Unsatisfied with its current share of World Baseball Classic revenues, two-time champion Japan is threatening to sit out the 2013 event, Reuters reports.
“We are not saying we don’t want to take part,” stated union president Takahiro Arai. “But we will not be able to compete under the current conditions, which are unfair.”
Japan won both the inaugural 2006 and the 2009 World Baseball Classics, but the players took home only 13 percent of the revenue generated from the last tournament. MLB and its players received 66 percent of the revenue, so there’d clearly seem to be some room for negotiation here.
Japan’s club owners are also looking for a better deal with MLB.
The 2013 tournament is expected to expand from 16 teams to 28 teams, with new additions like Great Britain, France, Brazil and New Zealand. There will be a play-in round in Fall 2012 in which 16 teams will compete for four spots. The four winners will join the 12 automatic qualifiers — the U.S., Japan, the Dominican Republic and others — in a tournament set for March 2013.
Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.
Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.
While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.
Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.