Athletics partner with Japanese club
Oakland, Rakuten to share information, baseball staff
OAKLAND -- The A's and the Rakuten Eagles of Japan's Pacific League play on opposite sides of the world, but as evidenced by the partnership between the clubs that was announced on Thursday, they're very much on the same page.The Eagles, owned by Rakuten Baseball, Inc., has reached an agreement with the A's that will include the exchange of information pertaining to player development and data analysis, as well as exchange baseball-operations staff including coaches, strength-and-conditioning specialists and medical personnel. "We view this partnership as an exciting new opportunity for the Oakland Athletics," A's general manager Billy Beane said. "Without question, both organizations will benefit from this agreement, and we look forward to growing this relationship in the future." Toru Shimada, owner and president of the Sendai-based Eagles, suggested that Beane's reputation as something of an outside-the-box thinker factored in his company's decision to join forces with the A's, who opened last season by squaring off with the Red Sox in Opening Series Japan 2008. "We are very excited to have a working agreement with the Oakland Athletics," said Shimada. "The Athletics are very famous for using their own measurement to evaluate and develop players to create a winning organization. "Our goal is very similar, and we believe this cooperation between Rakuten Baseball, Inc., and the Oakland Athletics will lead to future success for both organizations."
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.