Are Portland and Oakland ready for Japan?

Japan's baseball league is pretty high-level stuff

With the monster contracts Japanese baseball studs Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed in the last week, both with the Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s not hard to ponder what they’re going to do with all the money they’re making in the next decade.

And, do they want to own anything sports wise? Like a baseball team?

With Oakland losing the A’s to Las Vegas, and Portland envisioning itself as the market the A’s should have left for, there’s a reality of two baseball-level markets open on the West Coast of the U.S.

So, what if those markets: Oakland and Portland, got expansion teams owned all or in part by Ohtani and/or Yamamoto?

Expansion teams - in the Japanese League.

Getting into the National or American League is just not viable, and they couldn’t own a team they’d be playing against. But, Japan baseball? Expansion for Japan’s National or Central League - in America? If Shohei and Yoshinobu were behind it, that’s an interesting option to explore if two teams came in together.

Image the international exposure Portland would get from being in the Japanese League. And, financial exposure. How many Japanese citizens would be filling airports to get to Portland? Hello hotel occupancy increase.

Obviously, it wouldn't be the Majors, but it would be the Majors of the international world, one that owns the World Baseball Classic. So, maybe it's something to put forward to the Japanese dudes with the money to make it happen.

Cliff Pfenning

Cliff is a lifelong resident of Oregon and has four decades of experience as a writer, photographer, videographer, broadcaster and now producer. He's a grad of Benson and the University of Oregon, and publishes as well as OSPN, which is scheduled for delivery as a streaming Mobile App in December.

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