Akinobu Okada was formally be introduced today as the Orix Buffalaoes' new manager at a press conference at the Kyocera Dome in front or about 100 reporters.
Okada signed a 3-year deal with the Buffaloes worth 100M yen and was given the number 80.
"I only accepted the offer to manage to because it was Orix. I would have turned down any other offer. I played out the last 2 years of my career here. I also did get my first coaching job here with Orix. It must be fate," said Okada on Tuesday.
What follows is a Q&A held at the press conference:
On returning after a year
I was actually thinking about spending more time studying various aspects of the game. I think if it was any other team, I would have turned down a managing offer.
At Hanshin, you practiced "Protecting the Lead"...
Focusing on the battery to help protect the lead... That hasn't changed.
Your thoughts on the DH
To be honest, I don't really like it. My gut feeling is that I don't want to create players that can only DH. Run potential increases. Pitchers don't have to worry about hitting and player substitutions are easier to work out. Those are things I'll have to get used to over time.
Your goals for the next season?
I don't think it'll be that easy to win the title. Every team will usually say they want to win the title, but I want to wait until October to tell you what I'm really thinking. Right now, I'm too afraid to even mention winning the title.
Kenjiro Nomura was also formally introduced today as the Hiroshima Carps' new manager; at 43, he is also the youngest manager amongst the 12 NPB clubs. Nomura's contract with Hiroshima is for 1 year and the team has assigned him the number 77.
"The level of the club fell and the team fought through a tough season. Running has traditionally be a strong suit for the Carp. Thinking about Carp Golden Years, when the team was strong, the goal is to win the title. I want to use my youth as an advantage and attack the new season front on," said Nomura during his press conference.
The team also announced that Yutaka Ohno will become the team's next head coach.