News and notes on the sale of the Yokohama Bay Stars to DeNA:
- The DeNA Bay Stars announced their first staff addition: Kagawa Olive Guyners trainer Junya Shikaku will be joining the staff as the chief of their conditioning section. Shikaku has also worked with the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies in the past.
- Kimiyasu Kudo is the frontrunner to land the managerial job. When asked about the decision, Kudo replied, "I was curious. The team is now owned by a team with some life and I think the players can now relax a little." Regarding a possible offer, "Nothing yet. I can not comment because I do not want to talk based on assumptions." As for his desire to continue playing, "I still feel strongly about pitching. I need to decide at some point soon."
- DeNA chairman Makoto Haruta said he wanted to see the Bay Stars get out of last place next year, reach the Climax Series within 3 years and the Nippon Series within 5 years during a press conference after the owner meeting.
- DeNA hopes to make announcements about the GM and manager sometime on or after 12/5.
Manga artist Mitsuru Yaku was not happy about the sale to DeNA:
I do not recognize DeNA's existence as a mobile game company. A lot of youngsters are playing their games, but they are not gaining anything by playing [the games] and I hear they are only yanking money away [from users]. Yakyu does not need to complicated by a company looking to make a fast buck. Owners should be companies that have a grasp on society. I have been a Yokohama fan for some 30 years, but I will quit being a fan until the new owners are changed.
Reactions from the various team officials:
Softbank Hawks' acting owner Kazuhiko Kasai - They will be breath of fresh air. They are a wonderful company. They have put up good results.
Nippon Ham Fighters' owner Hiroji Okoso - Stimulation is a good thing. I would like them to treat the team as a cultural public entity.
Yakult Swallows' acting owner Tsuyoshi Kinugasa - I agreed because I want them to help stimulate the Central League.
Chiba Lotte Marines' acting owner Akio Shigemitsu - [Makoto] answered even the toughest of questions on his own. He was a very refreshing individual. I am sure they will bring a breath of fresh air.
Rakuten Eagles' owner Toru Shimada - Something new was important so fresh blood is a good thing. We were concerned about a number of things, but we accepted [the result] after we stated our arguments.
Reactions from the Yokohama organization:
Team owner Kiyoshi Wakabayashi - It is unfortunate that we will no longer be an owner company. We want to see the team improve, so we will continue to provide them with our support.
Team president Takao Kaji - A new owner is coming so I will leave this post. I will be the last "last place" owner. I want the fans to continue cheering for the team.
Daisuke Miura - With a new start, I want to work hard and as one team, the Yokohama DeNA Bay Stars. I just want this team to get stronger.
Shuichi Murata - I am relieved a decision was made. I would like to see the team make improvements that make me want to stay.
General fan reactions:
"I am worried about how long they will keep the team."
"I am glad a decision was finally made. I hope they support the team as if they were close like family."
"I hope they can run a stable team without focusing on self-advertising."
"They are a new company so I am worried if they can hold on to the team. I would like to see them develop their young talent and improve the team little by little."