by Patrick Newman (Mar 16, 2011)
With northern Japan still not out of the woods, baseball has
rightfully taken a backseat in the news. But there is already news about
the charitable activity of NPB players, as well as discussion about
when NPB's season should begin, and I'd like to share those items
tonight. No opinion here, just news.
- It looks like the current proposal is to open the Central League's season on March 25, and the Pacific League's on April 12. The Rakuten Golden Eagles will likely borrow Kobe's newly renamed Hotto Motto Stadium to open the season.
- Not everyone is in favor of the idea. Notably, Hanshin outfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto has published a lengthy commentary against the idea
in Nikkan Sports. His point is that it's "not an environment where we
can inspire courage," pointing out that dead bodies are still being
found, and people are still lacking food, water and electricity.
- Meanwhile Yakult infielder Shinya Miyamoto suggests delaying opening day into April, and playing for charity.
- Miyamoto's former teammate and boss Atsuya Furuta is also against the March proposal.
- Seibu Lions players including Takayuki Kishi and Yusei Kikuchi collected donations at Tokorozawa Station on the 16th.
- Boston pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda did the same prior to a spring training game in Florida.
- Kenji Johjima is back in action, with a hi no maru (Japanese flag) adorning his glove, and a commitment to donate JPY 10m ($120k) to the earthquake/tsunami victims.
- Yu Darvish is donating JPY 50m to the Japanese Red Cross.
- Chan Ho Park is also contributing JPY 10m.
- Hiroki Kurodahas pledged $50,000.
- The Meikyukai has pledged JPY 3m.
- Shohei Tateyama is donating JPY 1m to the Japanese Red Cross.
- Takashi Saito has his successors at Tohoku High School on his mind.
- The Yokohama BayStars have granted all five of their foreign players temporary leave to return to America.
And finally I and my family have made small contributions to Global Giving and Save The Children, and are researching other organizations. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.