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Posting System and Attendance Records

Discussion in the Ask the Commish forum
Posting System and Attendance Records
I am currently writing an article for a Law School Journal dealing with legal issues arising from Japanese Players coming to America and the effect it's had on the NPB. I've looked through you're forum postings and I have found the information on the posting system most helpful. The trouble is, I cannot cite this information in my paper because it's not the sort of authority that is accepted in the legal scholarship community.

Based on your understanding of the subject, I was hoping you direct me towards any official documentation or information regarding the posting system.

Also, I am looking for the most recent NPB attendance figures available. Another site (the baseballguru) has a story with 2002 figures which supposedly came from the Jiji News Service, but again, I cannot any official release or figures.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.
Comments
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 8, 2002 9:04 AM | YBS Fan ]

Well, how well can you read Japanese? I ask because both mine and Gary's (the Japanese baseball Guru) data all comes from Japanese news sources. Pretty much everything I write, unless otherwise stated, comes from Nikkan Sports (in Japanese), a daily newspaper that focuses on sports and celebrities. While some consider it a daily tabloid, it is the best of the genera at covering Japanese baseball.

And here is Jiji News Service, also in Japanese. I was unable to find a search or archive facility on their site, so I assume that that's a pay/subscription service as many news sites are doing.

I searched a great portion of the official NPB site, but couldn't come up with anything useful in this regard (except attendence for last Sunday's games).

Wait until the end of the season and maybe the Daily Yomiuri and/or Japan Times (both English papers) may write something useful online. However, their writers don't seem to know how to put a table of data into an article, so I think it's highly unlikely. I really only read the English press when someone points out something interesting (or more often than not, totally wrong) about Pro Yakyu.

Would your professor accept a written note from me stating that I got the information from the <insert-date-here/> Nikkan Sports? I'm afraid I don't know of any other resources.
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: Robert Whiting | Posted: Oct 10, 2002 7:41 PM ]

In regard to attenance, you should keep in mind that the figures are somewhat inflated, especially when it comes to the Yomiuri Giants. The Tokyo Dome claims to have a capacity of 55,000. The Yomiuri Giants count their full houses, which are almost a daily occurrence, as 55,000 (56,000 until a couple of years ago when a thousand seats were removed). Actually, I counted the seats at the Dome several years ago. There were 42,761 seats (which means 41,761 seats now). Then a Japanese reporter and I went out and counted the standing room crowd, which came in at around 3,0000. So the Giants are fudging in their official attendance announcements. Call the commissioner's office in Tokyo at 03-3502-0022. Ask for Nobushisa Ito or Masaru Madate for the "official" data.

As for the posting system, the best thing to do is talk to Steve Ino, the former General Manager for the Orix Blue Wave, who set it up. Call Orix and ask for his number. Orix # is 078-333-0065. Or call the MLB Commissioner's Office in NY.

Ino and Ito both speak pretty good English.
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Oct 11, 2002 5:15 AM ]

Fwiw, according to an article in one of the Japanese sports dailies in the last couple of days, total attendance for this season has already surpassed 13 million, which is only about 800,000 off the all time high (if I'm reading the article correctly; somebody correct me if I'm wrong) of in the neighborhood of 13.85 million that was attained seven or eight years ago. This season still isn't over (and won't be for another week or so). Consequently, my first analysis is that there has been little or no decline in attendance due to the recent phenomenon that certain superstar Japanese players going to MLB at least to his point in time.

One thing I've been pondering is that due to the popularity of high school baseball (well, specifically, the Koshien Tournament), I think a lot of fans see players from their schoolboy days and then follow them into their later life to see how they will do in the pros. For example, there is a shortstop named Nagata from Chiba Prefecture, iirc, who I think is a really exciting prospect. He has also drawn some attention from MLB teams (in fact, I understand that the Mets may be interested in trying to sign him). I'm interested to see how he will do once he gets to the pro level. I wonder if perhaps a lot of Japanese fans feel the same way about various youngsters and that keeps refreshing attendance year after year. A more relevant example here might be Daisuke Matsuzaka. Teams have also intentionally wasted draft choices on players who gathered popularity at Koshien and hoped to wring as much as they could from a box office standpoint from that player's fan base until he ultimately fails and disappears into obscurity. The Kintetsu Buffaloes pulled this a number of years ago.

