Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

EDITORIAL: Players' Betting on Baseball Constitutes Serious Misconduct, Betrayal of Fans

Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

EDITORIAL: Players' Betting on Baseball Constitutes Serious Misconduct, Betrayal of Fans

Article excerpt

Professional baseball is nothing without its fans. Any wrongdoing that betrays the expectations of these fans through thoughtless actions is extremely serious.

The Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) investigative panel examining revelations that Yomiuri Giants pitcher Satoshi Fukuda was involved in betting on baseball games has compiled an interim report that found two more Giants pitchers, Shoki Kasahara and Ryuya Matsumoto, were also involved in betting.

It is extremely regrettable that an impermissible scandal has occurred at a baseball club with a long tradition. "I sincerely apologize to professional baseball fans," Yomiuri Giants President Hiroshi Kubo said.

In August and September this year, Fukuda bet on several baseball games after being approached by a man who claimed to work at a tax accounting firm. Some of the games Fukuda wagered on involved the Giants. Even though this did not constitute match-fixing, his outrageous actions have caused distrust of the sport.

Kasahara, who introduced the man to Fukuda, bet on professional baseball games and also dabbled in baccarat and other forms of gambling. Matsumoto bet on professional baseball games through Kasahara.

The Nippon Professional Baseball Agreement prohibits pro players from any involvement in betting on baseball games. The actions of the three Giants players blatantly violated this agreement. They have no choice but to accept whatever punishment is handed down by the NPB commissioner. The club itself also needs to severely discipline them.

Rethink training

With regards to betting, the pro baseball world has a past that is difficult to erase -- the "Black Fog Incident" of 1969. …

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