The picture is from visual Chinese, Kong Mu catkin, editor Choi Yongsheng
On January 2, 2019, Seattle Mariners, who had just completed the title change, held a news conference at the T-Mobile Stadium at home to announce that the team would sign a contract with Japanese player Kikei Hsui. The 27-year-old pitcher introduced himself in less fluent English and expressed his delight at joining the team.
Kikuchi at the press conference
Earlier, Kikuchi experienced more than a month of complex and tense negotiations. Because according to the rules between NPB and MLB, he had to find a home before the deadline, which made it difficult for him to pick teams slowly. The whole process was so stressful that he was slow to catch up. Now the dust settled, and the heart hung in the chrysanthemums was finally able to fall.
This system, which has made Kikuchi a very hard work, is called "Into the Book" in Japanese, and "Posting System" in English. It is a system designed for NPB (Japan Baseball League) players to join MLB. A form of transfer and free signing.
Just as the MLB's system of free players was the result of a long and unremitting struggle between major league players and management, the birth of the entry system was accompanied by a process of confrontation. The only contradiction is not an infighting in an alliance, but an international "war." This article will talk about this section of history full of right and wrong grudges.
The Iron Curtain of the Baseball World
Unlike the domestic popular "Japan's popular baseball is because of the United States", although this is an imported sport originating from the United States, the process of baseball in Japan is not only highly independent, but even deeper with the United States. gap. This is not unrelated to the friction and even hostilities between Japan and the United States from the Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War.
Since its introduction around 1870, baseball has rapidly become a national sport in Japan, focusing on universities and high schools. Japanese baseball, which is still in the process of development, has had its first deep contact with the mature American baseball: "the God of Baseball" Baby-Ruth led a delegation of American stars to Japan. More than a dozen exhibition matches were held with the Japanese team, which is mainly made up of student players.
In one game, a 17-year-old Japanese teenager named Yoshiji Ogomura was born, striking out several major league stars, including Ruth. After the game Ruth cordially shook hands with Zetura, all-star legendary coach Connie Mack also said on the spot to give him a major league contract. Unexpectedly, Satura refused the offer on the spot on the grounds that he did not want to stay away from his hometown.
Rus and Ze Village
In fact, Zetura is quite averse to the United States. From the point of view of pure sports, it is regrettable that Satura gave up going to the United States, but anti-American sentiment was extremely common in Japan at that time. Even if Japan joined the United States-led international system after the war, the country's distrust of the United States spread in all areas and was difficult to melt.
In 1961, when the NPB Yomiuri Giants were preparing for the spring training in the US training camp, Los Angeles Dodger boss Walter O’Malley was interested in the star-studded third baseman Long Island Maoxiong, who was planning to sell him. Long Island is somewhat tempted, but the owner of the Yomiuri Giant is trying to reject O’Malley’s offer, claiming that the Yomiuri has a lifelong contract with Long Island, and Long Island should put the responsibility of the team and Japan first.
Japanese culture has a strong collectivism, the individual team, community, hometown and even the whole of Japan to absolutely obey. Long Island is a broader opportunity for individuals to play in the United States, but losing such a star would be a direct and indirect loss to Japan's own professional baseball.
Mr. Matsutaro's rhetoric, though high-sounding, also contains a strong nationalism-Japan's own baseball career is always first, at the expense of players.
An unintentional pioneer of willow
For communication purposes, the NPB sent two young players to the MLB San Francisco giants in 1964 to exercise in their minor leagues. The San Francisco giants have asked Japan to add a clause to their contract: they can buy out Japanese players for $10,000 if they want. Nanhai Eagle management believes the young players will not have the potential to advance to the Major League, so they agree.
The Japanese paid a price for their recklessness, with the 20-year-old, named Yazi Murakami, playing extremely well in the minor League, when the San Francisco giants bought out his contract at the end of the season and promoted him to the Major League. Thus, thirty years after Zetura rejected the Major League contract, the first Japanese MLB player was born unexpectedly.
Murakami did not live up to the expectations of the team, the opponent is difficult to hit the hit from his hands, frequently eaten three strikes. Murakami did not lose points in eight consecutive games. In the ninth game, he broke the golden body in the absence of the team. The over-the-top San Francisco Giants gave Murakami a 1965 season contract without any hesitation, and Murakami signed it.
