NPB commish Kato talks future


Kato (right) at a press conference after Japan won the 2009 WBC.

Ryozo Kato, NPB commissioner and former Japanese ambassador to the United States (2001-08), is thinking big about the future of Japanese baseball, the dominance of the US in the baseball world, and how to grow baseball as a worldwide sport.

Japan Times sports writer, Jason Coskrey, fills us in on what was said at a recent Foreign Sportswriters of Japan meeting that Kato attended.

The following are a couple of choice cuts from Coskrey’s article.

Regarding a true world series:

The issue at the forefront of Kato’s plans is the prospect of a global world series between the champions of the NPB and MLB.

“Actually, that was not something I initiated,” Kato said. “(MLB) commissioner Bud Selig, he raised this topic in New York. It was on the fifth of January. As soon as I was ushered into his office, he opened up the conversation by saying ‘Let’s have a world series.’ “

And his thoughts on adding more teams to the current twelve:

“My personal hope is that we go in that direction,” Kato said. “Niigata is one, Matsuyama is another and maybe one more team or so in Kyushu,” he added, thinking in terms of possible destinations for an expansion. It is very difficult for me to tell you what are exact plans are, but I am for expansion.”

Read the rest here.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo’s more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it’s a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini