Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Putting butts in the seats

The posting fee paid by major league teams to allow them to negotiate with Japanese players is a source of contention. The fact that the Red Sox paid $51mil to deal with Daisuke Matsuzaka is - amazing - to say the least. That's the record, so far, although hefty fees have been paid for other players to allow them to move to the states to play MLB. But the income from the huge fees doesn't always pay off for the team losing the player:

teams like the Tokyo Yakult Swallows has not been able to recover after allowing Akinori Iwamura to leave and Hanshin Tigers seem to always be missing the inning-eating starter that they had in Kei Igawa
But not all is lost, however:

The Seibu Lions are one of the few teams that have generated a win-win situation using the posting fee system.
What did they do with their windfall:

•Constructed new concession stands and seating
•Resurfaced the playing field
•Installed an enormous video scoreboard
•Built magnificent bathrooms with electronically warmed toilet seats

As well as making sure that the fans got something out of posting fee, they have remained successful on the field as well:

The young pitching talents of the Seibu Lions were able to pick things up where Daisuke left and become the NPB Champions for the 2008 season.
Even though they allowed their superstar to leave for MLB, the Lions were able to set up a win-win situation in the aftermath.

So not only have the Lions been able to put butts in the seats with a championship, they've allowed them to stay warm as well.

Nice. I'll bet Yankee Stadium doesn't have electronically warmed toilet seats. Of course, that's because the taxpayers paid for that.

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