The South China Sea Eagle did not expect that Murakami had such potential. They were eager to take back the young pitcher. The team mobilized the village's family and put pressure on him to force Murakami to publicly claim that he "belongs to Japan and belongs to the South Sea Hawk."
San Francisco Giants and MLB officials urgently protested the naked breach. An unprecedented player battle broke out between NPB and MLB.
a change ball from a psychiatrist
Although the South China Sea Eagle was ugly, it also took a few points. First, when Murakami graduated from high school and signed a contract with Nanhai Eagle, the team had a contract worth of about 30,000 US dollars, which is much higher than the buy-in price of the San Francisco Giants for 10,000 US dollars. This is only a "rental" at best.
Secondly, as in the MLB player contract, there is a "reservation clause" - a near-selling contract, and there are also NPB contracts, so Murakami is still a South Seahawk player. Finally, based on the premise that Murakami is unlikely to reach the MLB level in the short term, Nanhai Eagle agreed to buy out 10,000 yuan. Now the situation has changed and the terms should be invalid.
The attitude of the San Francisco Giants is simple: Contract being contract, don't fool the spirit of the Anglo-Saxon contract. The contract terms are in black and white, and $10,000 has already been paid. There is no room for negotiation.
The negotiations between the teams were fruitless and had to be resolved by NPB President Nakamura Yuki and MLB President Ford Frick. The experience of Nei Cun is quite legendary. His major is psychiatry. He used to be a professor of medicine at Tokyo Imperial University. At the Tokyo trial, he was diagnosed with a war criminal, Dachuan Zhou Ming, who suffered from syphilitic disorders. He also has an identity: the ace of the former Dongda.
After the village saw the contract, found that the terms of the agreement is very complex and obscure. As NPB's top executive, he also called it foolish to sign documents he didn't understand. In the face of the US request, the South China Sea Eagle is indeed guilty.
However, the bosses of the NPB team are staring at the president, and Neimura must come up with a way to protect the "property" of the team. He proposed a compromise: Murakami will continue to fulfill his 1965 season contract with the San Francisco Giants, and then return to Japan to play for the South Seahawks.
Frick decisively rejected Nimura's offer. He was also riding the tiger. MLB's team controlled the players by reserving clauses, and Murakami has become a major league player, and is bound by that clause. Frick cannot rashly open an exception for Murakami. Otherwise, the authority of the reservation will be compromised and may become the MLBPA's grip.
Neimura realized that "straight ball" could not solve this problem, so he changed his mind and cast a "change ball" to Frick. He instructed the father of the village to write a letter to him, in which the father mentioned that if he knew that his only son would become the property of the Americans, he would not leave the village to stay in the ocean anyway. Neimura conveyed the contents of the letter to Frick. Although the two positions were tit-for-tat, one thing was the same: everyone was a father, and Frick finally retreated.
Murakami set off for the United States and played a great year in the San Francisco Giants. He has been playing at NPB until he retired in 1982. Because the Japanese coach's philosophy lags behind that of the United States, coupled with factors such as the stadium environment (the size of the court, the direction of the wind and other factors have a great impact on the performance of baseball players), Murakami cannot replicate his success in the United States. In his heart, he has been eager to stay in San Francisco, but he can't resist the bondage of NPB and the majesty of parents.
Thirty years later, people who can do this appear.
A rebellious hero
As a result of the Murakami Masaru incident, in 1967 MLB and NPB signed a "Japan-US Player Contract Agreement", stipulating that both parties should respect each other's player contract.
Two years later, wild heroes were born. As a teenager, Yosho was very capable of dealing with bullying on campus. He often stood out for small and weak children. Also maverick in baseball, he developed tornado pitching: spinning his body with exaggeration for greater strength and better deception.
But in the conservative Japanese baseball world, Yosho's technology is not popular, so he failed to enter the favorite high school baseball school, and also lost the draft after graduation.
Notomao had to start with social baseball (a semi-professional team funded by the company), where he could take advantage of tornadoes. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Nomo helped Japan win a silver medal in baseball. This made him famous, the next year by the near iron buffalo selection. After entering the NPB, Yamamo quickly achieved success, rookie Wang, Masamura (best pitcher award), MVP and other honours followed.
Even so, Nomo is not completely free. At the time, Mizinung was the sole sponsor of the NPB All-Star and the sponsor of the near Iron Buffalo, and Yamamoto appeared in Nike shoes at the All-Star Game without any consultation.
