Imae Takes Rest & Watanabe Promoted to Head Coach in Astonishing Turnaround Plan | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Imae Takes Rest & Watanabe Promoted to Head Coach in Astonishing Turnaround Plan

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Rakuten has been struggling since the start of the season after the power harassment of pitcher Tomohiro Anraku (27, now with the Mexican League Red Devils) was revealed last offseason, damaging the team’s image. On April 19, before a game against Seibu with no wins on the card, a reassignment of the leadership was announced.

Manager Imae has a somewhat grim look on his face. Hopefully there will be more smiles from now on. ……

Pitching coach Rei Nagai (39) was put in charge of the bullpen, and pitching coach Koji Aoyama (40), who had previously been in charge of the bullpen, was put on the bench. The hitting coach was also scalped, and the responsibilities of coaches Taketoshi Goto (43) and Keizo Kawashima (40) were replaced, respectively. The reassignment of coaches in a situation where less than 20 games have been played since the opening day of the season is unusual,” said a source close to the team.

Manager Toshiaki Imae (40) said, “It’s also a way to change the flow. I don’t know what the right answer is, but we are trying to find a good one through trial and error as a team,” explained Toshiaki Imae, 40, the manager. I can only assume that it is an order from the team’s top owner, Hiroshi Mikitani (59).

It was reported that owner Mikitani himself had faxed instructions to the manager about the starting lineup, and it is said that he also ordered the manager to take a day off and reassign the coaches. On the field, there are voices similar to lamentation, saying, ‘It’s started again, ……. They must be frustrated by the lack of results since the opening of the season, but even so, they are making changes too quickly.

If the team shows no signs of improvement and the losses continue to pile up, there are fears within the team that “a terrible personnel change will be implemented.

There are rumors among some players and officials that the team’s debt is at 10, and if it exceeds that level, Imae may be forced to take a leave of absence. As for his successor, “Naoto Watanabe, 43, the head of the first army, will be promoted internally. In the first place, it is said that the reason why Imae was appointed as manager was because they could not invite a big name due to lack of budget. His estimated annual salary is said to be a very low 40 million yen. Because he is so cheap, he may be thinking of cutting him loose if he doesn’t meet their expectations, even if only a little. I feel sorry for Imae, but ……” (baseball team alumnus)

Some say that the players are beginning to pay attention to the leaders’ opinions after the recent reassignment.

It is inevitable that there will be players who are concerned about who will be the next manager and who will decide on the use of players ……. We can’t expect to win the championship this season because we haven’t reinforced our roster. It is not unlikely that we will end up with a disastrous loss and a big machete in the offing. If they don’t make even the slightest achievement, they will be fired from their jobs.

If the new system falls apart too soon, it will be a misfortune not only for the players but also for the fans.

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