Kiyomiya was Advice to Loose Weight and Even Received Advice From Opponent’s Coach! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kiyomiya was Advice to Loose Weight and Even Received Advice From Opponent’s Coach!

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Camp in Okinawa. Manager Shinjo watches Kiyomiya bat (Image: Jiji Press)


On February 16, before a game against Chunichi, Japan Ham manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo, 50, spoke to his rival Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, who said he had hardly spoken to him. He asked him to coach Kotaro Kiyomiya (22), who had failed to make Tachinami readily agreed. It was an unusual situation for Kiyomiya to be asked to teach by the leader of his opponent.

He wanted to get advice on how to get the timing right from Tatsunami, who is a left-handed hitter like Kiyomiya. Shinjo is a right-handed hitter. Tatsunami instructed him for about five minutes. He taught him carefully with gestures as he talked I don’t want you to rush into things,’ he said.’Put your weight on your right foot once and wait with your left foot” , he added.

Shinjo’s “parental love” for Kiyomiya was also pronounced in the game that day. It was the first time he had played in an outfield game this season, so he started Kiyomiya at No. 1, hoping he would get more at-bats to get a feel for the game.

I think Shinjo has been paying special attention to Kiyomiya. In the camp last fall, he said, “He’s a little fat, isn’t he? I advised him to lose weight to become more popular. Kiyomiya followed the advice. He doesn’t use dressing on his salads and chooses meat with less fat. He walked for about an hour every morning and succeeded in losing about 10 kg in two months.

The reason why manager Shinjo treats Kiyomiya so generously is probably because there are not many big guns in Japan Ham. Kiyomiya, who has hit of a total of 111 home runs in high school, needs to be awakened. I think it’s a sign that they want him to be the mainstay of the first team this season.

Confused by all the advice

Kiyomiya has a calm personality, but this season his attitude is different. He is eagerly seeking advice not only from manager Tatsuname, but also from Softbank’s Yuki Yanagita, who is a “triple-three” hitter (hitting 30% with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases), and his teammate Kensuke Kondo, who is also a good left-handed hitter.

I’m worried too. Kiyomiya has a straightforward personality. I’m worried that he’ll get confused by all the advice he hears from different people. Even up until last season, professional baseball alumni from inside and outside the team gave him guidance, and he listened to all of it and his swing became a mess. I think the first priority is to establish your own style.

Manager Shinjo gently gives a helping hand to the cannon that is struggling to grow. But behind the scenes, he has some serious calculations to make.

Shinjo is not a lax coach. In the staff meetings with the coaches, he gives them a pep talk. If we don’t get results, you’ll all be fired after one year. When Naoto Inada, the infield defense and base running coach, failed to knock during practice, I gave him a stern talking-to. He said, “You’ll never be a regular player. You are weak under pressure. If you don’t make a decision in one shot, the players will get tired.

It is the same with the players. I told ace Naoyuki Uesawa, who won 12 games last season and was the starting pitcher,’If you’re not doing well, I’ll immediately drop you to the second team. If Kiyomiya doesn’ t produce results, they’ll probably give up on him early on. Even if we treat him well, if his performance is the same as it has been in the past, there is a good chance that he will be out of the game next off-season.

The “Big Boss” turned down a 10-year contract from a baseball team and signed a one-year contract to become a manager on his own back. I’m sure you’ll be able to understand why.

  • Photo Jiji Press

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