Yokohama BayStars pitchers had been placing annual pool bets on their individual season statistics, the Central League club said Sunday.
The BayStars were the final Nippon Professional Baseball team to disclose the results of its inquiries into whether its players had bet on baseball or exchanged cash among themselves.
Teams had been looking into the matter since Yomiuri Giants’ pitcher Kyosuke Takagi’s admission that he bet on pro baseball games was followed by the revelation that Yomiuri players had been giving small amounts of cash after wins to players who had made pregame pep talks.
Although not against the rules, such cash exchanges raised eyebrows following last October’s news that three Giants players had bet on baseball.
The BayStars said players giving the koedashi pep talks in the pregame huddle did not receive cash awards from teammates following wins — a custom seven other clubs admitted participating in. But Yokohama said its pitchers have an annual pool among themselves based on their own individual statistics.
According to the team, each of around 10 pitchers would contribute ¥10,000 (roughly $86) into each of four separate pools that would be won at the end of the season by the pitcher leading the group in wins, sacrifice hits, total bases and RBIs.
The team said its players also took part in a high school baseball championship lottery, and also had another practice of collecting fines from teammates who make mistakes in practice and during games.