The Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball finished last in the Pacific League last year. With a record of 59 wins, 3 draws and 81 losses, and a win rate of 4.2 1 ri, it recorded the lowest win rate among 12 teams in both leagues. After advancing to the postseason in 3rd place in the league in 2018, it was only in Class B (4th to 6th out of 6 teams) for 4 consecutive years. After ranking 5th for three consecutive years from 2019 to 2021, it finally fell to the bottom last year.
From 2012 to 2021, led by current Japanese national team coach Hideki Kuriyama (62), they rode a roller coaster. Coach Kuriyama, who took the baton immediately without any coaching experience, won the league championship in his first year. Ace Darvish Yu (29, San Diego Padres) was worried about entering the major leagues, but he even won the title abruptly. In 2016, he lifted the Pacific League and Japan Series championship trophies.
I stayed in Class B for 5 years out of the 10 years coach Kuriyama was in office. After winning the championship in 2012, it fell to last place the following year. In 2021, after finishing in 5th place for 3 consecutive years, the club decided to replace the manager. Shinzo Suyoshi (51), who was called an ‘alien’ because of his unusual words and actions as a player, took the baton. Shinjo also became a manager without any professional team coaching experience.
Shinzo, an outfielder who played for the Hanshin Tigers, moved to the major leagues in 2001. In 2002, when he was with the San Francisco Giants, he became the first Japanese player to play in the World Series. As he promised, he returned after playing for three years. When he returned to Japan in 2004, he chose Nippon Ham over his old team, Hanshin. Nippon Ham used Tokyo Dome as a joint home stadium with Yomiuri Giants of the Central League, and started anew in the year they moved their home to Sapporo, Hokkaido. He played three years and retired.
The ‘alien’ who returned as a leader was called ‘Big Boss’. He drew attention with his unique character and performance. But I couldn’t even raise my grades. 토토
Coach Shinzo is another hot topic ahead of spring camp, which will mark the start of the 2023 season. On February 1, the first day of spring camp, he announced that he would play his own Cheongbaekjeon. On the day he started camp, the blue-and-white match was also unusual, and he said, “I will play 14 or 15 innings so that all pitchers can throw.” Including the preparation time, he is practically playing all day.
Coach Shin-jo said during the match against Cheongbaek that each hitter would be put in the at-bat 6-7 times. It is not a one-off event. He said he would do a few more days where he only played all day.
At the beginning of the new year, head coach Shin-jo emphasized thorough physical management to the players during the off-season period, and announced that he would mercilessly cut any players who were found to be lacking in preparation during the first day of camp. He added, “On the first day, you can tell roughly by looking at the players’ bodies and facial expressions. I will give players who are ready a chance.”
It is a powerful spell to build a body that can go into action as soon as the rest period is over.
It is a survival game from the first day of camp.
There was a power leak this winter. The main hitter, outfielder Kensuke Kondo (30), transferred as a free agent (FA). On the 6th, coach Kuriyama announced the 12 players for the national team and included them. He wanted to catch on, but was pushed back by the Softbank Hawks’ money. According to Japanese media, Kondo signed a 7-year, 5 billion yen (approximately 47.2 billion won) super-large contract with Softbank.
There is a reason why you must perform well this year. Leaving the Sapporo Dome, which has been used as a hometown for a long time, the season begins at ES CON FIELD HOKKAIDO, the newest dome stadium. It is a retractable dome stadium with 35,000 seats built by the Nippon Ham team in Kitahiroshima near Sapporo.