While similar incidents have occurred in other countries, in Japan, where the rules are tight, the nature of the practice is much more serious, with a rift torn between the wild and the near iron bison.
In 1994 near iron bison ushered in the new coach Suzuki enlightenment. Suzuki was a legendary pitcher as a footballer, so ruthless and old-fashioned, Yosho's rebellious character stuck in his throat. Suzuki's philosophy when he played ball was "until the end of the day," he also asked Mau to follow suit, greatly increase the amount of training, but Nomo has its own system, the two broke out a fierce conflict. In the middle of the season, due to Suzuki's compulsion, Nomo pitching too much, arm sore, had to suspend play recuperation.
On July 1, 1994, Suzuki was reluctant to replace the poor-looking Yeomao, forcing the latter to use a total of 191 goals to finish the game. After the game, Suzuki shook hands, but Nomura’s expression was very subtle.
When Ye Mao was at the Seoul Olympics, he had the idea of playing in the United States. After entering professional baseball, he was exposed to many former MLB players. Together with Suzuki's tyranny, he began to seriously consider leaving the Kintetsu Bison to go to the United States. However, according to the NPB regulations, players must play for 10 years to qualify as free agents. Nomura has played for 5 years, and he does not want to spend another 5 years under Suzuki.
But how do we get out?
cross the sea under camouflage -- to practise deception
Nomura was born in Japan to an American father and a Japanese mother. He had a short history of professional baseball in Japan, and then started working part-time in California, where he gradually became a baseball broker. With his help, 16 years old was sent to the United States, the Japanese pitcher without NPB background, Suzuki entered the MLB. With this success, Nomura turned its attention to the player market between Japan and the United States, and Nomo was naturally his target.
Nomura looked closely at the Japanese player contract template, which was born out of the 1930 American player contract with almost the same retention clauses. But the two versions differ in terms of voluntary retirement (English: voluntary retirement; Japanese: arbitrary retirement). The US contract provides that a retired player can only return to the home team, a right that the home team has. The Japanese contract also stipulates that the retired player can only return to his home team, but only if the player is "in Japan".
In other words, except for the US team, the team that returns the player no matter where it goes is not feasible. However, in the Japanese version of the contract, due to this superfluous rule, the player can literally return to the team outside Japan. Effectiveness. Nomura found a big hole, but can this be the breakthrough point for Noma to leave the Kintetsu Bison?
At that time, the contract of Murakami Yasushi's black and white words could only be said to be unfair, and there was no direct loophole, and all of them were successfully “returned” by NPB. Nowadays, the United States has a good idea of the past, and it will not easily risk the risk of tearing the skin. Nomura needs more handles for the wild.
Nomura asked the MLB president's office to send a fax to the NPB president's office asking whether Japanese players who voluntarily retired could develop abroad. The staff of the NPB president's office did not have the experience of dealing with complex matters. He replied cleverly and illfully: "If a voluntarily retired Japanese player wants to resume his current status, he can only sign with the original mother team in China, in other words. He can establish a contractual relationship with a team in the United States."
Nomura may just want to test, hit a base-hit, did not expect to blow out a home run! The answer was enough to get Mr Notomao out of Japan, and the next step was simple: to retire.
At the salary meeting after the 1994 season, Ye Mao opened the door to the Kintetsu Bison Lion and proposed the price that the team could not agree. Unbelievable, the Kintetsu Bison high-level executives were completely trapped, and the angry team chairman and general manager shouted, and asked Yeonma to "consider clearly."
Ye Mao replied coldly: "I want to leave, that's all."
That day, in 1995, MLB League Newcomer King, Sanzhen Wang and All-Star Game started the pitcher. The No. 16 player of Los Angeles Dodge left the office of Kintetsu Bison with a paper retired statement. He is like a tornado and will never come back.
Establishment of the system
After the review, the NPB office made such a low-level mistake because the staff did not expect that Japanese players would dare to "take the world" and defy their own team, the motherland and even the family.
Ironically, when Japan’s strongest pitcher, Sawamura, categorically rejected the olive branch handed down by the big league, the root cause was his Japanese values, and the blind self-confidence of such values made NPB lose the best pitcher in the league. hero.
After Nomo, another top Japanese investor, Ilio Saoji, and Dominican player Alfonso Soriano left the NPB home team to join the MLB. under Nomura's operation It is now necessary for MLB and NPB to sit down and revise the Japanese-American player contract Agreement to arrange the transfer of players between the two sides. In 1998, a new regulation, the entry system, was designed to deal with this issue.
