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Yokohama DeNA Bay Stars announce Kiyoshi Nakahata as new manager

by on Dec.09, 2011 @ 6:28 pm, under NPB

The Yokohama DeNA Bay Stars announced Kiyoshi Nakahata as their new manager today and held a press conference to introduce him to the media.

Nakahata was given a two-year deal worth 100M yen a year.

Sanspo has posted the following comments from Nakahata's press conference:

What are your thoughts on becoming the team's first manager?

I feel thrilled, but I also wonder if I am the right choice.  I want to fulfill expectations and move forward.

What are your image of the perfect manager?

The field is a stage.  How players perform is important.  I want to create something good while getting to know my players better.

You will be playing against your old team, the Giants...

I am looking forward to that.  Hara and I have an understanding of each other, that includes knowing one another's personality.  Hara Giants are a big obstacle.  I want to go at them with everything we have got.

What kind of baseball do you want your team to play?

A kind of baseball where we do not lose.  In order for that to happen, the pitching staff really needs to improved.

What will you catch phrase be?

I want to make it "We are running hot."  Passion is very important in baseball.  It is a starting point.  It is what is needed most.

What did you take away from your meeting with former Yomiuri manager Shigeo Nagashima?

He has presence and he ran tough practices that were still a lot of fun.  He has character.  I do not have that, so I need to figure out how to compensate for that.

A couple additional notes on Nakahata:

  • According to Sanspo, he visited Shigeo Nagashima on Thursday night in order to tell him about the Yokohama job.
  • Sponichi mentions that he visited his parent's grave in Yokohama on Thursday in order to give them the good news.

UPDATE 12/10 @ 1:52am - Nikkan Sports has posted a much longer set of comments:

What are your thoughts right now?

I am thrilled, but I am also not sure if I was the right choice.  I think they decided to give me a chance based on my experiences and the things I have worked on.  There is only moving forward.

When did you hear about the managerial job?

Officially, yesterday (12/8).  Signed the contract today and now the press conference.  The people in the media waited outside for me in the cod and honestly, I found it difficult to talk to talk about gossip.  Did anyone catch a cold?  I am worried.

What was the number one reason why you accepted the job?

After DeNA was approved, I was thinking about how nice it would be to get a chance.  Even Nagashima-san said I might be a good candidate.   So there were those kinds of discussions.

What kind of condition are you in?

Yesterday Rami-san said "zekkocho!" (I feel great).  It would be nice if all the players were zekkocho.  I am thinking of another catchphrase.  More on that later.

What is your ideal manager?

I do not really know about the manager, but I do have a strong image of what I think players should be.  I think the field is a stage.  The players are actors.  Things changes depending on the actors.  It is about what kind of director you can become with regards to the actors.  I want to spend a lot of time working with the actors to put together something good.

Do you have any comments on the coaching staff?

I have spoken to GM Takada directly about this.  I would like to decide on a staff as soon as possible.

Do you have any thoughts on the recent Bay Stars?

Obana kantoku was trying to use younger players so I think he started something good.  I think he gave me some clues.  I will be starting over from scratch.  Honestly, I am a little concerned about the pitching staff.  I think the GM will do something for us.

Do you have any goals?  The owner did say a championship in 5 years.

If I am going to do this, I may as well shoot for the top.  And people can get through tough practices because they have that goal.

Your thoughts on the newly acquired [Alex] Ramirez.

His personality, his desire to spend time with fans, that smile, I think he is a treasure.  I am looking forward to what he can provide this team.  Rami-chan is great, he is one of my favorite players.

You will be meeting players for the first time when spring camp begins.  Is there anything you would like them to do before then?

Players get ready quickly.  Even if you do not say anything, they come prepared.  I think practices during spring camp will be long.

Your thoughts on your home region of Fukushima?

I visited Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima.  Continuing [to provide support] will provide strength.  It will be important to continue providing support, not just stopping after one year.  I do have a special spot for Fukushima.  I think I may be the first manager from Fukushima and I would like to start something out of Fukushima.

What about playing regular season games in Fukushima?

That would be great.  But [the stadium only seats] 18,000 so it would be nice if they could increase it by about 5,000.

You will be playing against your old team, the Yomiuri Giants.

I am really looking forward to this.  I worked with Hara kantoku for eight years so I understand his personality and I think he developed into a really good manager.  I think Hara Giants will be a very big obstacle.  They are spending money to improve and we need to figure out a way to beat them.  I am excited, I just feel like taking them full on.

You mentioned having a catchphrase.

Getting heated up for something.  Like the sizzling blank.  How about the Sizzling DeNA!

Any information you can provide regarding your uniform number and contract years?

My contract is for two years.  My uniform number is still under consideration.  I will take whatever is open.

Yokohama finished in last four years in a row.  What needs to happen to make the team strong?

We just can not lose.  We can not playing losing baseball.  And that means pitching.  We need to improve our pitching.  If we can improve our pitching strength, we can at least compete at the most basic level.

You mentioned that practices at camp will be long.  Are you bringing back the old "Ito camps from hell?"

Ito camps were held in the fall.  Things are different in the spring when you are preparing for a season.  However, practice will become harder.  For younger player, now is the only time they have.  You have to strike while the iron is hot.

Can you tell us about your meeting with Nagashima-san?

I visited him at his home and said that things are progressing just as they are appearing in the papers.  He was really happy for me.  And I told him I would do my best.  I can finally contribute back to baseball.

How will you make use of the things Nagashima-san taught you?

Nagashima-san has an aura.  He has a presence.  Practices were hard, but I also had fun.  He had charisma.  I do not have that so I have to figure out how to compensate for that.

Can you comment on Yoshitomo Tsutsugo?

When I saw him taking BP during his first year at [spring] camp, I felt impressed for the first time in a long while.  I thought the team got a great prospect.  He is one of the players I would like see step up soon.  He may become my number one target during spring camp.

Have you ever used Mobage?

I have never used the service.  Search keyword, Mobage!

Is there anything you would like to tell fans?

Let us do this.  Words change meaning.  Let us push forward!