gives SoftBank their permission. Orix has no contract with Powell, they should have no say at all in when he plays. This is so bizarre I cannot really understand what is going on here.

Thirdly, why impose a ban if you then allow a lesser party to over-ride it - it negates your authority.

Orix messed up and the Pacific League messed up. The conclusion must be that the whole "solution" and punishment is because both Orix and the Pacific League made themselves look stupid and need a scapegoat.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Dan Miceli | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 12:11 PM ]

When you take into consideration Powell's substandard performance his last season and a half with the Giants, and the questionable health of his knees, how well will he pitch for either the Buffaloes or the Hawks this year?

I know a reported 55 million yen contract offer is a huge reduction from what he earned his two years with the Giants, but is Powell truly motivated to play here anymore? Or is he simply motivated by the desire for a final big pay check?
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 9:07 AM | SFT Fan ]

What I find interesting, by reading the Daily Yomiuri story from February 5 is that it mentions, since Powell isn't under contract with any team, that the league has no authority to punish him. If true, if I were SoftBank, I'd challenge the suspension as the league even said they don't have the authority to punish anyone who isn't under contract.

The fact that Powell was suspended for the incompetence of the powers involved is the most absurd thing I've ever heard in my years of following baseball on any side of the Pacific. It isn't Powell's fault that the Orix deal wasn't even considered a deal and that the Pacific League or NPB upper management can't get anything right.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 5:48 PM ]

What I don't understand is why the only punishment the Hawks are facing is the loss of the player in question for three months. If they acted unethically there should have been some sort on monetary punishment as well.

I must also add that I think Powell was walking a fine line when he authorized his agent to speak to the Hawks when he was signing documents from Orix (whether he understood them or not). The ethical thing would have been to tell Orix that he had been approached by another team and take it from there.

Regardless, any paperwork that he signed with Orix for the purposes of getting a visa would be have had to have been re-done if his employer, his sponsor, changed. It certainly appears that he was trying to play both sides of the fence and got caught.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 8:59 AM | SFT Fan ]

- What I don't understand is why the only punishment the Hawks are facing is the loss of the player in question for three months.

You care to explain why SoftBank should be punished at all? It's simple, Orix's deal wasn't complete; it had no terms and was conditional on him passing a physical, which never happened.

The league even said the deal wasn't considered complete since the deal has no terms and was ,once again, conditional on passing a physical, which is different than a deal.

- I must also add that I think Powell was walking a fine line when he authorized his agent to speak to the Hawks when he was signing documents from Orix (whether he understood them or not).

Doesn't matter one way or the other. He wasn't under contract with Orix, so he's free to talk to whoever he chooses.

- The ethical thing would have been to tell Orix that he had been approached by another team and take it from there.

I love this excuse, "the ethical thing" would have been. It once again doesn't matter what you think the ethical thing is. It still doesn't change the fact Powell was not under contract with the Buffaloes. How hard is that to understand?

- It certainly appears that he was trying to play both sides of the fence and got caught.

Or maybe he was sick of the disrespect from the Orix front office who were holding everything up. So he started talking to a team who obviously wanted him more since the Hawks didn't dilly-dally around like the Buffaloes who didn't even have any terms in their deal. Once again, for emphasis, Orix's deal has no terms and was conditional on him passing a physical and therefore can't be considered as a deal.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 5, 2008 4:23 PM ]

Average at best? You people are amazing, do you sit around and judge because you yourself can only dream of living out a childhood fantasy of playing a professional sport? And I focus on the word "professional" here.

In my opinion, Powell has been nothing short of a professional and always has been. He has never been in the media, and other players have had far worse injuries. Let's give the guy some credit. His overall NPB numbers speak for themselves, and it is hardly average, much less, "at best."
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Dylan | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 8:40 AM ]

Nakamura should stop fighting the PL's decision and put his efforts in finding and signing another pitcher.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 9:33 AM | SFT Fan ]

Well more details pour out about the situation in a Daily Yomiuri story from February 6th.

It goes on to mention that Powell said he never agreed to two contracts. Powell's agent, Craig Landis, mentions once again, that the Buffaloes' claim was nothing but part of the paperwork necessary to receive a visa, not a contract as Orix has suggested.

Powell went on to say:
After confirming that this was being used solely for paperwork purposes, I signed it and faxed it back.
Nowhere is this an official contract with terms and conditions, such as conditional on him passing a physical.

