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Orix to file complaint with commissioner over Powell

by Jim Allen (Feb 13, 2008)

The Orix Buffaloes said Tuesday they will ask acting commissioner Yasuchika Negoro to rule in their favor in the case of pitcher Jeremy Powell, who signed contracts with both the Buffaloes and the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

"It is unlikely to happen tomorrow, but we will file an appeal with the commissioner," said Orix representative Toshio Hatatani following a PL director's meeting in Miyazaki.

"Our contract was completed first therefore it should be the one considered valid."

Pacific League president Tadao Koike decided on Feb. 4 that Powell should play for the Hawks, the team he reached a formal complete agreement with but only after serving a half-season suspension.

Orix wants the pitcher banned for a year, while SoftBank wants Powell in a Hawks uniform as soon as possible. Koike has refused to give in to either team's request.

After the meeting, Hatatani showed the media a draft of a letter of complaint Orix plans to file with the commissioner.

Although Orix never supplied the remaining documents needed to complete a deal with the right-hander, the team said it has e-mail from his agent proving the two sides had reached agreement on Jan. 11, the day Orix announced Powell's acquisition.

None of the representatives from the other four PL teams had any comments or suggestions about a solution, while Koike asserted his compromise was not perfect.

"I'm not God, I can't make a deal that will satisfy both sides," Koike said. "We all agree that the earlier we reach a solution the better, but there may be no good solution."

Discussion of the Powell incident was dominated by how it could best be prevented in the future and how dealings between foreign players and agents can be better structured.

"This is not just a Pacific League problem, this is something all the teams need to consider," Koike said.

Another issue that dominated the meeting was possible changes to the Climax Series format.

In response to recent talk from a number of Central League teams that the league champion should get an advantage in the Climax Series, the executives agreed.

"That was our idea all along," said Tomoharu Inoue, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles' owner proxy.

"We wanted the advantage from the beginning and they didn't want it. Now the other league wants to cut a game to do it, which is a drawback.

"We are all for an advantage, but let's make it a six-game series. Then we have more games."


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