Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hada has hung up his longtime baton. It was reported as a “resignation,” but it was actually a “dismissal.
“Tatsunori Hara, the manager of the Yomiuri Giants, has announced his resignation,” Japan’s Tokyo Sports reported on Thursday.
Mr. Hara is a “symbol” of Yomiuri. Hara was drafted by Yomiuri in the first round of the 1980 Nippon Professional Baseball Draft and began his professional career, playing in 1697 games until 1995, hitting 1,675 hits, 382 home runs, 1093 RBIs, 931 runs scored, and a batting average of 0.279, before retiring from active duty in 1999.
After a stint as a coach, Hara took the helm of Yomiuri in 2002, resigning after just two years as manager, but returned in 2006 and coached the team until 2015. During that time, he also became a household name among Korean baseball fans, especially when “National Hitter” Lee Seung-yeop moved to Yomiuri from the Chiba Lotte Marines.
Hara was relieved of his duties at the end of the 2015 season and briefly served as a commentator, but he returned to the manager’s chair in 2019 under Yoshinobu Takahashi and led the team until this year. However, he recently stepped down from his third head coaching position after failing to reach the postseason for the second consecutive year.
“It was a humiliation for Hara to fall into Class B (4th-6th) for the second year in a row,” said Tokyo Sports. In his 17th season at the helm, he struggled mightily.” “Tomoyuki Sugano, who was designated as the opening day pitcher, left due to poor form, and Hayato Sakamoto was injured in the outfield. The foreign players were not able to fill the gap, and we were unable to stabilize the game.”
Hara’s resignation looks like a “resignation,” but it’s actually a “dismissal. “Owner Toshikazu Yamaguchi would not discuss the final year of Hara’s three-year contract for the 2024 season, leaving his future unclear,” said Tokyo Sports, “Hara was given the green light by Yamaguchi, but the team failed to compete for the title. As a result, the storm blew over Yomiuri without waiting until the final game of the season.”
For now, a successor has not been named, but Shinnosuke Abe, one of Nippon Professional Baseball’s most famous catchers, is very likely to succeed Hara. Abe, who is known to Korean fans for his close friendship with Lee, was drafted by Yomiuri in the first round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft and has played in 2,282 career games, hitting .284 with 406 home runs, 1285 RBIs, 996 runs scored and a .863 OPS.바카라사이트
Abe retired from active play after the 2019 season and has been coaching since 2020. He currently serves as an assistant coach to Hara. “Shinnosuke Abe, an assistant coach and battery coach, is being considered as a possible successor,” Japan’s Daily Sports and other local media reported.