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Hanshin Tigers hold press conference for Akinobu Mayumi

by on Oct.25, 2011 @ 5:40 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers held a press conference for Akinobu Mayumi at company headquarters in Osaka earlier today.

At the press conference, Mayumi said that he had no choice but to step down after the horrible season he had (something he decided he'd do from the moment he started managing) and that he was sorry he couldn't bring the Tigers a better season.  He also thanked fans for their support through to the end.

Managerial Record with Tigers

2009 4 144 67 73 4 .479 24.5 106 .255 3.28
2010 2 144 78 63 3 .553 1.0 173 .290 4.05
2011 3 144 68 70 6 .493 9.0 80 .255 2.83
432 213 206 13 .508

UPDATE @ 10:22pm - The Tigers posted an official announcement that head coach Katsuhiko Kido, chief position player coach Yoshiaki Oka, Ichi-gun pitching coach Yasuo Kubo, and assistant training coach Takao Ebino were stepping down from their posts with the team.

Comments from the press conference have been posted at the official team site.  The following are comments that were posted by Nikkan Sports (here and here):

Team owner Shinya Sakai -

The Tigers are currently in the process of rebuilding the team and despite it being a difficult situation to win in, they did their best.  Beginning with me and the front office, we couldn't provide enough support and I feel bad about this.  I hope that he'll continue to watch over the Tigers and provide advice when he can.

Team president Nobuo Minami -

Managing the Tigers is a tough job.  The manager plays a big part in the team, but the uniformed [staff] and the people in the front office share in the work and responsibility.  It's too bad he needs to leave and I feel that we caused him a lot of troubles.

Akinobu Mayumi -

What are your thoughts?

I feel really bad that there weren't more things people could be happy about [regarding the season].  I thought from the moment I started [managing] that if I wasn't able to have a season fans would be happy with, I'd step down.

Any memorable games?

I have memories from every game.  Like yesterday's game, at the end, the fans thanked me.

On why the team couldn't become champions.

I think the number 1 reason was that the manager didn't have what it takes.

The younger players are coming along nicely.

I don't think players are growing just because they're playing in games.  I think players only begin to develop once when they get into games and compete to win.

The theme was rebuilding.

I wasn't trying to force a change.  But you can't wait until a veteran begins his downward slide in order to bring in fresh talent, you need to do it when they're still capable of playing well, otherwise the team won't improve.

Your future expectations for the team?

I'd like them to become a team with a strong foundation that competes for the postseason every year.

Any words for the next manager?

I think I'll have something to tell him once it becomes official.

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Hanshin Tigers: Akinobu Mayumi to step down after the season

by on Oct.16, 2011 @ 9:23 pm, under NPB
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Team president Nobuo Minami told reporters before today's Hiroshima - Hanshin game that Akinobu Mayumi will be stepping down at the end of the season.  According to Minami, Mayumi approached the team on the 7th and asked for permission to step down, as a show of responsibility, if the team didn't make it to the Climax Series.  The team did not attempt to change his mind.

UPDATE 10/17 @ 4:45am - Pitching coach Yasuo Kubo will likely leave the team as well.

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Hanshin Tigers management slowly begins to admit Akinobu Mayumi’s dismissal plan

by on Oct.15, 2011 @ 12:56 pm, under NPB
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According to Nikkan Sports, Hanshin Tigers' management is slowly beginning to admit that they may have an alternative dismissal plan for Akinobu Mayumi, should the team miss out on the Climax Series.

For the first time since news broke that the Tigers might have a dismissal plan in place for Mayumi, team owner Shinya Sakai told reporters on Friday that, "Nobuo Minami [and the manger] spoke [to each other] and I think they're on the same wavelength now.  If Minami says it's so, then that's it, but I haven't confirmed how things were said."

Sanspo has a slightly different quote, but with pretty much the same meaning:

I don't think we've said [that Mayumi would be dismissed if he missed the Climax Series].  But if that's what Minami-kun is saying, then that might indeed be the case.  But I'm not really sure of how things were said.  What's been mentioned in the papers though, I haven't made those comments.

Sanspo also reports that they managed to speak to an official from Hanshin headquarters on the 14th and confirmed the following:

  • that bating coach Yutaka Wada is a serious candidate
  • that they thought Mayumi did a good job in working with the younger players and want someone that can continue what he started
  • that because they want someone that can continue what Mayumi started, many in the organization feel it would be best to select someone from within the organization
  • that they felt the timing was a little early, since they ideally would have liked to have given any new candidate a chance to work at the Ni-gun level first.

Incidentally, Sanspo conducted an informal poll amongst 100 Hanshin fans during Friday night's game and found that 90% of fans were in favor of the Tigers' dismissal plan for Mayumi.  The survey also found that former Ni-gun manager Katsuo Hirata was the top pick, with 32 votes, to replace Mayumi next season.  Ichi-gun batting coach Wada came in second with 26 votes.  Results after that weren't mentioned.

UPDATE @ 1:16pm - Sponichi conducted an poll of their own and found that over the 247 votes, 71 wanted Hirata to succeed Mayumi.  Ochiai garnered 40 votes, batting coach Wada 39 votes, and Akihiro Yano 30 votes.

