In Japan’s 95th Selected Baseball Tournament (Spring Koshien), controversy arose over the banning of the ‘Pepper Grinder Ceremony’ by outfielder Lars Nutba (St. Louis Cardinals) of the Japanese national baseball team.
The Associated Press reported on 스포츠토토the morning of the 20th (Korean time), “The Japanese baseball team Nuba’s pepper ceremony is not welcome in Japanese high school baseball.” The Pepper Ceremony is a twisting motion that crosses both hands as if holding a pepper shaker and grinding pepper, a ceremony that Nutba often did for his team, the St. Louis Cardinals. Even after joining the Japanese national team, Nutba is sticking to the pepper ceremony. Currently, Nutba’s pepper ceremony has become a symbol of the Japanese national team, and it is gathering a lot of attention at this WBC.
At the Spring Koshien tournament held in Osaka, Japan on the 19th, a Tohoku High School player was stopped by the referee after performing the pepper ceremony after going on base with an opponent error in the first round against Yamanashi Gakuen. At that time, the first base referee warned the players and the bench after Tohoku High School’s attack was over, and took measures to prevent them from doing the same ceremony in the rest of the game.
However, after the game, Tohoku High School coach Hiroshi Sato expressed displeasure. Director Sato pointed out, “Children are just having fun. Why should adults stop it?”
Currently, the reaction of Japanese fans is mixed. The argument that it was an anachronistic sanction and the opinion that the ceremony was excessive in a situation where he went on base due to an error were opposed. The banning of the pepper ceremony is an atmosphere in which Japanese politicians are also interested. In particular, Japanese Minister of Digital Affairs Taro Kono raised an issue about the strict rules of high school baseball on social media on the 19th.
The Japanese High School Baseball Federation said in an official position regarding this incident, “I have asked you to refrain from unnecessary acting and gestures. I understand the feelings of players who want to enjoy it, but the fun of baseball must come from the game.”