Baseball / MLB

PL's merger crisis leaves CL schedule up in the air


The Central League schedule for the next season is up in the air amid the fiasco created by merger plans between Pacific League teams that have fueled speculation about a possible realignment into one league.

Officials of the six CL baseball clubs in charge of business operations failed to work on any details of the 2005 regular season calendar when they met in Nagano before an All-Star game held at Nagano Olympic Stadium.

“Until last year, we decided on a lot more things by this time of the season than we’ve done so far this year,” said Hiroshi Sasagawa, head of business operations at the Yokohama BayStars. “Even if we agree on something now, it would have to be reconsidered later.”

The core framework of the schedule for next season is normally worked out by the end of August after assessing such details as the availability of stadiums and feasibility of holding regular-season games at regional venues away from any of the teams’ hometowns.

At Sunday’s meeting, the CL clubs decided to put their scheduling work on hold until the set-up of Japanese professional baseball for the next season takes clearer shape.