“If we lose, this will be a terrible season”
The Yomiuri Giants held a ceremony at the headquarters of the Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo, Japan, on June 6 to mark the retirement of manager Tatsunori Hara and the installation of new manager Shinnosuke Abe.
Yomiuri finished the year with 71 wins, two ties, and 70 losses for a .504 winning percentage. However, the team failed to qualify for the postseason, finishing in Class B (4th-6th), as they did last season, and on April 4, head coach Tatsunori Hara decided to hang up his boots. With one year left on his contract, he resigned voluntarily, but was actually fired.
“Owner Toshikazu Yamaguchi refused to discuss the final year of Hara’s three-year contract for the 2024 season, leaving his future unclear,” Tokyo Sports reported at the time, “Hara was given a mandate by Yamaguchi, but the team was unable to compete for the title. As a result, the storm hit Yomiuri without waiting until the final game of the season.”
Hara was something of a “symbol” for Yomiuri. A “one-club man” during his playing days, Hara played in 1697 career games until 1995, amassing 1,675 hits, 382 home runs, 1,093 RBIs, 931 runs scored, and a .279 batting average, and continued to lead Yomiuri after hanging up his uniform.
Hara started at the helm in 2002, and although he stepped down a few times along the way, he led Yomiuri for a total of 17 years through the 2023 season. In 14 of those 17 years, he led Yomiuri to Class A (1-3) and won three Japanese Series titles. He is stepping down from his role as head coach after compiling a record of 1291 wins, 89 draws, and 955 losses for a winning percentage of 0.560 in 2407 games at the helm.
With Hara’s dismissal, Shinnosuke Abe, a former teammate of Doosan Bears coach Lee Seung-yeop, has been touted as a possible successor. Abe is already a familiar face to Korean fans. Like Hara, Abe was a one-club man who played exclusively for Yomiuri, finishing his career with a .284 batting average and .863 OPS in 2282 career games with 2132 hits, 406 home runs, 1285 RBIs and 996 runs scored.
Abe is a “legend” of Nippon Professional Baseball beyond Yomiuri, who represented Japan at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC), was named a nine-time Best Nine (2002, 2007-2014), four-time Golden Glove (2002, 2008, 2013, 2014), one-time regular season MVP (2012), batting champion (2012), RBI champion (2012) and slugging percentage champion (2012) during his career.
Since retiring from active play at the end of the 2019 season, Abe has been taking coaching lessons, serving as the second team manager, and last year and this year as the first team head coach and battery coach for Yomiuri. As a result, he will now lead Yomiuri as Hara’s successor for the next three years.
According to Japan’s Sankei Sports, Abe, who took over from Hara, said, “I asked myself, ‘Do I really want to take over Yomiuri?’ As head coach, I had suffered the humiliation of finishing in Class B for two consecutive years. I felt strongly that I had to take responsibility, but Coach Hara smiled and said, ‘It’s good that my successor is Shinnosuke,’ and I want to build a strong Yomiuri and a beloved Yomiuri.”
He expressed his gratitude to Hara, as they had been in the same boat for so long. “He also gave me guidance when I took over as the second team coach,” Abe said. He taught me about determination, pitching changes, and using substitutes.” Abe, who wore number 10 during his playing days, explained how he came to wear number 83: “I combined Hara’s number 8 from his playing days with Nagashima’s number 3 when I joined Yomiuri.”
Abe also had a message for the players as Hara was forced to relinquish the reins due to poor results. “I told the players, ‘If we lose, it will be a terrible season,'” Abe said, “It’s not easy for Yomiuri to lose. If I change and my teammates change, we can win unconditionally,” he emphasized.온라인카지노
In conclusion, Abe said, “There is no professional baseball without fans. Little kids, boys playing baseball, and fans are watching with admiration. I want to build a team that can watch baseball until the end, regardless of whether we win or lose.” “I will not leave our fans any more disappointment. We have the best fans next to us,” he said, setting a championship as his goal for the 2024 season.