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Japan goes to a standardized baseball

Oct 24, 2011, 2:32 PM EDT


From the Department of Stuff I Never Ever Thought About and Even Now Have Trouble Believing, the New York Times had a story over the weekend about the baseballs used by NPB teams, and how — until this year — Japanese teams have all been able to use different suppliers for baseballs.

In addition to the stuff about the balls themselves, it’s a neat read for the background info on the way Japanese teams and the league interact. The teams have all of the power and the league didn’t want to interfere with the business deals each of them had with their ball suppliers. At least until now.

Oh, and the new ball? Deadsville. Very pitcher friendly, it seems, which may make the notion of an American team taking a gamble on a Japanese pitcher even more harrowing than it always has been.

Yu Darvish, anyone?

  1. scareduck - Oct 24, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Not that their position players were without risk, either.

  2. sdelmonte - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    OTOH, this really could make a year in Japan attractive for a MLB pitcher on downside of a good career.

  3. halladaysbiceps - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    A baseball is a baseball. Could the makers have “slight” spec differences from one another? Most certainly. But my guess if it was that big of a difference, we would have heard about it before. My guess is they are unifying to one manufacturer because Japanese baseball are getting a sweet money deal out of it.

    Now if some clubs were using tennis balls, that’s another story…

    • nolanwiffle - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      Not entirely true. The Seibu Lions used something called a “gyro-ball” which made their pitchers seem far better than they were in reality…..with a baseball in their hands.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        A “gyro-ball” is a type of pitch, not a brand/type of baseball . All a gyro-ball is is a type of fastball with spin, no more. It’s actually a bullshit pitch.

      • oikosjeremy - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:31 PM

        halladaysbiceps: click on the “Tools” menu in your browser and select the “highlight sarcasm” option. A yellow background will appear on nonlanwiffle’s comment.

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:35 PM


        I’m the king of sarcasm and didn’t infer as such. If it was sarcasm, I’m slipping up.

      • oikosjeremy - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:37 PM

        you’re slipping up, your highness

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      4 thumbs down for giving the correct definition of a gyro-ball?

      Per wikipedia:

      “A gyroball is a type of baseball pitch used primarily by players in Japan.”

      “The gyroball is thrown with the arm speed of a usual fastball, but with a different actual speed. Its bullet-like spinning motion may hide the seams of a ball from the view of the batter, making it difficult to predict the pitch.”

      My point is it has nothing to do with the manufacturer of the baseball, which this blog article is about.

      • oikosjeremy - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:36 PM

        Also under the Tools menu is a “highlight thumbs down given due to misinterpretation of sarcasm” option.

    • bbk1000 - Oct 24, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      yes, Danieloson, yes…..

  4. randomdigits - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Odd that the whole season went by before any of you guys noticed.

  5. yankeesgameday - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    The thumbs down are for you being way too literal and not getting the sarcastic dig against Dice-k. And just to spoon feed this to you so there is no more confusion, Dice-k is Daisuke Matsuzaka and not a breakfast cereal from Andrew “dice” Clay.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 24, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      Smartass. I got it.

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