The initial entry system was divided into the following steps:
1.NPB players apply to the NPB home team for admission, and the mother team agrees to put the player up for a limited period of time. 2. Within 4 days of listing, interested MLB teams will bid for a blind bid for 3. 3% of Zagin. After the results, the NPB home team in 4 days to confirm whether to accept the bid, if accepted, enter the negotiations. 4. 4. The winning team must sign a contract with the listed player within 30 days.
The basic idea of the entry system is to compensate for the economic losses of the NPB mother team, as well as the autonomy of the players to choose the next home. However, this system has exposed many drawbacks in its operation. For this reason, Japan and the United States have revised several times.
The rise of the water
The first Japanese player to cross the US through the system was Suzuki Ichiro, the first person in Japanese sports since the new century. Orix Blue Wave listed him on November 9, 2000. On November 30, he signed a contract with Seattle Mariners and entered Zhajin for $13,125,000.
Yilang's 2001 season was a shock to the United States, winning both the Rookie King and the MVP awards, followed by an MLB career with a record. But many of the famous Japanese players who challenged the MLB in those years have gained free agent status, so with the exception of Ichiro, there is only one big-name player, Ishii Hajime, and the competition for entry is not intense.
The appearance of calm was broken in 2006. Since the beginning of the Garden, it has been popular throughout Japan, and there is a "flat monster" known as Qiyu Xiwu Lion King Matsuzaka Daisuke announced a challenge to the Major League. Two big clubs, New York Yankee and Boston Red Sox, both targeted him, both of which belong to the Eastern Division of the United States. Direct competition for playoff places leads to an arms race in the bidding process.
After the results were announced, baseball professionals in both Japan and the United States were shocked: the Red Sox's bid was as high as 51.11 million, 11 million more than their second-place rivals! Counting the six-year 52 million deal the Red Sox signed with Matsuzaka, the Red Sox cost more than 100m for the new Japanese ace.
This time it's the Americans' turn to feel like they're in a hole, although Matsuzaka is a good pitcher, even if the bid is for the MLB team, I would like to, even the Red Sox are paying too much, even if it's all market action.
In the free agent market in the United States, premium contracts due to multi-team grabs are common. However, relying on a mature agent-team negotiation model, by exploring each other, the final contract amount is manageable. In contrast, the blind entry system is a one-shot deal, the team can not assess the wishes of competitors, inevitably a bid too high.
The same thing happened again in 2011, when Japan's strongest trump pitcher after Matsuzaka was listed by Hokkaido ham fighters, and the Texas Rangers won the $51703411 bid, surpassing Matsuzaka's record, plus a six-year 60 million player contract. The Rangers pulled out a full 112 million.
After one, two, but three, the Americans couldn't sit down.
On December 16, 2013, Japan and the United States revised the agreement, limiting the maximum entry limit to no more than 20 million and reducing the listing period by one month, from November 1 to March 1 to November 1 and February 1.
What is the impact of the 20 million ceiling? By the end of the revision, 11 Japanese players had entered the United States through their entry, Matsuzaka and Darbisu had entered more than 50 million, Igawa 26 million, Izuki Suzuki and Ishii Hajime more than 10 million, and none of the other six had broken tens of millions. Given the number of people, the $20 million limit appears to be modest, with only three of 11 people being cut.
However, if the amount is calculated, the total amount of the 11 people will be about 155 million yuan, minus the part of Matsushita, Darby and Igawa that exceeds 20 million. The total amount will be less than 87 million, accounting for only 56% before the threshold! The Americans slammed the Japanese back!
It's true that an uncapped blind bid would have cost MLB teams an unreasonable premium, but the overkill has certainly hurt the NPB team's interests. Japanese players who challenge the major leagues are often NPB players, and letting go means the home team will lose a lot of money in terms of results and business gains. The biggest hope for the NPB team after it's over is to go to Zagin. Even this compensation has to shrink. Who are they going to reason with?
Sure enough, the three players who entered the country after the new rules came into force, Tian Zhongda, and former Tian Jiantai and Gu Xiangping, all of whom were capped by 20 million. One of the "two-knife flow" genius valley is attracting the MLB all 30 teams 29 of the full bid, the only not incorporated in the financial restructuring of Miami Marlin. There is no doubt that the Valley and others have been forced to "sell off."
