The NPB held a managers meeting in Tokyo on July 17. Yokohama's Kiyoshi Nakahata presided over the meeting that lasted about two hours. Managers exchanged ideas on how to shorten games. Suggestions relating to batter walk-up music and adjusting time limits on player substitutions were discussed. A commissioner's award recognizing efforts to speed up games is also being considered.
Softbank's Kimiyasu Kudo feels umpires should be placed near the foul lines to judge home runs hit down the lines at stadiums where instant replays are not available (rural stadiums). There were also calls to add a challenge system. None of the managers were against the idea, however umpires were concerned it might lead to an overall decline in umpiring skill.
Among other issues:
- Tsutomu Ito brought up his concerns about close plays at home plate and how to protect catchers from serious injuries.
- Yutaka Wada voiced his opinion about larger strike zones and umpires chimed back by saying the zones were not any bigger, but that they were calling more borderline pitches strikes as a fallback. Tatsunori Hara said umpires should not be cutting corners and Ito said he was fine with larger zones because it would give pitchers a slight advantage.
- Stronger enforcement of the fifteen second rule when no runners are on base during Phoenix League games (trial run).
The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association held a board meeting and a union meeting in Tokyo on July 17.
- The board agreed to hold a series of lectures about careers after baseball for younger players later this year in November.
- The union discussed upcoming rule changes to protect catchers during close plays at home plate. They plan to agree with the changes. The NPB will ask the umpires to work on an outline for how to judge dangerous plays. Violent tackles could be banned.
Samurai Japan and Premier 12 notes:
- Hiroki Kokubo would like to continue using Nippon Ham's Sho Nakata as Samurai Japan's clean-up hitter.
- Softbank's Yuki Yanagita is interested in batting lead-off.
- Kokubo likes Hiroshima's Hiroki Kuroda for all the experience he has from playing in Japan and the United States.
- Ichiro Suzuki is on Kokubo's radar.
- A preliminary Premier 12 forty-five man roster will be released in September. The final roster will be unveiled in October.