Yukan Fuji is carrying a story with a few interesting quotes from Bobby Valentine on Junichi Tazawa (田沢純一). I've translated them below.
"I'm not surprised at all. I've been telling people over here for years that something must be done, otherwise this will happen. But nothing was done."
"Right now, there are no rules to clarify the situation with amateur players. And I'm not really sure what to think in terms of creating a rule now to address that hole.
I think we need to make the players want to play in Japan. In order to do that, baseball needs to re-evaluate things like revenue sharing, expanding the farm systems, improving playing conditions for active players, and creating better pension plans for retired players."
"Ever since I came to Japan I've been trying to make suggestions to the top brass. But no one wants to listen. And now this happens.
I've been told by baseball people that Japan won't change and that I should stop giving out ideas."
"Whether or not Junichi Tazawa will be able to perform in the Majors is another story. There's plenty to learn other than baseball, and going to the States without gaining any experience in the NPB could make the road tougher for him."
Interesting comments by Valentine. I tend to believe that he really loves the game of baseball in Japan and has the best intentions in mind. The fact that his ideas have fallen on dead ears doesn't surprise me one bit. I've also heard Koji Uehara (上原浩治) complaining about how upper level suits in the NPB simply don't listen to new ideas -- he's one of the players that has been trying to get international-sizes baseballs and strikezones into the game.
Ultimately, I think I agree with Valentine. Creating a new rule will really only be a stop-gap solution. If you want to keep your top players in the game, you need to make them want to stay. How do you that? By improving conditions and making things more competitive. It may not stop all players from wanting to go overseas, but it would probably help slow things down.
Yukan Fuji - ボビー日本球界にÂ“苦言Â”Â…新日石・田沢、流出は当然