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Hanshin Tigers to dismiss Akinobu Mayumi if teams misses out on the Climax Series

by on Oct.13, 2011 @ 11:51 am, under NPB
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According to a number of reports (like Sanspo, Nikkan Sports, Daily Sports), Akinobu Mayumi will be dismissed (or forced to resign) if the Hanshin Tigers don't make it to the Climax Series (or don't finish above .500).  Ichi-gun batting coach Yutaka Wada, former Ni-gun manager Katsuo Hirata, and Masataka Nashida have been mentioned as possible candidates to replace Mayumi.

UPDATE @ 4:10pm - If Mayumi gets dismissed, the following three coaches may end up stepping down: head coach Katsuhiko Kido (there's also talk he could join the front office), position player coach Yoshiaki Oka, pitching coach Yasuo Kubo.

And when reporters asked Mayumi if the Tigers had spoken to him about the dismissal terms when he arrived at Yokohama Stadium earlier on Thursday, he shook his hands and his head and said, "No."

UPDATE 10/14 @ 6:00am - Team owner Shinya Sakai told reporters on Thursday he didn't know anything about the plan to dismiss Mayumi if he didn't make the Climax Series.  He also said, "It's just as I've been saying all along.  Nothing is going to change from from day to day, just because he loses today."

And after Thursday's game, when reporters tried to ask Mayumi if he had to finish in 3rd in order to keep his job, he said nothing and boarded bus.

UPDATE 10/14 @ 6:18am - Sanspo and Sports Hochi both feel that batting coach Wada may be the current frontrunner to replace Mayumi.  Sports Hochi also notes that while Nashida and Hiromitsu Ochiai could be potential candidates, the team may not consider them as serious candidates since they may also be tied up through to mid to late November (Nippon Series then the Asia Series).

UPDATE 10/14 @ 3:00pm - Daily Sports notes that the Tigers would like to see Akihiro Yano manage the team at some point in the future.  That means he could be on the staff next season in order to get some seasoning.

Nikkan Sports mentions former Hanshin Tigers Katsuo Hirata as a possible candidate.

Akinobu Mayumi agrees on 80M yen salary for 2011

by on Dec.18, 2010 @ 5:51 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers and Akinobu Mayumi agreed to a 2011 salary of 80M yen on Friday.

Mayumi was coming off a 2-year deal and re-signed a 2-year extension back in October.

See also:

Hanshin Tigers: More on Akinobu Mayumi’s contract situation

Akinobu Mayumi signs a 2-year extension with the Hanshin Tigers

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Hanshin Tigers: no more overworking Fujikawa in 2011

by on Oct.21, 2010 @ 4:24 pm, under NPB
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One of the things Akinobu Mayumi will be working on for the 2011 season is making sure the club doesn't overwork Kyuji Fujikawa.

"We may have [relied on Fujikawa too much].  It's something we need to review, but it's also possible that this is exhaustion that built up over the last couple of years," said Mayumi.

"Kubota started throwing better partway through the season, but if you consider the workload, it isn't really possible to get through an entire season with just 2 pitchers.  We need to strength the pitchers that come before them, like the Ryo Watanabe's and the Ken Nishimura's," added Mayumi.

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Hanshin Tigers: More on Akinobu Mayumi’s contract situation

by on Oct.21, 2010 @ 1:27 pm, under NPB
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Sanspo has posted a brief interview with Tigers' owner Shinya Sakai with regards to Akinobu Mayumi.  I've translated it down below.

On the manager's 2-year deal

That's exactly what it is.  That doesn't change the fact that this is about doing well every year.

On hearing that the manager actually wanted a 1-year deal

I wasn't at the negotiation table, so I don't really know what happened.  But it's for certain that this is about going after a championship.  Since we brought Mayumi on board, he's been working on rebuilding this team by growing new players.  And doing that takes times, so that's part of the reason.  His job is to win and grow talent.

On looking back at the past season:

We had some problems with our pitching staff.  The starters had problems and that put a lot of strain on the bullpen, and by the end, things go pretty bad.  We'd like for him to work on that.  Nomi managed to come back, but by then the pen was struggling.  Kubota worked hard as well.  We need to strength both the starting staff and the relief corp.

More than that, this was a season in which we really let our fans down.  Baseball is a tough sport, and we feel really bad [about the result].  I hope that he'll review the problems and do his best to make sure the same thing doesn't happen again next year.

We provided the support, but this team isn't very strong in tough situations, and there were criticisms about the weakness of this team in short series.  To be honest, that's been a problem over the last 2-3 years and I think it's something we need to figure out.  Each player did their best [this season] and some of our players even put up some big numbers.  And despite that, the team couldn't play the type of game it should have.

Also, I should probably mention that it doesn't seem as though the two sides have agreed on a 2-year deal but have yet to formally sign anything since there are still some things they need to go over.

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Akinobu Mayumi wants to keep managing Tigers in 2011 season

by on Oct.18, 2010 @ 4:15 am, under NPB
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Akinobu Mayumi told reporters after last night's loss to the Yomiuri Giants that he was still interested in returning next season to finish out the 2nd year of a 2-year deal.  With regards to the coaching staff, club president Nobuo Minami said that was a topic that would be discussed moving forward.

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