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More on the JPBPA’s request to look into the new baseball

by on Apr.27, 2012 @ 3:55 am, under NPB

Here's a little more information on the JPBPA's request to have the NPB and the twelve teams look into the new baseball:

  • Japan is the only country that participated in the first two WBCs and felt the need to switch over to a ball that is similar to the one used in the MLB.
  • A meeting was held before the first WBC to discuss which baseball to use.  Someone with connections to the MLB was asked to compare NPB (a ball used before the switch) and MLB baseballs, with their eyes closed.  When asked which they felt was the better ball, they picked the Japanese ball.  When asked if the Japanese ball could be used, they replied that while the ball was nice, it would not be used because it would mess with the consistency of the records.
  • When the Oakland A's and Seattle Mariners made their visit to Japan, the Yomiuri and Hanshin players felt the MLB baseball had more carry than the NPB ball.  The NPB claims that can not be the case since their tests indicated otherwise.
  • The players appear to be concerned with the drop in offensive production (the batter/pitcher match-ups are no longer fair) and with what the fans think (are they happy with lower scoring games).

There were also some interesting tweets from Don Nomura and Yu Darvish.

Nomura first questioned why the JPBPA was complaining about the new baseball because it was something that was also helping pitchers out (and pitchers are also part of the JPBPA).  He followed that up the next day by saying that the NPB never consulted the JPBPA before the switch and instead ignored their opinions.

As for Darvish, he feels the NPB should look into the new baseball because the change in stats is making it difficult to properly assess talent.  He also adds that the NPB baseball carries a lot more than the MLB balls.