Next, Orix mentions that they never received any word that Powell and his agent wanted to break off contract talks. Orix official, Takashi Miyata, went on to mention:
We never heard anything from them [that they wanted out]. The first thing we heard was when SoftBank announced it had a contract with him.
Once again, it doesn't matter whether Powell or his agent informed Orix or not since, as the league said, the Buffaloes' contract had no terms or conditions and was conditional on him passing a physical. A team can't sign someone without terms, and in this case, when they haven't passed the physical necessary to finalize the deal.

Next, the story tells us what we already know, that Koike-president said that both teams had contracts and opened what has became a Pandora's Box.

Moving on to Monday, Koike suggested Powell's rights go to SoftBank, but he be suspended to June 23rd as punishment. Though, as mentioned in an earlier Daily Yomiuri story, the league has no authority to punish Powell since he isn't under contract with any NPB team, but that the league feels that they should punish Powell for the ugly mess that they say he caused, which is pure BS.

Moving on to the whole situation we're in, Orix flatly rejected the league's option of allowing Powell to play with SoftBank. The clown of all clowns, Katsuhiro Nakamura, said about the ruling:
We do not accept the president's instruction. Orix was completing the signing according to the rules. So to have this one-sided judgment all of a sudden is unacceptable.
Moving back to what has already been said. There was no contract as ruled by the league, as the contract proposal the Buffaloes had didn't include any terms and was conditional on him passing a physical. So therefore, Powell was free to talk to any team he wished, since he was therefore not under contract with any NPB team.

Koike mentioned that the Pacific League came to their ruling to prevent the situation from blowing up into a bigger mess. Koike said:
If this thing goes to court, it's going to take a long time. Nobody knows how long. I had to think of my responsibility as president.
I guess my beef with this is that Koike's responsibility should be putting Powell with the team he belongs with, and in this case that is the SoftBank Hawks as the Orix deal (according to the league) had no terms and was conditional on passing a physical. Furthermore, no punishment should be imposed since the parties to be can't think rationally.

Moving on some more, the SoftBank Hawks said they have investigated the matter and told Koike they believe Powell is blameless, and would seek to have him in a uniform before June 23rd.

As is, I expected this case to go to court, since Powell shouldn't have even been suspended in the first place. And if SoftBank does register him, Orix will try and challenge it in court. Hopefully, the legal system has a better clue than what the Pacific League came up with and gets Powell back on the field when the season starts instead of wasting crucial time needed to be in game shape.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 9:52 AM | HAN Fan ]

Powell has stated his side of things in an interview in Tokyo (see today's Daily Yomiuri). He claims he thought he was signing something to aid the visa process. If this is correct, it is just another demonstration of Orix's incompetence. I also note that Orix do not want to accept the "solution" proposed by the PL.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 11:29 AM | NIP Fan ]

Yeah, I saw him on the sports news TV last night, and he said something like "Let me get this straight with you all. I never signed two contracts. I haven't done anything wrong. And I want to play for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in 2008."
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: YakyuFan | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 11:31 AM ]

Taking quotes from the February 6, 2008 Daily Yomiuri article:
Powell and his agent, Craig Landis, have insisted they believed the contract the Buffaloes claim binds him to Orix was nothing but part of the paperwork necessary to begin the process of getting his visa.

"After confirming that this was being used solely for paperwork purposes, I signed it and faxed it back," said Powell, who said Orix then wanted to change the deal they had agreed to earlier in January.
My question is: Why in the world is he trying to get a visa from Orix to work, and has no intent on playing for them? Sounds like grounds for Immigration Fraud to me.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 1:44 PM | HAN Fan ]

I understand that at the time he received the document he was still intending to sign with Orix. His intent changed after he got no response from Orix and interest from SoftBank.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 5:38 PM | CLM Fan ]

Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before some groupie or family member came here to defend the greatness of a player. Can we ever have a big thread that is critical of a player without that guy's personal fan club coming in to defend him?
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Frank | Posted: Feb 6, 2008 6:52 PM ]

If Jeremy Powell had no intention of signing with Orix. Why did he ask for number 50?
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 7, 2008 12:57 AM ]

I usually lurk this forum because posting is moderated to the point that I have to go to sleep and wait for a response (I live in Japan). That all said, I agree 100% with Christopher here, and I nearly never do so. The PL's "decision" is indecision at its worst.

