The NPB held an executive committee meeting today and discussed a number of issues, including the move towards using one standard baseball made by on manufacturer. After considering a number of factors (that included things like production capacity and licensing fees), the committee decided to select Mizuno as their official manufacturer. It should also be noted that Mizuno is willing to pay the NPB 20M yen in licensing fees.
In addition to having one standard baseball made by one company, NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato also requested that baseballs be made with less "juice."
Incidentally, this is still a tentative decision. Nothing official yet.
NPB Commissioner Advisor Katsuhiko Kumazaki also issued a reminder to all 12 NPB clubs of the importance of being vigilant about the involvement of gangs at baseball-related functions. Seems the spate of headlines involving gangs and sumo wrestling has got the NPB a little concerned.
The executive committee also approved of the Player's Association's request to give all Pacific League pitchers that pitched between opening day and 4/2, two weeks worth of service time on their FA requirements (in other words, to start counting their service time from 3/20). The reason for this is due to the somewhat unbalanced schedule during the first two weeks of the PL season.