Tag Archives: Trey Hillman

MLB covers up mess with “Band-Aid”

On Tuesday, Nikkan Sports first reported that Major League Baseball, concerned about the appearance of impropriety, has told its teams to terminate all working agreements with the four foreign pro baseball organizations it recognizes.

The impropriety mentioned in the order, was that of MLB teams making contact with players under contract with or reserved by foreign clubs that violate the protocol agreements MLB has with Nippon Professional Baseball, the Korea Baseball Organization, the CPBL, Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League, and Liga Mexicana de Beisbol.

That’s the kind of thing that got the Los Angeles Dodgers fined when, according to Adrian Gonzalez, Andrew Friedman and the club’s brass asked him to bring Dodgers gifts to Shohei Ohtani in 2016.

Shohei Ohtani with Edgar and Adrian Gonzalez at Tokyo Dome in 2016.

“‘Hey, if we give you a care package for him, will you present it to him? Because we cannot pursue him, it’s against the rules, but you as a person can obviously take whatever you want to any player. Of course, the Dodgers got fined and in trouble for that. But they paid their fines. They knew there was a possibility and the team paid their fines.”

-Adrian Gonzalez to Dodger Blue in January, 2024

The March 4 order from the office of the commissioner forced teams to suspend all existing agreements and prohibited them from creating new ones. It also ended any exchange of coaches, something that has alerted both MLB organizations and Japanese coaches to different ways baseball can be taught and learned.

Such beneficial exchanges are now over, because the commissioner’s office says that they create a situation where tampering with players can occur.

The order reads in part as follows:

Continue reading MLB covers up mess with “Band-Aid”

Tatsunori Hara retrospective, part 1

In the aftermath of Tatsunori Hara’s “stepping down” as Giants manager for ostensibly the third and final time, I thought it was time to do some research into his interesting tenures in Yomiuri Land.

There were a variety of stories out there trying to explain Hara’s failure to get the league’s wealthiest team into the upper division for two consecutive seasons. One of the more interesting takes was the team’s failure to land free agent catcher and 2019 Pacific League MVP Tomoya Mori. Despite a personal appeal from Hara, Mori selected the two-time defending PL champions – and his hometown team – Osaka’s Orix Buffaloes.

This point was brought up in a few stories that also blamed Hara’s failure on his annual turnover of coaches, or player injuries, or the players simply not trying hard enough.

We assume that Yomiuri has the best access in NPB to domestic talent, both amateur and professional, but how much is that really worth on average each season? To find out, I looked up every player in NPB who had played for a different team the year before and how much they produced that year, while also making note of the team that lost that individual.

Hara won nine pennants with the Yomiuri Giants and three Japan Series championships, and won more regular season games than any other Yomiuri manager. Let’s see how he compares to other contemporary managers with 500 or more games managed.

Continue reading Tatsunori Hara retrospective, part 1