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Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues

Discussion in the NPB News forum
Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
An executive committee representing Japan's 12 professional baseball teams have agreed to introduce a ban on players returning to Japanese baseball after turning down rookie draft nominations in Japan and signing with overseas pro teams. The committee decided to ban players who had graduated from high school from entering professional Japanese teams for three years after returning to Japan from overseas stints, and introduce a two-year ban for such players who had been in university or company teams.

Read more on the Mainichi website here.

I really doubt this will deter players from signing with MLB teams. In fact, it's kind of punishing late bloomers. Kids who don't get drafted, but sign with an Industrial League team, and develop into star players later than others will be punished if they don't stay in Japan? How is this going to help NPB's image?
Comments
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Oct 8, 2008 9:48 AM | SFT Fan ]

- The committee decided to ban players who had graduated from high school from entering professional Japanese teams for three years after returning to Japan from overseas stints, and introduce a two-year ban for such players who had been in university or company teams.

I railed against this before, and will do so again here. First off, how is this supposed to promise that top talent will want to stay in NPB and not possibly backfire and have the whole opposite effect?

Second, I'm sick and tired of the league executives thinking they can basically, in this case, blackmail players into playing in NPB, when they don't want to play in the league. Players should have free will to play anywhere they want.

Yes, I know the NPB isn't coming out and saying you can't play here or there, but don't expect, when you return from MLB, to be allowed to play right away with a NPB team. It's childish and immature. It all adds up to blackmail and extortion by NPB.

Look, I know they think they have to do something to keep top amateur talent in the league, but instead of blackmailing them, prove to them why they should stay in the league.

Third off, how does this rule help NPB teams? Doesn't the league realize that, hey, maybe a released Japanese born former MLB player can help us achieve our goal of winning the Nippon Series? Instead, nope he bucked the establishment (the owners and the league - NPB) and he will be punished. I mean, it's a "we really showed him [the player who departed to MLB bucking the NPB draft]" attitude which does nothing to help NPB teams assemble a winning team.

Fourth, I think NPB is, because of one potential big star, panicking and blowing this out of proportion. The majority of the time the top amateur talent is going to stay in the country. I mean, they're young kids, they're popular in Japan, they're in a familiar culture. Like I mentioned over in this topic back in 2007:
They're like teenagers anywhere else. Girls see Nakata here, they go crazy. He can play in the top leagues in Japan when he's 20. He'll be famous. If he goes to the U.S. he'll be in places like Midland, Texas. The food will be a big problem. He won't have friends, especially girls. It's not the physical and technical talent that will hold him back.
I mean, just because one player moves to MLB, let's try to stay rational NPB. More times than not top amateur players will stay in NPB. There's no need to lose your mind and institute rules which blackmail and punish players for <gasp> only playing where they want to </gasp>. I mean, how dare players be allowed to play where they want to?

- How is this going to help NPB's image?

As I've said before too, I don't think NPB really cares about its image, otherwise they wouldn't instituted this asinine rule effectively blackmailing players.
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Oct 8, 2008 11:09 AM | HAN Fan ]

If Japanese players can reject the NPB draft and sign with MLB; why doesn't the NPB go after American and Canadian players?

Excuse my ignorance, just a question.
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Oct 8, 2008 4:44 PM | SFT Fan ]

- If Japanese players can reject the NPB draft and sign with MLB; why doesn't the NPB go after American and Canadian players?

If that is the said player's wish, let's say in the case of Aaron Crow. If he wanted to buck MLB and play in Japan, then that would be his wish and I respect that. As I would respect and expect everyone here (not saying anyone in particular) and for the league to respect Tazawa's basic right to sign anywhere he wishes without blackmail and extortion. I mean, imagine the response if MLB would blackmail players for playing in NPB? Players are individuals too and should not be told what league they should or should not be allowed to play in.

That policy didn't go over too well before, if baseball history buffs remember Happy Chandler's threat to ban top MLB players with lifetime banishment for playing in Mexico or even considering it. I mean, we could have lost out on Sal Maglie and even big names such as Stan Musial.

What I don't respect is a bunch of league executives essentially blackmailing and extorting players because they bucked the draft to go play in MLB.

To answer the question at hand, yes, there's nothing stopping NPB teams from signing top amateur talent, but their cards against MLB are very low. Unless NPB is all of sudden willing to throw tons of cash at a top amateur star I don't see NPB being able to coerce star American/Canadian talent to defect.

