Miyauchi may take over for Kato


Orix Buffaloes owner Yoshihiko Miyauchi will be appointed acting Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner, if commissioner Ryozo Kato’s successor has not been decided by the time he resigns on Oct. 25, Kyodo News learned Wednesday.

The decision was made at the day’s extraordinary meeting of baseball owners. Kato said on Sept. 19 he will step down to take the responsibility for the uproar over the secretly modified baseball.

The former Japanese ambassador to the United States had come under fire in June, when it was revealed that NPB had tweaked the specifics of the baseball used by its two leagues, making it a livelier ball.

An investigating body looking into the turmoil surrounding the secret modification concluded last Friday that Kato is ultimately responsible. But the 12 baseball teams have requested an additional investigation by the body regarding some unanswered questions.

A report of more than 80 pages of the body’s findings will be released in the coming days.

Kato said at a news conference following the meeting of owners, “I deeply regret that I caused problems for all those involved. The report clearly points out my responsibility and I accept this. The results of the (additional investigation) will come to light in the near future and the details of the report will be disclosed. The truth will be uncovered,” he said.

Asked whether those responsible for the baseball scandal should be punished, Miyauchi, said, “This is an organizational problem. We are not trying to hunt down a criminal and disgrace someone.”