I've always respected Powell's work in the league. Pitchers don't last long. Gaijin pitchers less so. If Orix can't take care of its business then let the horse pitch elsewhere. I don't think Powell has done anything wrong.

Playing fences? He's got every right to do so and Orix should know as much. I hope to see him in a SoftBank uniform before June, but I doubt it.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: orix sucks | Posted: Feb 7, 2008 8:15 AM ]

Here's the deal, I am a friend of JP and have played baseball in Japan. So i am aware of the incompetence of Orix. I was in contact him through the whole process of talks with Orix, through his physical, and through the breakdown of talks, and then the signing with SoftBank.

Basically JP and Orix came to a verbal agreement pending passing a physical. He got the physical done and was approved by the doctor only to arrive back home to get a call from Orix saying he needed to get an MRI. So he got the MRI. Through this process time, it was getting close to spring camp so Orix asked him to send in the faxed contract, not for signing purposes, but for visa purposes. JP had full intent of playing with Orix, was looking forward to being reunited with former teammates and friends, and returning to Kansai.

But after a week of waiting for the MRI results, he and his agent starting to wonder what Orix was up to. Then Orix wanted to change the terms of the verbal agreement saying that there was a small problem with his knee. It seemed at this point as they were nitpicking and didn't really seem to want JP. There seemed to be someone in the front office of Orix at this point didn't want JP. At this point JP and his agent, no with no agreement with Orix, started talks with other teams.

I think it's funny that no one in the Orix front office wants to come out and tell the truth. We all know that this is probably the worst organization in Japan. They totally mishandled this situation and they are the ones that need to be penalized. Not JP. He and his agent were doing the right thing. They were trying to get him a job. Orix dropped the ball and someone, whoever is responsible for this, needs to be reprimanded or even lose their job.

I can't believe people are saying JP is selfish and should be suspended or deported. Come on people. Look at the situation. If you're trying to get a job and someone is screwing you around that you thought you had an agreement with, and then another employer steps in and offers you a job for more money with no strings attached, what are you going to do? It seems pretty simple to me. Of all the gaikokujin players I've met in Japan, he is the most solid person.

And let me clear this last thing up. It was never about the money with JP. He wants to play baseball, plain and simple, so with the better money from SoftBank, that is just icing on the cake. So I'm sure SoftBank will keep winning and Orix will keep losing and they will keep the same idiots in charge.

I just hope the league will reconsider the suspension of JP and people will look at this situation and understand it for what it is.

Oh, one more there. Are you kidding me Kiyo? You have stolen more money than anyone in the game of baseball in Japan. You are the mockery. Retire already. Please, do us all a favor. I'm getting tired of watching your tired act.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Feb 8, 2008 2:52 AM | CLM Fan ]

Thanks for the views of an insider. It's interesting to see the media manipulation and a lot of fans on the Japanese boards directing their anger towards both Powell and SoftBank, when it seems like the guilty party is Orix in the long run.

I wouldn't be shocked if Orix was jerking Powell around, since they already had that big trio of power bats signed up for 2008. Seems like they were in cruise control for the entire process.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 7, 2008 3:34 AM ]

- Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before some groupie or family member came here to defend the greatness of a player. Can we ever have a big thread that is critical of a player without that guy's personal fan club coming in to defend him?

I absolutely agree with this statement. While I do agree that the league is dealing poorly with this situation, I do think that this forum has been all about bashing the teams and the league. Something really doesn't seem right, and I think that Powell or his agent were playing one side against the other. And if that was the case he should not have signed anything from anyone, especially if it wasn't in English, until the dust settled.

- I understand that at the time he received the document he was still intending to sign with Orix. His intent changed after he got no response from Orix and interest from SoftBank.

How do you know that?
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 7, 2008 9:45 AM | HAN Fan ]

Because there is no indication the situation was otherwise. No one has said that the SoftBank/Powell negotiations started before the signing of the Orix document (which would indicate bad faith). In fact, all the evidence shows they started after. Powell has stated that this was the situation and no one has come forward to contradict him (see also Orix sucks post).

