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SBD Global/April 17, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Mizuno President Apologizes To Nippon Professional Baseball For Supplying Faulty Balls

Sports brand Mizuno Corp. President Akito Mizuno apologized on Tuesday following "revelations that baseballs his company had supplied" to the Nippon Professional Baseball this season were "livelier than the permissible limit," according to KYODO. Mizuno said, "Due to our own clumsiness, we have caused a lot of trouble for everyone. I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart." NPB's tests on balls after the start of the season found the "coefficient of restitution, which compares a ball's speed after and before impact, to be higher than the allowable limit." Mizuno said that the rise in the COR levels was "likely caused by the dryness of the woolen yarn wrapped around the core of the balls" (KYODO, 4/15).

RECURRING ISSUE: In N.Y., Jun Hongo reported Mizuno said that the "juiced-up balls may have added about 60 to 70 centimeters, or at least two feet, to the carry of a fly ball." This is the "second scandal involving juiced-up balls in Japan in as many years." In '13, then NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato stepped down after it was "revealed that the league arranged with Mizuno to tweak the balls and add some pop to them." This time, the company said that it did not "intend to make the balls livelier" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/15). The AFP reported "Japanese media said there have been 131 home runs this season compared to the 113 at the same time last year" (AFP, 4/16).
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