But as Robert pointed out, attendance figures could be inflated, too. In YOU GOTTA HAVE WA, there is the example of how Seibu owner Yoshiaki Tsutsumi requires that employees across the whole Seibu department store and etc keiretsu attend Lions games. So how much of the attendance figures is actual fan enthusiasm and how much is pumped up by the teams themselves or their parent corporation is difficult to determine by outside observers such as myself.
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: Casey | Posted: Oct 12, 2002 2:18 AM ]

Thank you both.

I read an article the other day which mentioned that the length before free agency in Japan is going to be reduced to seven years sometime in the near future. Is this true, and if so, when is this to occur? Also, have you seen any reports concerning dissatisfaction with the current posting system, either by players or teams? The purpose of my article is to propose legal action (modify the posting system, player agreements, etc.) which the NPB could take to ameliorate the risks of a mass exodus of talent from Japan to the MLB. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: Robert Whiting | Posted: Oct 12, 2002 10:47 AM ]

In re the reduction of free agency limits to 7 years, I doubt that Yomiuri godfather Watanabe would ever agree to it.

As for the posting system, that was the creation of the Japanese owners and was put together by former Orix General Manager Steve Ino. So it would be sort of incongruous for them to take legal action to end it.

The catalyst for this system was Hiroshima Carp Alfonso Soriano going to the MLB by utilizing the so-called "Nomo Clause" -- where players under contract in Japan could declare voluntary retirement then go sign with a team in the States. This was an arcane loophole Nomo used to 1995 to sign with the Dodgers. NPB revised their contracts in Japanese to eliminate it, but neglected to inform the USMLB commissioner's office as required by the Nichibei Yakyu Kyoyaku. Their failure to do this promted the MLB Commissioner's office to reject Hiroshima's demand for Soriano's return, and Soriano signed with the Yankees. In the wake of this, the Nichibei Yakyu Kyoyaku was trashed and the Posting System installed in its place, as a way of controlling the movement of players from Japan to the U.S. The Japanese owners approved this system -- and as is their wont, did not even bother to consult the Japanese Players Association.

The MLBPA advised the JPA that the Posting System was a violation of their players basic rights because it restricted their freedom of choice. The MLBPA even offered support in the event the JPA wanted to pursue the matter in court. However the JPA declined to file suit because of the length of time court cases take in Japan. Thus, Japanese players meekly continue to sign their contracts, which now contain the posting clause, w/o complaint.

Nobody really likes the posting system -- least of all Yomiuri's Watanabe, who is livid about it. He has called on his fellow owners to display more "sports patriotism" by making more of an effort to keep their players in Japan. But what do you do if you're running an organization like Orix or Yakult, which is not very profitable, and some big league team comes along and offers you $12 or $13 million dollars for a player who you are going to lose to free agency in a year anyway?

If the Japanese leagues paid decent money and eliminated the more militaristic aspects of their game (like the 14 hour days in spring camp), then maybe players would more willing to stay. And if they had a decent minor league system which produced a steady flow of good young talent to replace those stars who head to the States, thing might not look so bleak. But they don't, so they do.

I think NPB is destined to become a feeder system for the US, unless they can achieve some kind of merger system with the big leagues in the future.

I am also waiting for the day when some young Japanese player refuses to sign his contact, plays out a year then goes to the States to sign a deal. The team that held his rights will naturally file an injunction in a U.S. court, and, according to the MLBPA lawyers, will lose, on anti-trust or constitutional grounds or something like that. This would (shudder) open the doors for ALL Japanese players.
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: hillsy | Posted: Oct 12, 2002 4:41 PM | CD Fan ]

- I think NPB is destined to become a feeder system for the US

I don't know about that whole "feeder system" theory. That's assuming the majority of NPB'ers even WANT to come to the US. Sure, they may want the "challenge" of facing Major Leaguers, but they can get that every couple of years through the NPB vs. MLB. As for pay, not every Japanese player will get Ichiro/Ishii money. I have a feeling that most players WON'T want to leave Japan, and uproot their families on a chance that an MLB team will pick them up. Just my take.
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Oct 12, 2002 7:16 PM ]

To see why the darkest scenario you often hear about NPB becoming a feeder system to MLB won't work is to look at Norihiro Nakamura. Here is a guy who has already turned down an offer for almost $5 million a season from Kintetsu. He will get at least that from Hanshin or one of the other teams that wants him (which apparently isn't going to include Yomiuri). No way he receives that from an MLB team, even with incentives. Now if he has three bang up years in MLB, then yes, he can make more than that. But Nakamura will not succeed in MLB. Consequently, he is nuts if he goes over, takes a monstrous paycut and risks coming back with the stink of failure on him (can you say, "Shinjo?" or "Irabu?").

That doesn't mean players won't come over in the name of sheer ego (Ichiro, either Matsui, Otsuka, Ishii) or to get away from the often nonsensical way players are treated in Japan (Sasaki, Nomo). But the So Taguchi factor is going to weigh heavily on middle level players in Japan. So for your Toshihisa Nishis, Takayuki Shimizus, Hiroshi Shibaharas and the like, they are going to be darn hesitant to give up the status and money they have in Japan (not to mention the all important personal connections) for what may be (and probably will be) an unsuccessful MLB shot.

Where Japanese teams will run into trouble, generally speaking, is if they try to nickel and dime players, treat them like crap, or both (Tetsuro Kawajiri). Therefore, they wouldn't have much to lose if they try to come to MLB. But that is curable. It might force Japanese management to lighten up a bit both with the purse strings and with the thumb on the players.

Japanese, by nature, are risk averse. That is why you don't see players striking, and that is why more players don't ask to be posted. It won't take as much as people think to keep players in Japan, imho.
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: Jim Albright | Posted: Oct 13, 2002 3:48 AM ]

I agree with Gary about the fact that unless it is rather clear a player can start in the majors, it isn't in his interest to go. After that, it is a little more in doubt. As far as the majors are concerned, they are much like free agents. That will tend to drive up the price. The new "luxury tax" may dampen this effect, but that is uncertain at this time. Further, it seems the guys who do succeed in the majors are situated well in terms of endorsements.

The key question is, how many of these clear MLB quality starters will leave, given the risks Gary accurately notes. The more who do and prove themselves, the more diluted the Japanese pool of talent becomes. How much dilution can Japanese baseball take and still maintain its current salary structure (or better)? If the dilution becomes serious, I think it is certainly possible that very few clubs could maintain or improve upon the current salary structure in Japan. Gaijin like Cabrera or Rhodes would then also be less likely to stay, further diluting the Japanese talent pool. At some point in this scenario, the equation would tilt toward the "feeder" theory. This scenario would take a while to play out, if it comes to pass at all.

The cultural/language issue is a new wrinkle which may keep the history of say the West Coast League or the International League from being reenacted by NPB. Merger is a possibility as well. Distance is an issue now, but the West Coast League used to have that kind of advantage at one time. Technology is likely to eliminate that issue in time.

The point is, if the NPB doesn't want to merge into MLB or be a feeder, it had better realize it is in for a fight, and it can't afford to squander the advantages it does have for Japanese players. If the NPB powers that be aren't careful, they are quite capable of dooming themselves to one of those two fates, IMO. Even if they can't avoid such a fate (and also if they want merger on reasonable terms), if they are careful, their bargaining position will be far better when the day of reckoning comes.

