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NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato resigns over juiced ball controversy

Sep 19, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT

NPB commissioner

Earlier this season a scandal erupted in Japanese baseball when NPB commissioner Ryozo Kato admitted that the league had doctored the baseballs in order to generate more offense. Back in June, when the scandal was revealed, players in the league demanded that Kato step down. He declined to.  Now he has:

Japanese baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato has announced his resignation at an owners’ meeting … “I caused a lot of problems over the ball, and that was a huge reason for my decision,” Kyodo news agency quoted Kato as saying.

This comes days after Wladimir Balentien broke the single-season home run record of 55 (he currently has 58). Kato, however, says that Balentien’s feat was not aided by the doctored balls.

  1. 1ambetterthanyou - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Back in the day if this happened, Japanese executives would have take a sword to themselves. Now, they just quit and get a nice retirement package.

    • Old Gator - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      Ackcherley, samurai would use a tanto or ritual dagger, and their second would use the sword to decapitate them when they had completed the two self-inflicted slashes mandated by the ritual. The use of the sword for belly cutting was considered gauche. I think the last glamorous public seppuku was performed by the great Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima in 1970. He had problems.

      I know a lot of folks would like to see Ryan Braun and A-Roid do this, but (a) Braun would first have to consult the Talmud to see if his second needed to be a moehl or a shochet, and A-Roid would have to come to terms with cutting up his pretty self. I don’t see this happening.

    • hep3 - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      “Japanese baseball has become so westernized,” he opined with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

  2. Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato resigns over juiced ball controversy

    And that’s over a juiced ball! Imagine if it were juiced players!

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    So…he admits that they changed the ball to produce more HRs, but deny that the extra HRs are a result of the changed ball. Is this like one of those LSAT logic games that I think makes no sense even though it actually does, or does this just not make sense?

    • eightyraw - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      The standardized ball of ’11 and ’12 was dead. The new ball is alive (not juiced). Offense and HRs have nearly rebounded to previous levels. Coco’s feat should in no way be discounted because of the ball.

  4. serbingood - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    There is something in this story that ‘Bud’ Selig should read, take to heart and follow. This should not be a Japanese exclusive business practice.

    • Old Gator - Sep 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Bud should read The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet as soon as he retires. It’s full of crooks and scumbags and lucid explanations of how to commit ritual suicide – while taking the biggest asshole you know along with you. When he thinks of A-Roid, this idea must appeal to him.

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