Also, there's the Scott Boras factor, I just don't know how much patience many NPB teams have with your more than annoying Boras. Once it comes time for paying time, Boras could make it a nightmare for NPB teams and would be a agent with a attitude not seen in NPB before and would probably do his fair share of shuffling some feathers. And let's face it, most of the top amateur talent in the States like Boras representing them since he, more times than not, equals a big payday.
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: Oct 8, 2008 11:33 AM | NIP Fan ]

Well, wait a minute. Does it punish guys who don't get drafted? Or just guys who get drafted, turn it down, and go overseas?

For example, Kazuhito Tadano wasn't drafted. Whether or not that was his fault, I don't think such a ban would apply to him. And I'm glad because it's neat watching him with the Fighters.

But Tazawa has specifically said "Don't draft me, I won't sign with you." So if someone does draft him, and he turns them down, then he would be part of this ban.

I don't think it's a good idea per se, and it doesn't really make sense, but I don't think it punishes late bloomers exactly.
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: number9 | Posted: Oct 8, 2008 4:40 PM ]

The real problem here is that the limited minor leagues of NPB means that the leagues use college and industrial leagues as its de facto minor leagues below the 2-gun level (sort of like college football in the States). But trying to extend its powers to unrelated institutions by placing restrictions like this on amateurs is ridiculous.

What the NPB should be doing, like Bobby V. says, is to expand its minor leagues by incorporating independent and industrial leagues, this way NPB will have more players directly under its control and wouldn't have to worry about something like the Tazawa situation popping up. Then again, the very successful MLB business model partly relies on tax payer subsidized stadiums (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars), and I wouldn't want NPB to emulate that.

Difficult question, but NPB has many, many things that it can improve before it resorts to blackmailing tactics that may very well backfire on them in the near future (a potentially useful player returns from the States and is restricted to playing industrial ball for 3 years instead of going into NPB).
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Oct 8, 2008 4:54 PM | SFT Fan ]

- But Tazawa has specifically said "Don't draft me, I won't sign with you." So if someone does draft him, and he turns them down, then he would be part of this ban.

Which is what makes this new rule madness. Sorry for repeating myself, but this is madness. Now to the point in hand from the Mainichi article above:
The measures will affect players who refuse to enter a Japanese professional team after being named in the draft or refuse to be nominated in the first place, and sign with an overseas team.
So yes, if Tazawa, despite already saying he has no intention of playing in NPB, and despite wishes to the contrary not to be drafted, there will probably be one team out there to try and draft him effectively doing the bidding of the league in blackmailing him and future amateurs like him who want to play in MLB. I mean, whatever happened to what the player wants to do?

What else bothers me is the part, "or refuse to be nominated in the first place." What in the world does this mean or apply to? This could possibly apply to any future player who refuses to go in the NPB draft. It's madness that the league can do such a thing with the complete disregard for what players want to do. I mean, after all, it is their choice and their career.
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: TimMac | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 3:02 AM ]

Another reason this is doomed to failure, and I believe an incredible oversight on behalf of the NPB, is this scenario. A couple years down the road Tazawa (or any player that takes this path) decides MLB isn't his cup of tea, for whatever reason, and decides he wants to play elsewhere. The NPB option isn't there, so off he heads to Korea, Taiwan, or Mexico. Could you imagine a Korean team led by a player banned from the NPB leading that team to victory in the Konami Cup? What would be the reaction of the NPB in this scenario?

Punishing free-agents for being just that is insane and will not achieve any positive results from either a short or long-term perspective.
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 8:49 AM | HAN Fan ]

Japanese newspapers tend to talk about baseball teams in military terms, and this I think is indicative of the attitude of the owners and establishment. Baseball players are seen as people who are told what to do, and this is just the latest example. Of course, it's stupid, but this section of Japanese society is so out of touch with modern times you wonder if they know about fire.

But John, are you arguing against the draft? Your final remarks seem to indicate this.
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: Guest: Numbert 26 | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 5:21 AM ]

Start playing proper World Series. The best of Asia vs the best of MLB. That would solve most disputes.
Re: Japan baseball execs to introduce ban to curb drift to major leagues
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 2:09 PM ]

Wow, not much has changed since Nomo bolted and he was demonized by NPB management and many players, too, as I recall.

I agree with Brooks, a rare event, that if a player here has the talent to play in North America and wants to go then he should be allowed to leave once his contract is up. The nine year rule and the posting system is ridiculous. Baseball players are not slaves, or I guess I should say that should not be slaves.

Given the law of unintended consequences, this new ruling may drive more young talent out of Japan.
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