Jim Albright
Re: Posting System and Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: Jim Albright | Posted: Oct 14, 2002 5:42 AM ]

I should have added that if anyone doubts that what I have described could happen, just look to what is happening to teams that aren't terribly profitable (Orix, for example). They're already hemorrhaging talent. They may recover with the cash, but they might not. Certainly, they have to use it wisely and the rest of the league must stay strong. Also, the posting of a player like Ohtsuka, when he has several years to go before he could be a free agent (instead of trading him for other players), is not a good sign, especially when the team posting him was in the Japan Series last year.

Of course, the current rules don't readily allow trades between the majors and Japanese teams. Money may be nice in the short term, but I believe Japanese fans are smart enough to recognize it if the NPB gets to the point of putting a third rate product out there. I also believe they are smart enough to stop paying as much hard-earned money for a third rate product as opposed to what they are getting now.

Jim Albright
Nakamura's Chances
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Oct 13, 2002 1:03 PM | HT Fan ]

I apologize for going off on a tangent here, but I don't see how Nakamura's failure in MLB is a foregone conclusion. Nori's numbers from 2000-2002 -- .297 BA/ .405 OBP/ .601 Slg./ 1.006 OPS -- compare very favorably with Ichiro's numbers from 1998-2000 -- .362/ .428/ .541/ .969. I don't know whether Nakamura will succeed in MLB or not, but sabermetric projections seem to be on his side.

I also wouldn't characterize Shinjo as a failure. He left the Tigers with a career .728 OPS, and he's posted a .696 OPS so far in the Majors. So if we were to evaluate Ichiro's and Shinjo's MLB careers to date, a star player has remained a star, and a mediocre player has remained mediocre. Seems to me that Japanese players should be encouraged by this rather than the opposite.

You're right; Nakamura is unlikely to get $5 million a season from an MLB team, although you never know with bums like Tino Martinez making $5.75 million and Rey Ordonez making $6 million. Either way, he's free to sign a 1-year deal in North America, which would allow him to negotiate a more lucrative deal in the states in 2004, or return to Japan pretty much the same hitter as when he left. Another 40 HR, 100 RBI season in Osaka would remove any stench of failure pretty quickly.
Re: Nakamura's Chances
[ Author: Guest: graeme neal | Posted: Oct 18, 2002 8:44 PM ]

How could you possibly mention Nakamura in the same breathe as Ichiro. Ichiro is a 3.90 runner to 1st base and Nakamura you could time with an hour glass, who also struggles with the inside fastball. Ichiro is dominating in the USA because he is aloud to play his game and is not tied up with the defensive way the Japanese play, bunting runners to 2nd in the 1st inning. My point here is that Ichiro had areas he could improve on by the way the game is played in the States, Nakamura will be the same guy.
Re: Nakamura's Chances
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Oct 20, 2002 7:08 AM | HT Fan ]

If Nakamura is the "same guy" in the States as you suggest -- i.e. 40+ HR, 100+ RBI, 1.000+ OPS -- I think his new team would be very, very happy.

That said, I'd expect Nori's production to drop off, probably a lot, much like Ichiro's has. Ichiro hit .362/.428/.541 over his final three seasons with the Blue Wave versus .336/.385/.441 so far with Seattle, an OPS decrease of 143 points.
Attendance Records
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 12, 2002 10:27 PM | YBS Fan ]

