Archive > 18 May 2009

Hanshin Looking For a Bat After All

» 18 May 2009 » In npb » 6 Comments

Despite giving struggling import Kevin Mench a vote of confidence last month, importing another bat is apparently still on the table for Hanshin. Says owner Shinya Sakai: “I think Mench has gotten better so he’s been called up. I haven’t gotten a request to acquire someone from (manager Akinobu) Mayumi, but money is not a problem”.

The linked report suggests that Hanshin is looking at retreads Tyrone Woods, Craig Brazell, and Julio Zuleta. Woods seems like the best choice among that group, though I suspect they’ll keep looking.

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Where does the Posting Fee end up?

» 18 May 2009 » In international baseball, npb, sports business » 1 Comment

I was about to start some research on how the NPB teams utilize the money gained from the posting fee, but then I came across to the perfect article written by David Waldstein of the New York Times, Seibu Lions’ Porcelain and Plastic Memorial to Matsuzaka: Plush Bathrooms.

It seems easy to say that the Seibu Lions have been the most effective team in utilizing the posting fee with Daisuke Matsuzaka as they won the 2008 Japan Series without Daisuke. On the other hand, teams like the Tokyo Yakult Swallows has not been able to recover after allowing Akinori Iwamura to leave and Hanshin Tigers seem to always be missing the inning-eating starter that they had in Kei Igawa. The Seibu Lions are one of the few teams that have generated a win-win situation using the posting fee system.

So what did Seibu Lions do with the $51 million posting fee (about $25M after taxes)…  According to Waldstein the fee was mainly used to reconstruct their home stadium, the Seibu Dome. The Lions…

  • Constructed new concession stands and seating
  • Resurfaced the playing field
  • Installed an enormous video scoreboard
  • Built magnificent bathrooms with electronically warmed toilet seats

The young pitching talents of the Seibu Lions were able to pick things up where Daisuke left and become the NPB Champions for the 2008 season. Even though they allowed their superstar to leave for MLB, the Lions were able to set up a win-win situation in the aftermath. So do you think the Lions were better off posting Matsuzaka to the MLB?

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