Will Rakuten post Masahiro Tanaka?

Masahiro Tanaka told reporters that he wants to pitch in the majors in 2014.

He made the announcement after an hour-long meeting with Yozo Tachibana, president of his current team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Rakuten is a successful company, so it's safe to say Mr. Tachibana had a plan going into that meeting. If the math says Rakuten has to keep Tanaka next year, and the star pitcher starts the meeting by saying he wants to go to MLB, Mr. Tachibana would have said something like: "Listen, I'm sorry but you're staying. The money makes it impossible for us to post you. This new system screwed up everyone's plans. But we will double your salary. Since you have to stay, don't hurt the team and the parent company by making us look like a dream-crushing corporation. Tell the press that due to the unexpected change in the posting system, we agreed you'll be posted after 2014."

Now, I have no idea what Masahiro Tanaka is like in person. I can only guess based on watching his postgame interviews, and I'm not sure that's even worth doing. But I'll say anyway that he seems like a standup guy. He seems like a guy who's focused on being the best baseball player he can possibly be.

At that point in the conversation, he could either say to the president of his team, "Okay, I understand, let's win another championship and I'll go after the 2014 season" or he could say, "No, I want to go to MLB now, and if you don't post me, fine, but I'm telling the media that I want to go." If the former, Rakuten is relieved, but we know that's not what happened because Tanaka was very clear that he wants to pitch in the U.S. in 2014.

If the latter, what does Rakuten do?


Leave it all on the field

It's common to hear ballplayers say they leave everything on the field. An exhilarating concept.

It occurred to me that athletes in Japan strive for the same thing. They call it:


Bobby Valentine on Japanese baseball

I had the opportunity to hear Bobby Valentine speak.

It's strikingly clear how Japan's love of baseball inspires him.

Mr. V talked about a serious issue the Japanese professional baseball leagues face. NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) has 12 teams. Roughly the same number of the best Japanese players played in the MLB this year, and the situation looks to be similar next season. As a result, the level of competition has dipped in Japan. Fan interest has decreased, too.

It's natural for athletes to seek the biggest stage and the toughest competition, so moving from NPB to MLB should not be discouraged.

Bobby Valentine's main point was that Pro Yakyu (which is what 


Honored to be mentioned

What a great feeling to contribute to the source of inspiration.


On DL, Uehara responds to fans on website

Orioles pitcher Koji Uehara has landed on the DL for the second time this season.

Over at his website, where he regularly responds to fans, Uehara has been receiving many words of concern and encouragement.


Matsui jovial after Halo and Hisanori wins

From this Hochi Shimbun report, Hideki Matsui was in good spirits following the Angels’ walk-off over the Blue Jays on Wednesday, a win he had two hits in.

One of them was a 2-run blast in the 6th, his 500th home run — for those willing to count his MLB postseason clouts and NPB round-trippers (including those in All-Star and playoff games in Japan).

“What kind of combination of stats is that?” Matsui chuckled, shrugging off what is nonetheless a remarkable achievement.