To give you a quick idea of attendance with a few games remaining, here's the "unofficial and most likely flawed" data I'd been keeping all season.
Central League
+------+--------------+-------+------------+----------+
| Home | Stadium | Games | Attendance | Att/Game |
+------+--------------+-------+------------+----------+
| CD | Fukui | 1 | 11000 | 11000 |
| CD | Gifu | 1 | 16000 | 16000 |
| CD | Hamamatsu | 1 | 15000 | 15000 |
| CD | Kanazawa | 1 | 16000 | 16000 |
| CD | Nagoya Dome | 64 | 2314000 | 36156 |
| CD | Tomiyama | 1 | 16000 | 16000 |
| CD | Toyohashi | 1 | 16000 | 16000 |
| CD | == Totals == | 70 | 2404000 | 34342 |
| HC | Fukui | 1 | 22000 | 22000 |
| HC | Hakodate | 2 | 22000 | 11000 |
| HC | Hiroshima | 59 | 847000 | 14356 |
| HC | Kurashiki | 2 | 54000 | 27000 |
| HC | Morioka | 1 | 18000 | 18000 |
| HC | Onomichi | 1 | 15000 | 15000 |
| HC | Sendai | 2 | 30000 | 15000 |
| HC | Tomiyama | 1 | 28000 | 28000 |
| HC | == Totals == | 69 | 1036000 | 15014 |
| HT | Koshien | 65 | 2531000 | 38938 |
| HT | Kurashiki | 1 | 24000 | 24000 |
| HT | Osaka Dome | 3 | 87000 | 29000 |
| HT | == Totals == | 69 | 2642000 | 38289 |
| YBS | Hiratsuka | 2 | 44000 | 22000 |
| YBS | Jingu | 3 | 82000 | 27333 |
| YBS | Nagasaki | 1 | 12000 | 12000 |
| YBS | Saga | 1 | 14000 | 14000 |
| YBS | Sagamihara | 2 | 32000 | 16000 |
| YBS | Sapporo Dome | 4 | 106000 | 26500 |
| YBS | Shizuoka | 1 | 26000 | 26000 |
| YBS | Yokohama | 56 | 1219000 | 21768 |
| YBS | == Totals == | 70 | 1535000 | 21928 |
| YG | Fukuoka Dome | 3 | 144000 | 48000 |
| YG | Osaka Dome | 2 | 96000 | 48000 |
| YG | Sapporo Dome | 3 | 133500 | 44500 |
| YG | Tokyo Dome | 62 | 3410000 | 55000 |
| YG | == Totals == | 70 | 3783500 | 54050 |
| YS | Chiba Marine | 3 | 92000 | 30667 |
| YS | Jingu | 56 | 1484000 | 26500 |
| YS | Matsuyama | 2 | 30000 | 15000 |
| YS | Nagasaki | 2 | 44000 | 22000 |
| YS | Sapporo Dome | 4 | 81000 | 20250 |
| YS | Yamagata | 2 | 40000 | 20000 |
| YS | == Totals == | 69 | 1771000 | 25666 |
+------+--------------+-------+------------+----------+

Pacific League
+------+--------------+-------+------------+----------+
| Home | Stadium | Games | Attendance | Att/Game |
+------+--------------+-------+------------+----------+
| CLM | Akita | 2 | 24000 | 12000 |
| CLM | Chiba Marine | 61 | 1035000 | 16967 |
| CLM | Kanazawa | 1 | 15000 | 15000 |
| CLM | Sendai | 2 | 36000 | 18000 |
| CLM | Tomiyama | 1 | 17000 | 17000 |
| CLM | == Totals == | 67 | 1127000 | 16820 |
| FDH | Fukuoka Dome | 63 | 2941000 | 46683 |
| FDH | Kita-Kyushu | 5 | 144000 | 28800 |
| FDH | Taipei | 2 | 23000 | 11500 |
| FDH | == Totals == | 70 | 3108000 | 44400 |
| NHF | Hitachinaka | 1 | 18000 | 18000 |
| NHF | Iwaki | 1 | 15000 | 15000 |
| NHF | Matsuyama | 1 | 12000 | 12000 |
| NHF | Sapporo Dome | 2 | 43000 | 21500 |
| NHF | Takamatsu | 1 | 12000 | 12000 |
| NHF | Tokyo Dome | 64 | 1160000 | 18125 |
| NHF | == Totals == | 70 | 1260000 | 18000 |
| OBW | Kagoshima | 2 | 30000 | 15000 |
| OBW | Kobe | 61 | 984000 | 16131 |
| OBW | Nagoya Dome | 3 | 40000 | 13333 |
| OBW | Sendai | 1 | 13000 | 13000 |
| OBW | Yonago | 2 | 19000 | 9500 |
| OBW | == Totals == | 69 | 1086000 | 15739 |
| OKB | Osaka Dome | 70 | 1350000 | 19286 |
| SL | Nagano | 2 | 29000 | 14500 |
| SL | Sapporo Dome | 5 | 122000 | 24400 |
| SL | Seibu Dome | 63 | 1531000 | 24302 |
| SL | == Totals == | 70 | 1682000 | 24028 |
+------+--------------+-------+------------+----------+

Hmm. The Giants didn't average 55,000 at Tokyo Dome, and they should have had 70 home games entered. Yep, there are errors. Seibu Dome attendance doesn't look right either. I'll go through and fix it after the official totals are released.

