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Mudslinging battle raging at top of Yomiuri Giants baseball club

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Finally, something exists to interest me (at least marginally) in baseball!

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I will wait for the movie.

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Don`t know about anyone else, but I can kind of see parallels between this, the Daio and Olympus scandals. They are all big companies run by people think they are untouchable.

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I've always found that the old fellers in charge have these enormous, towering egos which are incredibly fragile. They are like a delicate flower dipped in liquid nitrogen. One word, no matter how gentle, that goes against them and they shatter.

They really do need to take a chill pill and learn to take some criticism.

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Watanabe needs to go. As long as he stays in charge Japanese baseball as a whole will forever be seen as a 4A minor league for MLB.

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OH, another Olympus power scandal. Wrongful termination is very popular nowadays. After they practiced sacking foreigners for a long time, they are confident they can do it to their own people.

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This may become a turning point of Baseball in Japan. I for one would like to see Japanese Baseball becoming more regional becoming the basis of Professional Asain Baseball League uniting both Korean and Taiwan leagues into one. Unfortunately Yomiuri has no interest in this idea since Yomiuri is not sold outside of Japan and they have no visions in expanding their borders it has no use as a advertisement vehicle.

Most of the traditional owners of the teams is basically the same, Chunichi owned by Chinichi newspaper, Hanshin owned by Hanshin railroad and Hiroshima being a semi-public owned club. Watanabe/Yomiuri was the corner stone of this Japanese baseball seclusion and it is time we lift this moldy old stone. New team owners like Rakuten, Softbank, and DNeA all are looking beyond the traditional national borders and will want to use their newly acquired property in a bigger scale so the clash was going to happen sooner or later anyways.

Even if Kiyotake is not successful as an individual in his quest, I believe it had ushered in hope of a new beginning to the league as a whole.

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The fact that the same company, run by the same man, owns both the team and the country's largest paper creates an obvious conflict of interest. Of course the team, and both its successes and failures are going to be covered in adoring terms. This insular environment, so very typical of many Japanese entities, only allows for positive feedback and a perception that everything is great, and why much needed changes are never made. And, as always, the public suffers because they are served up a mediocre product at a ridiculously high price.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@ herefornow

Far too much generalization to even start.

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This insular environment, so very typical of many Japanese entities, only allows for positive feedback and a perception that everything is great, and why much needed changes are never made. And, as always, the public suffers because they are served up a mediocre product at a ridiculously high price.

This comment has absolutely nothing to do with baseball or the Giants. Did you even read the article? High price? What?

Watanabe is an old man who likes things done that benefit him and his team, period. If it doesn't benefit him, he doesn't like it. The Giants are his little fiefdom and he tries to intimidate all the other owners into following his will, and unfortunately they mostly do because he is loud and old.

But really, this is not some massive scandal like Olympus! I think something is very much lost in translation if the English-speaking public sees it that way. This sort of infighting happens all the time in NPB, it only seems to make the international press if it involves a foreigner (Valentine vs the Setoyama clique at Lotte) or the Giants. It's mostly an amusing bit if schadenfreude for all us Yomiuri haters.

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The fact that the same company, run by the same man, owns both the team and the country's largest paper creates an obvious conflict of interest.

Why? The Disney Company owned the Angels for seven years; the Atlanta Braves were owned by Ted Turner, a media mogul, for 20 years, Time Warner for 11, and Liberty Media for the past four years; the Cubs were owned by the Tribune Company for 28 years; etc. etc.

The problem is with Watanabe himself; for decades, large, influential media companies have used the ownership of sports teams to drive revenue and build audience. Nothing new or particularly controversial in and of itself.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"In 2004, Watanabe stepped down as the Giants’ owner after the club was found to have paid $26,000 to a promising college pitcher in a move criticized as unethical scouting. But he was back in his post before a year had passed."

This, to me, says it all about politics and power in Japan -- how many times can politicians or people with power step down in scandal only to be back there or in some other cushy position in no time at all? This goes from companies to municipal city offices and right up to the PM's chair. Simply amazing.

