Welcome to the dog days of summer. Though, with the following news item to come out of Japan, a favourite global baseball tournament could be brewing unless someone throws Japan a bone.
World Baseball Classic champions Japan are threatening to boycott the next event in 2013 if they are not paid a greater share of the tournament's revenue.
According to Japan Baseball League's player's union, they will spend the next month negotiating with North America's Major League Baseball, with a boycott possible if results are not made - a decision that drew heavy support from the Japanese players.
The problem stems from the fact that Japan actually won the first two World Baseball Classics in 2006 and 2009, but Team Japan only got 13 per cent of the event's total revenue in 2009. Compare that with MLB and its players garnering 66 per cent.
"We are not saying we don't want to take part," says JBL union president Arai Takahiro (surname first), "but we will not be able to compete under the current conditions, which are unfair."
Files complied by Andrew Joseph
PS: That's my dog Buster, sad to learn that the Buffaloes on his head were not for eating. The baseball card is the first-year card of Kintestsu Buffaloes' pitcher Hideki Nomo... my favourite Japanese baseball player when I lived in Japan 1990 - 1993.