The Hidden Details of Hanshin Tigers’ Manager Okada’s Beat Reporter Rage and His Shocking Statements | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Hidden Details of Hanshin Tigers’ Manager Okada’s Beat Reporter Rage and His Shocking Statements

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His skills as a manager are beyond doubt.

Hanshin Tigers Manager Akifu Okada (66), known for aiming for an “Allenpa,” has already been involved in multiple conflicts with the media this season, refusing interviews with statements like “I’m not talking!” His latest shocking outburst against reporters has come to light.

“Although they started the season at the top, their performance has declined, with a 7-11 record in interleague play, ranking 10th out of 12 teams. Their win-loss record is currently the same as the struggling Chunichi Dragons in the Central League. Naturally, Okada’s mood is sour,” said a team insider.

The incident occurred in the middle of interleague play, after a particular game.

“Following a loss, during a press scrum, Okada suddenly said to the assembled media, ‘Aren’t you all supposed to be on our side!?’ The atmosphere turned tense, and everyone present thought, ‘This is bad,’ and looked down.

Familiar media members desperately tried to steer the conversation back on track with questions, but Okada retorted, ‘You’re with Yakult, you’re with Giants, and you’re with Hiroshima!’ The beat reporters, usually in sync with Okada, were baffled and taken aback. It seems that Okada, frustrated by increasing critical reports about Hanshin and himself, suspected the reporters of being agents for rival teams. However, any pushback could lead to another interview boycott, so the matter was quietly dismissed,” said a former team member.

Okada’s history shows he gets aggressive with the media when the team is losing.

“During his tenure as Hanshin’s manager from 2004 to 2008, he frequently changed the PR personnel and had fierce disputes with the team’s front office. When he resigned, some team members expressed relief. During his time managing Orix, he also demanded a complete change of the beat reporters. Though the media was perplexed, most eventually complied,” the same source recalled.

While Okada’s confrontations with the media are almost routine, one team official views it with a cold eye.

“He’s a competent manager, and his continued tenure is backed by Kazuo Sumi, CEO of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, so no one from Hanshin Electric Railway or the team’s executives can reprimand him. There should be ways to mediate between him and the media, but the front office seems ineffective,” the official said.

Let’s hope Okada’s sharp tongue doesn’t spark another internal feud.

  • PHOTO Kyodo News

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