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Surprise, surprise... Old men at the top who refuse to listen to others. And people wonder why Japan is sinking...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

SamuraiBlue: Where did I say that? Why is it me whom you addressed? Or did you just mess up the quotation marks?

If you are suggesting I have a 'warped wild' (shouldn't there be a comma between those adjectives?) imagination because I am applying this incident to others, think again. How many times has Ozawa had to step down in disgrace only to try for the PM's chair again? How about people like Suzuki Muneo? Kamei? Why do you think everyone uses the Japanese word 'amakudari' when referring to the practice of giving a person who resigns a comfortable position elsewhere through ties? True, the latter are not all corrupt. And lest we forget that this falls JUST on the heels of Woodward being unjustly fired for challenging his superiors and the practices of the company.

And yes, amakudari and people 'stepping down' only to take up the position again once the public becomes apathetic again happens locally as well.

Anyway, that was in case you were addressing me... I still can't tell.

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So a grammar Nazi now.

What does the people you mentioned have anything to do with the article in hand? Another of your generalization to bash your hated Japan I believe. Why do you come here anyways? Yomiuri Shimbun is a publicly traded corporation not a government organization.

As I posted before completely irrelevant from one to the other.

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Back on topic please.

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Yomiuri Shimbun is a publicly traded corporation not a government organization.

So? I think both are rotten to the core and are run by corrupt old men who only care about their egos and themselves.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Kiyotake's a cry baby who spat the dummy out,publicly slings off his boss then wonders why he gets drop kicked..any boss would've done the same thing.

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SamuraiBlue: "So a grammar Nazi now."

I've always been, and as others have rightly pointed out I make mistakes myself from time to time. Feel free to do so yourself if and when I make one.

"What does the people you mentioned have anything to do with the article in hand?"

I'm sure you meant 'What DO the people you mentioned', but 'grammar Nazi' aside, you said I was taking a single incident and generalizing, and that it was irrelevant, but I was giving you SOLID examples of how this is a problem rampant throughout society. Society in general? Sure, if you like. I can even give you plenty more examples, which all goes back to my original statement: this kind of thing is one of the biggest problems with politics and people with power in Japan.

"Another of your generalization to bash your hated Japan I believe."

Ah, yes, the 'Japan bashing' retort when you cannot actually offer a proper response.

"Why do you come here anyways?"

To this site? To read and comment on the news and related current events. Why do you, if you get so offended by the truths people point out?

"Yomiuri Shimbun is a publicly traded corporation not a government organization."

And once again, since you have missed it thrice now, this is a problem rampant throughout society, and Watanabe stepping down in disgrace and being allowed to retake his position within a year without any serious repercussions is a problem all too common, be it regarding a publicly traded corporation, a baseball team that should not be related to said corp., or the world of politics in general (and if you think what's happened in this case has nothing to do with company "politics", you're just using the word too literally).

"As I posted before completely irrelevant from one to the other."

What is? Your last comment was unclear as to what you were referring due to the grammar. Likewise, in this sentence you have left out the subject. If, again, you are referring to my post (unclear), I have stated twice how it is related -- it's your fault if you cannot see it.

But let me add, just so you feel better. As is referred to in the article itself, this falls just on the heels of the scandal at Olympus (and since it's in the article, how can it be unrelated?), where yet again a person was sacked for questioning those in power. One difference, perhaps, also pointed out in the article, is that the sacked journalist is said to have his own problems with abuse of power and what have you, unlike Woodward. Hence, this one is not as clear cut. But the problems inherent in the scandal remain: person questions boss, who has shady and corrupt background. Boss fires person for asking questions.

If there's one good thing in all this it's that the corrupt business practices, and how they tie into society, are getting a lot more lime-light. The SAD part about all this is that the reporter is correct -- it's a betrayal to the sport, the players, and the fans.

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@ calm down

If Kiyotake is a cry baby I am curious about your thought towards from CEO of Olympus, Mr. Woodford? They are basically doing the same.

