Will a Streak of 10 Losses Make Manager Yano Quit? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Will a Streak of 10 Losses Make Manager Yano Quit?

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Manager Yano nods off the bench after three consecutive losses against the Giants (Image: Kyodo News)

“Something I could change is…I can’t think of anything either. I just must focus on what’s in front of me, one thing at a time…”

Hanshin manager Akihiro Yano, 53, spoke to the press after the team’s 5-9 loss to the Giants on Sunday, its league-worst ninth straight defeat since the season opener. He said the atmosphere on the bench was hopeless.

Yano said that the heartbreaking loss in the opening game has remained with us for too long a time. We had a lead of up to seven runs, and then the relay team and new foreigner Keller got hit by a pitch and turned the game around. The pattern of the pitching duel that I had envisioned before the season opener was completely broken, and we were unable to regroup.

It is the leader’s role to correct the plays that were not working well. But Yano’s despondency is said to have worried those around him.

Yano’s depression was evident while he was seated on the bench. He takes off his hat, brushes his hair back repeatedly, and his eyes are empty. He does not want to join the players even when they form a circle. Hirotoshi Kitagawa, the hitting coach, would stand there with the team on his behalf.

You don’t take responsibility, do you?

Casting a shadow over Yano’s mentality are his own comments on the day before the start of this season’s camp.

At a general meeting, he declared, “I am thinking of quitting as manager at the end of this season.” Yano must have felt responsible after losing the championship to Yakult by seven games at the last minute of the last season. He probably intended to inspire his players by cutting off his path to the championship and achieving his long-cherished dream of becoming the best in Japan.

However, his comments upset the players and coaches. It was as if he had taken them by surprise just before the start of the season. Some of the players and coaches coldly criticized him, saying that even if they lost badly, he would not take responsibility because he had already decided to step down. As a result, instead of bringing the team together, his message about his quitting has dampened their spirits.

At this rate, Yano may have to step down during his tenure. However, in response to a reporter’s question during the press conference last April 4, if Yano will remain in charge until the end, the owner Takaoki Fujiwara answers, Of course.

If the coach does not function, the players were still expected to level up their game.

“The team is lacking a central player who can lead the team,” he said. The Giants have Hayato Sakamoto, Chunichi has Kosuke Fukudome, and other teams have charismatic players. But Hanshin’s captain is Seishiro Sakamoto, an unproven reserve catcher.It would be a heavy burden to entrust him with the leadership of the team.

Neither the commander nor the players are in high spirits or even dependable. The final year of manager Yano’s tenure got off to a poor start with the Tigers’ record of 1-10 as of April 6 And without any plans of revival in sight, the big question now is, will Manager Yano finish this season or will he rather, step down and leave his losing team behind.

Shaking hands with “Russian fairy” Sharapova on her Japan tour in December 2005 (Image: Afrosport)
  • Photo Kyodo News

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