Rule 107: When Japanese teams deny news about players joining or leaving their team, they are actually saying, “It’s not convenient for us to talk about it now.”
The Marines’ mysterious Jackson hole
Tuesday, the Lotte Marines denied the report that pitcher Jay Jackson’s deal with the team was done for 2020.
Jackson: “It’s official. We reached terms and I believe it is already signed.”
Director of Baseball Operations Naoki Matsumoto: “We haven’t finalized it, but we’re certainly moving in a good direction.”
Wednesday morning, the Marines announced it had been decided that Jackson was joining the team on the club’s website.
Within an hour or two Kyodo News reported it was not only agreed to but was a done deal. That story in Japanese is HERE. According to Kyodo and various other reports, Johnson’s one-year contract is for 120 million yen (roughly $1.1 million).
I’m not picking on the Marines exclusively or even NPB since it is common also for J-League and Top League teams to delay announcing player moves until long after the news has been officially announced abroad. As I wrote yesterday, the Marines PR staff had other things on their plate yesterday with the official signing announcement of free agent pitcher Manabu Mima.
So when a Japanese sports team calls news “speculation” or a “rumor,” one can interpret that as meaning “It’s sheer speculation on your part to assume we would tell you the truth.”