Until someone is able to produce credible evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to disbelieve Powell on this point. Jim Allen's article in today's Daily Yomiuri is also very good with a lot of relevant background.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: John | Posted: Feb 8, 2008 8:54 AM ]

I completely agree with Christopher. There is no reason to not believe Jeremy Powell, and no information to indicate that anything he has said is untrue. After all, JP has played in Japan for 7 or 8 years, after playing in the U.S. for at least 5 years. He is a professional, and understands the way things work. He most certainly would not intentionally sign two contracts, and risk the controversy and trouble that he has unjustly received. I believe he acted in good faith, and felt that Orix had a change of heart. Orix is the real villain in this case, and is protesting too much in order to save face. Orix should be ashamed for their complete lack of honor.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Feb 9, 2008 4:34 PM | HT Fan ]

If Powell ends up getting hit with a suspension, would he have grounds for a restraint-of-trade action?
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: mijow | Posted: Feb 9, 2008 9:06 PM | HT Fan ]

- ...would he have grounds for a restraint-of-trade action?

Maybe, but it would probably take at least a year for the courts to hear the case, and then, if successful, the award would barely cover his legal fees. And then no NPB club would ever sign him again. So it's probably not worth the effort.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 15, 2008 1:35 PM | HAN Fan ]

Orix's appeal to the NPB has been accepted and Negoro Acting Commissioner has said they will conduct an investigation. In the meantime Asahi Shimbun has an interview in which Powell presents his views on Orix. I think we can rule out him ever playing for them again.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 17, 2008 8:56 AM | SFT Fan ]

- Orix's appeal to the NPB has been accepted and Negoro Acting Commissioner has said they will conduct an investigation.

Great, Negoro is going to waste our time with a phony investigation. Orix as a team never ceases to amaze me with their incompetence. Instead of accepting that they have no idea how to run a baseball team, they continue to dig themselves deeper and deeper into the ground.

Here's a part of the Asahi Shimbun article that I thought made a good point, I'm not sure if it's a direct quotation from Powell or the author's opinion (nonetheless it still makes a good point):
Now Orix is simply trying to bully not only the whole of NPB, but the whole d*** country. Why? Because the almighty suits that head up NPB can't man up and make a solid decision based on facts and evidence.
Couldn't say it any better, now that Orix has lost and that the league is hell bent on turning this into a even bigger mess. Instead of creating a big fuss like a spoiled child Orix, why don't you move on and accept that as a team you are the most incompetent ran team in all of NPB. The league has already ruled that your contract proposal wasn't considered a deal since it had no terms and was conditional on him passing a physical.

What Orix is failing to understand is even if they were to somehow win, after all of the damage is done there's no way Powell will ever play for them. So in the end what is Orix going to win? So get over yourself Orix and move on.

While you're at it, fire the clowns that are in your front office and find some competent front office people who know how to write specific contract language and who don't embarrass and insult the players you are trying to sign. I don't know how hard this is for the league to grasp, but as is the case with NPB, everything has to be harder than it needs to be.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Feb 22, 2008 8:25 AM | HAN Fan ]

The NPB seems to be leaning towards voiding the PL's decision and starting from scratch (see today's Daily Yomiuri, February 22nd). Jim Allen in The Hot Corner on the 21st mentions that the document Powell signed included an amount of 630,000 dollars, but today's article quotes Powell's agent Landis as saying the document only included pages 1 and 4. This would make it an incomplete and invalid document even with the a stated amount.

No one comes out of this with any real credit - both Orix and the Pacific League have been shown to be lax and incompetent. SoftBank were rather unethical, and Powell was a bit too casual about the whole process.

Possibly the best solution would be to void both contracts and let the whole thing start again from scratch. Powell would probably sign with SoftBank and Orix would hopefully learn a valuable lesson.
Re: Jeremy Powell to SoftBank
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Feb 26, 2008 3:18 PM ]

While this is a tricky diplomatic situation, I think it would have behooved Powell's agent to have hired a Japanese lawyer when he was at the point of entering into negotiations with SoftBank to see if some kind of behind the scenes understanding could have been obtained that would have saved face for everybody involved. Instead, the agent acted like he would in the U.S. and now you have all of this nonsense.

However, on the agent's behalf, I have to say that having to deal with the cr@p that Orix was throwing at him must have stunned him a little bit, and with spring training fast approaching he may not have been acting entirely calmly. That is very understandable. So while I might whack the agent for not reacting wisely here, Orix has to accept 90% of the blame. I think they felt that they could get Powell in semi-panic mode to try to screw him on some incentives or other provisions and it went nuclear in their faces.
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