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[9/20/2013] NPB Commissioner News and Notes

by on Sep.20, 2013 @ 11:37 pm, under NPB

Ryozo Kato would like to step down from his duties as NPB commissioner by October 25 at the latest (the day before the start of the Nippon Series).  The NPB has yet to decide what to do about the commissioner's seal on official game balls -- there is a chance Kato's name will be stamped on baseballs used during the Nippon Series.

Source: Daily Sports 9/20/2013

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Eighteen TV cameras and about 200 members of the media were at Kato's press conference on Thursday.

Source: Daily Sports 9/20/2013

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Owner meeting chairman and Orix Buffaloes' owner Miyauchi Yoshihiko will likely take the lead role in organizing and selecting the next commissioner.

Source: Daily Sports 9/20/2013, Nikkan Sports 9/20/2013

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As the rules currently stand, NPB commissioner terms run for two years between July 1 and the end of June.  That will change to two years from January 1 to the end of December.  For the next commissioner, all twelve teams will be involved in putting together a list of candidates.  The final selection will be made during an owner meeting.  For future commissioners, a selection committee will be established.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/20/2013

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If a new commissioner is not named before Kato steps down, lawyer and NPB commissioner adviser Katsuhiko Kumazaki could be named acting commissioner.

Source: Sponichi 9/20/2013

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Sadaharu Oh may be the leading candidate to replace Kato as commissioner.  When reporters asked him what he thought earlier on, he replied that it would physically be impossible for him to accept the position.  When asked again on Thursday, he replied, "I have not heard anything about it.  Even in talking hypothetically, I do not know if an [offer] will come."

FYI: the commissioner's salary is said to be twenty-four million a year.

Source: Sponichi 9/20/2013

Oh's job as special adviser the commissioner will likely end when Kato steps down.

Source: Sponichi 9/20/2013

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Sports Hochi has posted additional portions of Kato's press conference.

When did you decide to step down?

I feel I have provided the third party panel with a complete and honest account of what I know.  In looking toward the future, I think baseball is at a point where it must move forward.  I recently arrived at the decision that it would be best for me to step down as soon as possible while we are in that kind of situation.

Why now?

We happened to have a general meeting of [NPB] members today and that was it.

You are making this announcement in the middle of a pennant race?

We had a general meeting and I felt it would be best to make my intentions known.

The third party panel will release its report on the 27th.

There is still one month before the end of the regular season.  Once the report is out, I will carefully read it over.  If I need to make a comment, I will.  If something needs to be done, then I will undertake the task sincerely.

Did the twelve team owners accept your resignation as commissioner?

They did.  They also understood the timing.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/20/2013

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Kato will be the fourth commissioner to step down in the middle of a term.  The other three:

  1. Toshi Kaneko - Sixth NPB commissioner, began term in July 1976, stepped down in February 1979 because of the Egawa Incident.
  2. Juhei Takeuchi - Eighth NPB commissioner, began term in May 1985, stepped down in June 1988 because of health reasons.
  3. Hiromori Kawashima - Tenth NPB commissioner, began term in March 1988, stepped down in January 2004.

Source: Sponichi 9/20/2013

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A press conference for the upcoming amateur draft, set to take place on the 24th, has been canceled due to recent events.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/20/2013