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Trey Hillman fired as Royals manager

by on May.14, 2010 @ 12:32 pm, under MLB

Huge fan of Joe Posnanski and his work.  Here's what he had to say of the Hillman firing:

The line of thinking was that he could bring home some of the discipline and emphasis on fundamentals that defines Japanese baseball. ...

I watched Hillman manage in the Japan Series -- Japan's World Series -- and I was impressed. His Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters were a decidedly mediocre team (they finished last in runs scored that year) but they were so disciplined and together and had such good fielding and such good pitching (featuring worldwide sensation Yu Darvish) that they went to the Series anyway. They lost decisively -- the final game was a perfect game -- but I saw what the Royals saw.

Wonder if he'd make a comeback to Japan, Bobby Valentine style.  Don't know if the Fighters would hire him back, although if they finish in dead last, who is to say they wouldn't see that as an opportunity to bring back one of their more popular and successful managers.

I actually think and interesting fit for Hillman would be the Yakult Swallows.  Shigeru Takada is in the final year of his contract.  The Swallows are still fairly young and like the Fighters, they're team is more about small ball and pitching than it is about offense.  And having a foreign manager for one of the metropolitan teams in the  Tokyo area might help bring in a new fan base.

Unfortunately, it probably won't happen.  The way I see it, the suits will probably look at two things (regardless of how incorrect the cause-effect correlation is):

  1. how the Marines turned their season around the year after Bobby left.
  2. how the Eagles have gone from a second place team to a middle of the pack or lower team after hiring a foreign manager.

...and decide that hiring a foreign manager is the wrong thing to do.

I can still dream though.

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2 comments on “Trey Hillman fired as Royals manager

  1. Steve

    Swallows have got to get rid of Takada, and way before the end of the season. It’s embarrassing to watch this team collapse, and embarrassing to watch Takada do nothing but rock back and forth in the dugout like the overmatched manager he is.

    As for Hillman coming back to Japan, I hope to see it. I would hope NPB teams are more sophisticated than to blame Lotte’s resurgence on Valentine’s dismissal and to blame Rakuten’s poor form on Brown (though Nomura’s dismissal after their best-ever finish sure speaks to Rakuten front office acumen).

    There will probably be a team who would want a successful manager like Hillman to guide them, but I doubt it will be the ‘blame the gaijin suketto’ Swallows.

    1. Gen Post author

      Based on what the Swallows’ front office has been saying, Takeda’s job is secure for at least the rest of this season.

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t really see the Swallows letting Takeda go mid-season.

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