The scandal tainted Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is making the news again as Commissioner Ryozo Kato has finally announced his retirement on Thursday. It has been months since Kato was called to resign from being the NPB chief for being responsible for secretly changing the ball design used in Japan’s professional baseball league.
The 72-year old former ambassador to the United States addressed the sports community and fans with his retirement and the main reason behind it. “I am responsible for all the trouble caused to baseball fans and people concerned about the ball changes,” Kato said. Also present at the conference were the owners of the NPB teams. According to Kato, the ball design issue is only “one of the major reasons” for his retirement.
As Summer kicked off this year, the baseball community witnessed the sudden surge of homeruns in the league. When the NPB was inquired regarding the unusual numbers, Commissioner Kato was persistent in his claim that the baseballs “have not been changed.” After months of being mum and denials, NPB admitted in June that the baseballs used in the professional league had been redesigned to add some “excitement” to the game. Baseball players have called for Kato to resign as the NPB Commissioner, but until now he refused to yield.