Listen to my interview with Bob Bavasi, one of America's leading authorities on baseball in Japan and the editor of JapanBall.com, an inspiration for CodBall.It seems every sports page in America this spring is chronicling the weekly progress of Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka in the Grapefruit League. Over in the Cactus League, Ichiro Suzuki is off to another promising start. And the Yankees and Devil Rays also made prominent transactions this winter involving new talent from Japan. What was the progression of these top Japanese players? In America we know that many top amateur players are drafted out of elite summer leagues like the Cape and Alaska. But the road to professional baseball in Japan is different.
Bob Bavasi explains this progression in our latest CodBall Conversation. He is the son of Baseball Hall of Fame candidate and long-time baseball executive Buzzie Bavazi. And he is the brother of Seattle Mariners General Manager Bill Bavasi.
The Bavasis are co-principals in Bavasi Sports Partners, which consults extensively with owners and buyers of minor league teams. In fact, the Bavasis played an important role in building a Cape-like league in California through their ownership of the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox. The Horizon Summer Series, including the Yuba team, is now a season-long competition among top college players.
It was for none of these reasons, however, that I discovered Bob. As you might have guessed from my essay about Japanese Baseball, I am an avid fan of the Japanese game. As a result, I became an avid fan of Bob Bavasi's JapanBall. In addition to Bob's updates on Japan's Central and Pacific Leagues, he also leads a fascinating tour -- an annual pilgrimage really of Japanese ballparks (something I hope to join one of these days).
Because of Bob's insights into into a league that already is changing Major League Baseball and one day may change our amateur game, I asked him to join us for a CodBall Conversation.
Rather than transcribe the interview, I encourage you to visit JapanBall.com, and post your comments here. Enjoy!