The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) met with the 12 NPB teams in Osaka to continue their discussions on the current pension system. It appears the two sides are close to resolution with regards to what happens should they decide to end the current pension system on 3/2012.
Specifics on what was discussed and decided are not known, but the JPBPA will begin moving forward with giving players a full explanation on what's going on in order to get their approval.
The 12 NPB teams also presented the JPBPA with a proposal to increase the All-Star Series to three games (from its current format of two) next season in order to help increase revenue for the NPB. Under the new proposal, game 1 would take place on 7/22 at Nagoya Dome, game 2 on 7/23 at Tokyo Dome, and game 3 at Chiba Marine Stadium on 7/24. (The original plan was to hold game 1 on 7/22 at Nagoya Dome and game 2 at Chiba Marine Stadium on 7/23.)
Sponichi is carrying an article that provides various opinions (from players and coaches) on the new NPB regulation ball.
Hanshin Tigers' manager Akinobu Mayumi (HAN) is quoted as saying that the new ball will change the way baseball is played. Yuki Karakawa (LOT) said he thought the ball didn't travel as much as thought it might (he used the ball during the Japan - Korea Club Championships).
On the other hand, Shuichi Murata (YOK) didn't appear too concerned; he said that as long as the ball was hit properly, players will still hit home runs and that the biggest casualty will be the cheap homers. Yakult Swallows' general coach Takao Ise feels that borderline players could be hurt the most and mentions Norichika Aoki (YAK) as an example.
Pitchers were primarily concerned with the harder to grip ball. Some to the point where they felt pitchers might try to over-compensate and hurt themselves in the process. And Daisuke Miura (SEI) and Seibu Lions' manager Hisanobu Watanabe simply felt that it was a matter of getting used to the new ball.