NPB commissioner Ryozo Kato told reporters on Tuesday that he felt it was very important for the players to participate in the upcoming WBC tournament for the sake of the fans.
Kato also alluded to future international plans involving the US that could be jeopardized if the players decide to sit-out. These plans include...
- an extension of the Asia Series that involves games against the MLB World Series winner (a "real" World Series);
- an NPB Fresh All-Star team playing a game against a Triple-A All-Star team;
- a season opener in the US in 2014;
- and hosting the first Premier 12 tournament.