April 18, 2007

Kantoku Shou

In Japanese baseball, a player who pitches a shutout or hits a couple of home runs might receive an envelope of money from his manager after the game. The tradition is called "kantoku show", which literally means "manager prize".

The dough usually comes from management, but Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa said he often got cash ($1,000 or so) straight from his manager's wallet. "It's like you're the horse and they put a carrot in front of you and you try to go for it. It's like bait."

Not every team does it, but Hideki Okajima says he received money when he played for Yomiuri. "If the system exists and it helps the team's motivation, I think it's better to have it. The harder you work, the better you perform. And you get to see an actual physical award for that."

Terry Francona had never heard of kantoku show. "You're kidding me. That's not happening here ... It should be the other way around. If I manage a good game, he should give me something."

The New York Times reported:
In addition to fight money, players in Japan often receive performance-based gifts from sponsors, sometimes in the form of cash. The gifts can range from the mundane to the luxurious.
Daisuke Matsuzaka did not receive money when he pitched for the Seibu Lions, but often received stuffed animals and sets of towels from various sponsors. "As the winning pitcher for the Lions, I'd receive a case with two dozen cans of coffee. I like coffee but not really from a can. I just gave it away to people."

Stuffed animals? "Hell of a game, Daisuke, here's a Beanie Baby."

1 comment:

Sean said...

If we don't start doing this, we have failed as a fanbase. If 4000 stuffed animals don't rain down on Matsuzaka as he walks to the dugout after a 4 hitter, we're not fulfilling our potential.

Plus, we need to import the jetto-fusen. Even if kaibutsu never pitched for Hanshin (and Igawa did, something that bugs my ass), I think we need 'em.