MLB Best New year in Japan: Yohei Otani, Ichiro Suzuki, Novoho Sasaki, Hero wild
More coincidentally, Tanaka and Otani's mother team, Lotte Golden Eagle and Ham Fighter, won the NPB championships in 2013 and 2016 respectively before the two were released. After the two left, the Fukuoka Soft Silver Eagle took the rest. Four champions - other NPB teams simply can't stop the soft-snow eagle as a "cosm team." Not only did the release of the mother team's combat power be impaired, but the competitiveness of the entire league was also greatly reduced. The compensation that the Japanese received was only 60 million for three people to enter Zhajin.
An uncertain New deal
The 20 million cap is not the bottom line for MLB's "squeezing" of NPB. In 2017, the entry system was revised again, the bidding process was cancelled, and the players were not restricted. They can negotiate contracts with any MLB team independently during the 30-day window period. The entry amount is linked to the contract amount and is calculated by progressive ratio:
The part below 25 million is charged 20%; the part 5 million to 50 million is charged 17.5%; the part exceeding 50 million is charged 15%.
Based on the total contract amount of Matsuzaka (103 million), Darbisu (112 million) and Tanaka (175 million), according to the progressive formula of the existing Zakujin, the three people's intakes were 20.84 million, 2213 million and 31.63 million, respectively. Matsuzaka and Darbisu's entry into Zagin has fallen sharply compared with the original open-ended bidding system, with Tanaka's entry much higher than the 20 million cap.
But not every player can have a high contract like that in the field (1.55 billion in 7 years). The former Tian Jian's contract guarantee part is only 8 years 25 million, and the big valley is even more than 25 years old because of the signing, and the MLB rules limit can only sign a small-union contract without any guarantee.
Under the 2013 version, as long as the players are attractive enough, the MLB team has little choice in order to get the right to negotiate. 20 million is both the topping and the bottom line. In the 2017 version, the total contract amount is only over 120 million, and it can reach 20 million in Zhajin.
After Darby’s six-year, 60,000 contract with the Rangers, the contract with the Chicago Bears as a free agent was only 126 million for six years. Few Japanese players can reach the level of Darby, which means that the NPB mother team can expect less profit.
Returning to Kikuchi, which he talked about at the beginning, the contract he signed has a bilateral option. The full guarantee is 3 years and 43 million. According to the choice of both parties, the contract may become 4 years or 56 million or 7 years and 109 million. In the worst case, Kikuchi’s mother team, Seibu, had only 8.15 million yuan in Zhajin, and the most cases were only 21.73 million.
On the whole, the advantage of the new system is that the players can negotiate with any team on their own, which maximizes the free will of the players. This is a significant step forward. But in commercial terms, the MLB's use of its strong position to squeeze the NPB, into its coffers means a huge economic imbalance in the existing system, which may pose a risk to future operations.
The significance of reference in the system of entry
As a system designed specifically for the transfer of players between MLB and NPB, the first reference is the Korean professional league (KBO). So far, three South Korean players have signed major league contracts with the MLB team through the entry system, with the highest amount of Liu Xianzhen entering Zagin at more than 25 million.
The next potential target for entry is Cuba. Cuba's players challenge the MLB only through illegal immigration due to its long-standing irregularity. Recently, the two countries have reached an agreement on the legalization of the United States to absorb Cuban players. At present, they are limited to signing contracts in the form of free players, and do not rule out future reference to the way of entry to compensate Cuba's home teams (or the Cuban government) for consideration.
On a global scale, many sports are similar to baseball, with a few to a dozen or so deep countries, two or more high-level leagues. Such a scale of development is not enough to form a global transfer system norm like football, but there is also a certain demand for transfer of players, so there is also room for operation.
As for football, the problem of over-concentration of high-level players in Europe has become increasingly apparent in recent years, with league levels in regions such as South America severely weakened. Although this paper enumerates all kinds of limitations of the entry system, it can not be denied that the system can protect the weaker side of the development level to a certain extent, so it is also worth thinking about for the football world.
Finally, I want to emphasize that even if the development process is full of naked economic conflicts between the two business leagues, the entry system contains the concern for the players to pursue a higher realm.
Because of this system, we can see the King of hits Suzuki long, "two knife flow" genius of the young Oegani legend.
Although sports is a business, sports is first of all sports. This is the fundamental spirit that any system design cannot deviate.
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