[* Denominator of 68 games fixed from 28 games to give more reasonable total of 15,558.82 per game on Oct 13, 2002 4:22 PM JST]

[Tables and corresponding Central League and Pacific League downloadable files updated on Oct 14, 2002 6:42 PM JST]

Re: Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: null | Posted: Oct 13, 2002 12:15 AM ]

You might want to check the Orix BlueWave's attendance too. The number of games field doesn't seem to be tallied correctly giving them an avg of 30 some thousand per game.
Re: Attendance Records
[ Author: Guest: Robert Whiting | Posted: Oct 13, 2002 10:22 AM ]

One could argue that JPB is already a feeder system for the MLB. They have already surrendered their finest hitter ever to North America, along with a pitcher who was arguably the best of his era and a number of other good players as well. There is no doubt more to come. Moroever, MLB teams have now begun to cast their eye on amateur players in Japan, which will further dilute the talent pool in this country.

Gary has a good point when he says that not everyone who has the ability to play in the MLB has the desire and that not everyone who has the desire has the ability. Jim has a good point when he indicates that it's the ones who qualify on both counts that are the problem.

It would be nice if Japanese teams invested more money in their organizations, in order to pay higher salaries (although that wasn't the prime factor in Ichiro and Nomo's respective decisions to leave), and develop deeper minor leagues systems. And it would be nice if they took other steps to make their organizations more appealing to Japanese athletes. However, given their history as primarily shills for products of the parent company, I'm not optimistic.

I'm sure Japanese baseball will survive. But in what condition is the question. I am old enough to remember when the powers-that-be in JPB spoke of challenging the Americans for a real world series title. They don't talk that way anymore. And that's a pity.

P.S. To Michael Westbay: Congratulations on a fine website.
NPB as MLB Feeder
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 13, 2002 11:05 PM | YBS Fan ]

First of all, thanks for the complement. I must say, I was (pleasantly) shocked to see you replying to a quote from your book. But it's the people who post that make the site, and other work has prevented me from being the most prolific writer lately. Thank you, nonetheless.

So far as the MLB feeder concerns go, we've had "Doom and Gloom threads (too many to count) since at least May of 2001. I've always been able to refute the silly assumptions and/or the lack of an overall context that most of the English press (most never having ever set foot in Japan) has spewed out. I think that a lot of Garland-san's arguments are based on those threads, having been able to tune them a little more with each rising of the subject.

Albright-san is bringing in a new interpretation which isn't so easy to throw aside. It's not something I'm ready to challenge right now.

Most disturbing to me, though, was your statement:

[...] I am old enough to remember when the powers-that-be in JPB spoke of challenging the Americans for a real world series title. They don't talk that way anymore. And that's a pity.

I haven't been aware of the powers-that-be behind the scenes nearly long enough to have seen such a fall. It does seem to me that under Watanabe-owner's "leadership" that the Giants have lost a great deal of their former power - over the media and fans - which should be good for Pro Yakyu in the long run.

The big question to me is, how much longer until there is a coup d' tat that finally overthrows Watanabe's power, and will the resulting governance be stonger or weaker? Granted, finanacial, political, and environmental pressure from the MLB should speed things up. But will the powers-that-be go for a quick fix or a more stable solution? Come back to this thread in a few years and see?

