BASEBALL

Otani's reversal on MLB plans raises questions

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  • 0

    spudman

    Kissing his shoulder and the best part of his career away

  • 1

    hoserfella

    I called this one 2 months ago. Nippon Ham effectively scared him into signing. That, together with illegal incentives and a promise of being blackballed altogether from Japanese baseball in the future.

    And as spud man says, goodbye shoulder

  • 0

    Reckless

    Poor kid. His dream shattered before our eyes. The pressure must have been immense. He would have been better off isolating himself, but I guess they got to his parents who then turned him. From MLB hopeful, to Nippon Ham, what a fall.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    He'll regret it for the rest of his life -- if starting off in the MLB was truly his dream, that is. He sold out, and as others have said the Japanese baseball system will destroy his ability before he gets over there.

  • 0

    herefornow

    From MLB hopeful, to Nippon Ham, what a fall.

    Reckless -- hold the phone a minute. While normally I am generally accused of being Japan basher, and detest the way Japan Inc. works, I think in this case, at least from a monetary standpoint, it could work to Otani's advantage. He will get the star treatment in Hokkaido and will get HUGE coverage on NHK and all the other networks from the moment he shows up for his first training session. So if he is even moderately successful, there will be countless major companies, undoubtably clients of Dentsu and Hokahodo who sell the ad time on NPB telecasts, lining up to hire him as an endorser. Which can be big money. Since he likely speaks no English, these same opportunities would not exist in the states for several years. Just think back to how many commercials Darvish was doing. Assuming they don't over use him and ruin his arm, spending four or five seasons in Japan, like Darvish did, could actually work in his favor.

  • -3

    hoserfella

    Herefornow- ask Ichiro, matsuri, darvish if their endorsement deals dried up after moving to MLB. Otani just went from a free agent with labour rights to a 5 year minimum servitude. NipponHam know they have their 5 years to blow his arm now.

  • 2

    thorgrimfile

    What's with the "destroy his arm" stuff? NPB teams usually use a 6 man rotation (vs a 5 man rotation and a longer season in MLB). From what I understood, the damage to pitchers in Japan happens when they are still in school (too many advanced pitches too soon).

    My brother lives in Seattle. He said Ichiro never did any big advertising in the US. For Japanese players, the big endorsement money is likely made mostly in Japan, whether they play in NPB or MLB.

    So which is better? To be an immediate big shot in Hokkaido? Or to be a nobody for several years in the Minor Leagues (and maybe never amount to anything in the Bigs - just ask Kei Igawa how that worked out!).

  • 1

    TheDevilsAssistant

    Maybe a good move. Pro baseball is much different than high school baseball. It's probably a good idea to see how he can survice in the Japan Pro league before going to the MLB in the US rather than going straight to the MLB and fail.

  • -1

    rickyvee

    a similiar incident happened a few years earlier. Some kid who was a pitcher wanted to go play in America straight out of high school. In the end, he held a teary-eyed interview saying that he would stay in Japan. but i had high-hopes that otani would go through with it. i guess he's just another cog in the machine.

  • -1

    sillygirl

    creepy story. putting the pressure on. to bad the kid could not follow his dreams. nothing ventured nothing gained and all that.

  • -1

    2anrip

    if starting off in the MLB was truly his dream, that is. He sold out, and as others have said the Japanese baseball system will destroy his ability before he gets over there.

  • 1

    Clément Delestrade

    Amazing that people considers playing in the NPB as "blowing his arm". He's going to play in front of loving fans, in meaningful games at a very young age.

    And it's not like american pitchers never get Tommy John surgeries, of course there is no injury in the MLB, only in Japan.

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