NPB seeks to resume negotiations on WBC revenues

Kyodo

In an effort to get Japan’s reluctant players to participate in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, representatives of Nippon Professional Baseball’s 12 teams said Friday that they will seek to resume negotiations with tournament organizers.

The players union announced on July 20 that it would not participate under the current system, in which national teams do not own the rights to domestic sponsorship and licensing revenues. World Baseball Classic Inc. pools the various revenues and distributes them among the participating teams.

NPB has already agreed to field a team for the third edition of the WBC, which Japan won in 2006 and 2009. Officials of the 12 teams had met with the players on Wednesday, but made no progress.

“We have some leeway in what we can do, including going to the United States if necessary,” said Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters executive Toshimasa Shimada, who chairs the committee on international relations.

Tomoharu Inoue, the owner proxy for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, said, “The task of the 12 teams is to see what kind of concessions we can get.”