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SamuraiBlue: One more thing... I'm still not sure why, in your first post where you addressed me, why you suggest I thought your post was 'irrelevant'. I never said it was in the first place.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As is referred to in the article itself, this falls just on the heels of the scandal at Olympus (and since it's in the article, how can it be unrelated?), where yet again a person was sacked for questioning those in power.

That's not at all why he was sacked. He was sacked because he held a press conference and laid the dirty laundry of his employer on the table for all the world to see. That will get you sacked most anywhere around the world.

Both parties involved are asses, apparently.

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SamuraiBlue: "If Kiyotake is a cry baby I am curious about your thought towards from CEO of Olympus, Mr. Woodford?"

I agree with you 100% in implying that this is similar to the Olympus whistle-blowing -- that's one of the things I've been stating as an example and yet you ask for relevancy! Which is it, man?

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They're not doing the same thing at all..pawatan says it pretty succinctly,there wasnt an ounce of nobility in it nor any thought for anyone other than himself..as opposed to Woodford (I'd like to believe,anyway).

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pawatan: "That will get you sacked most anywhere around the world."

I didn't literally mean 'questioning' as in asking questions, of course; it meant not toeing the party line and standing up to what one feels is wrong, in this case Kiyotake doing what he did. I never suggested he was not also an ass in this, and in fact said that he is no pure being in this whole thing, but a lot of what he said is correct.

Watanabe accused him of libel and fired him as such, but if it's not libel then the grounds for firing were falsely stated, and he has a right in objecting and claiming it is simply a retaliatory measure. The question is are there really LEGAL grounds for firing the man?

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calm down: in a rare defense of SamuraiBlue, they ARE doing the same thing in terms of blowing the whistle for being fired by questioning what's happening in the company or the motives of the heads, but you are correct that the REASONS differ, as do the credibilities of those blowing said whistle.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So making an announcement of what is happening is wrong? He's opponent is one of the biggest newspaper publisher in Japan, the only way to get his side of the story heard was to make open a press conference and make an announcement or this story would have been snuffed. Boy talk about an anti biased view of everything.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

samurai what you so 'unbiasedly' label an announcement was renounced by the defendant Watananbe as '“malicious demagogy” that was tantamount to an “unforgivable abuse of authority and libel '..he misjudged his power and it cost him his job..he's just as bad as Watanabe and unworthy of the pedestal a few of you posters are putting him on.

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The Giants, often called “the New York Yankees of Japan” for their nationwide fan base and historical achievements, have won the Japan Series title 21 times, but have not added to their trophy cupboard since 2009.

Definitely not a Giants fan, but come on, haven't won the japan series since 2009?! that's only 2 years ago!

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SamuraiBlue -- really. Well go ahead and pick just one part of my post and refute it. Betta don't.

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herefornow: Clearly, he cannot. He has not come back to refute my latest posts, even to answer why he suddenly accused him of being off-topic when I did no such thing! But hey, once they've dealt out the 'Japan-basher' card there's no rung to cling to at the bottom of the ladder.

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Robert Whiting´s books are highly ethnocentric and arrogant. People who dislike Japan would probably like reading his books such as Mr. Smith in Japan against his own will. Whiting dubbed Ochiai a gaijin because he was not the "normal" Japanese. or because he liked him..? In any case with such backward attitudes like he has, his books are not worth reading. Nor should one take his comments that seriously. Large corporations own sport teams. This is pretty universal.

As for the Giants drama. Both got too big egos. They are selfish and think too highly of themselves. It´s like watching two emotional girls go at each other. In the of season though at least this is baseball related therefore slightly interesting. I hope they drag each other down to the dirt and the Yomiuri orgnization keeps weakening together with Hanshin and Chunichi.

The Valentine Setoyama drama really pissed me off as a Marines fan.. Setoyama for disrespecting Valentine and Valentine who seemed to be more pre occupied wanting to run the team than just being a manager. They too had too big egos. The Setoyama Valentine drama ended with many fans leaving the stadium. The Ouendan all went in protest. The team lost a large chunk of it´s fan base. In a way, I thought that drama was more ugly than this one. Setoyama even went as far as to disrespect the fans who were not worth listening to. I wish the Marines will get new owners.

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