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Bobby Valentine chimes in on the Junichi Tazawa situation

by on Sep.12, 2008 @ 12:55 pm, under NPB

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“苦言”…新日石・田沢、流出は当然

2 comments on “Bobby Valentine chimes in on the Junichi Tazawa situation

  1. knucklehead7

    What, if any, are some of the ideas for rule changes involving amateur players that you’ve heard? I would think it would have to involve some kind of agreement with MLB for it to truly stick. BTW, the current agreement says this:


    "If a U.S. Major League Club wishes to contact or engage a baseball player, professional or amateur, who…is currently playing…baseball in Japan, the U.S. Major League Club shall first request that the U.S Commissioner determine the status and availability of the Japanese Player in the same manner [as American Players – must communicate with the other commissioner, who must respond within 4 business days].

    If the Japanese Player is not one concerning whom approval must be obtained under paragraph five, the Japanese Commissioner shall so notify the U.S. Commissioner and the U.S. Major League Club may then contact and engage the Japanese Player."

    Agreement (PDF)

    I agree with you that the more effective route would be to create an even better working environment for the players.

  2. Gwynar

    I haven’t really read any articles that talk specifically about what kind of changes the NPB will be looking for.

    But in looking at the agreement, it really doesn’t mention anything specifica about amateur players, so I would think any revision would have to include more detailed language on the status of amateur players (i.e. are they off-limits?). In some ways, it doesn’t even make sense that the clause "professional or amateur" is even included in the contract because amateur players, by definition, have no affiliation with NPB (or MLB) clubs and are therefore, based on this contract, open to talks.

    So based on this agreement alone, an NPB team could also potentially scout a high school or college player in the States and try to sign them.

    …unless of course I’m reading the contract wrong.

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