Japan Baseball Players Union Calls For NPB Commissioner To Step Down
Japan's players union has called for the resignation of Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Ryozo Kato "following revelations that a new official ball was introduced this season without notifying players," according to the AP. Japan Professional Baseball Players Association Secretary General Toru Matsubara submitted a document to NPB saying that "Kato should resign and be replaced by someone who can demonstrate leadership." With almost half the season played, "NPB acknowledged this month for the first time that a new ball was being used." The new, livelier ball "has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of home runs." The 71-year-old Kato, a former Japanese ambassador to the U.S., said that he did not know the ball "had been changed" (AP, 6/28).