Re: NPB as MLB Feeder
[ Author: Guest: Jim Albright | Posted: Oct 14, 2002 12:38 AM ]

I think the English press is rather accurate in its assessment of Major League Baseball. That is, the major league camel has its nose inside the Japanese baseball tent, and over time, it is going to take a tremendous effort to keep that camel out of the tent. Where I think they are mistaken is in their assumptions as to how quickly this process will play out. History has shown that good leagues can last a while against major league encroachments, especially if they have the kinds of advantages (distance, culture, language) that NPB does. However, each of those advantages can be overcome by technology, more Japanese in the majors, and money.

This is especially true if the Japanese talent pool is drained, slowly at first, but with increasing speed (much like a dam break starting with a slow leak leading to a catastrophic failure), thus undermining the ability of Japanese teams to compete for Japan's own best players, much less other good players they may unearth. To me, this is the very real danger to Japanese baseball as we know it. It is possible that the majors might prefer merger to the course it took in just putting teams on the West Coast in order to ingratiate itself with the Japanese fans they would want to woo.

I don't think the majors are thinking in those terms yet, but their history has been a lot like the way the Americans treated the Native Americans, where they made one treaty, kept it until they found it inconvenient, forced a new treaty which suited them on the Native Americans (who lacked the might to oppose this), kept that treaty until it was incovenient (or the Native Americans tried by force of arms to regain some of their lost rights, only to be defeated), then forced a newer treaty on the Native Americans which took even more away from those Natives, and so on. Bill James has made this analogy to the major leagues and their treatment of the minor leagues, and I find it an apt one.

The advantages of NPB may be enough to avoid this slow erosion into merger or feeder status, but only if the NPB powers-that-be are smart enough to realize the danger they face and react appropriately to it. They will have to make the players much more partners in the Japanese game rather than the rather well paid servants they currently are treated as. The idea would be the Japanese players are partners in seeing that independent Japanese baseball survives. I think such an approach would stave off the incursion of the majors, and even if it does not, peace with the majors would come at far more favorable terms. From where I sit, I doubt the powers-that-be will act that way in time. Once it is too late, it will be useless to close the barn door once the horse has bolted, so to speak.

Jim Albright
Re: NPB as MLB Feeder
[ Author: Guest: robert whiting | Posted: Oct 14, 2002 6:57 AM ]

To quote my friend, baseball writer Masyuki Tamaki, "The only way to save Japanese professional baseball is to destroy it. Let's start with the Giants."

Inre the 1st game, keep in mind that the date for that historic contest has been pushed back more than once since 1989 when "Wa" came out as reserachers find new historical records. It's an ongoing process with periodic new discoveries. We're probably not through yet, as officials at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum like to point out these days.
Re: Attendance Records
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 13, 2002 6:09 PM | YBS Fan ]

- You might want to check [...]

Thank you. As pointed out above, 28 total games was change to 68 giving a more reasonable per game attendance rate. That was a good catch.

If anyone else wants to help check the data, I've created a couple of raw CSV (tab delimeted) files with scores, attendance, and game times for the Central League and Pacific League. For reference, the fields are:

GameID: I need this for database reference,
Date: The "Month"/"Day of the game,
Stadium: Name of the stadium or \N if unknown,
StartTime: The time the game started,
Visitors: The visiting team's abbriviated name,
V-Score: Final score for the visiting team,
H-Score: Final score for the home team,
Home: The home team's abbriviated name,
Attendance: Announced attendance,
GameTime: Time the game took to play or \N if no played,
Innings: Total innings played (no fractions),
Comment: Rain out, called game, etc.

While the CSV files can be edited in Excel, I can't read files saved in Excel's proprietary format. So please don't send me the corrections in XLS file attachments. It would be most useful to just sent me the lines that were corrected in comma or tab delimeted records. (Am I getting too technical? Occupational hazzard.)

Again, I would like to stress that these figures are rough and should be used to give those too impatant to wait for the official results, which should be announced after the final games on October 18 (next week), a rough estimate. They are good enough for a researcher to form a hypothisis while in the "gathering data" phase, but not to quote from in a final draft. And after October 18th, as Whiting-san pointed out, it would be best to get the official numbers from the Commissioner's Office for anything really important.
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This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

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