News and notes from July 22:
- As far as the MLB/WBCI is concerned, the NPB has agreed to send a team to the WBC and their agreement is with the NPB. Whether or not NPB players participate is between the NPB and the JPBPA.
- JPBPA chairman Takahiro Arai spoke to reporters on Saturday and said that what was decided by the players will not change and that it does not matter what the WBCI says. He also said that he would like the NPB and the Commissioner to get behind the players.
- "What we decided on Friday will not change. Regardless of what the WBCI says, this is a decision the JPBPA made. Myself and the JPBPA made this decision and are prepared to take responsibility for it."
- NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato told reporters once again on Saturday that it was important not to have any divisions within the Japanese groups and that it was really important for the JPBPA to consider the ramifications of their decision. He also said that he did not think the MLB/WBCI reached out to the JPBPA after their announcement on Friday.
- More responses from Japanese players in the MLB:
- Ichiro Suzuki - I can not make any comments when nothing has really been decided yet.
- Hisashi Iwakuma - I am not really sure. This is difficult, I can not really think of something to say.
- Munenori Kawasaki - No comment.
- Wladimir Balentien: "The Netherlands chances just got better. (jokingly) ... [Japan has] won the last two tournaments. I think many people will want to see Japan [compete]. They should argue their case and move towards participating."
- Atsuya Furuta (former Yakult catcher): "This is my opinion. I think the JPBPA is right. I think they made a tough decision. ... Companies sponsor teams from their own country, allowing baseball to grown is the way things should be. Is not the soccer World Cup and the Olympics like this? The system makes no sense. ... The Commissioner is talking about persuading the players, but the real negotiations need to take place with the MLB."
- Isao Harimoto: "I used to hate the JPBPA. ... But this is too unreasonable. They made a difficult choice. ... I thought it would be fine for them to quit. ... I would like the fans in Japan to support the JBPA."
- Hisashi Yamada: "This is something that should have been addressed at the very start." And, "Pro yakyu players are about how they respond to fan support and expectation. They need to play. That stage helps players grow."
Source: Daily Sports 7/22/2012, Daily Sports 7/22/2012, Daily Sports 7/22/2012, Nikkan Sports 7/22/2012, Sports Hochi 7/22/2012, Sponichi 7/22/2012, Sponichi 7/22/2012, Sponichi 7/22/2012, Sponichi 7/22/2012, Sponichi 7/22/2012, Nikkan Sports