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[10/14/2014] Softbank Hawks: Koji Akiyama to step down after the season

by on Oct.14, 2014 @ 1:00 pm, under NPB
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The media learned on Monday that Koji Akiyama is planning to step down after the season. Akiyama has already informed the Softbank Hawks of his intention to resign. The organization has been trying to get him to change his mind, but the pressure to do well after multiple high-profile free agent signings and the team's slow down at the end of the season may have wore him down. Family and health issues may have also factored into the decision.

A press conference is scheduled for later today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/14/2014, Sponichi 10/14/2014, Sponichi 10/14/2014

[UPDATE @ 10:06pm]

The Hawks formally announced that Akiyama will be stepping down after the season. They also posted footage from the press conference at Ustream.


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 10/16 @ 1:57am]

Akiyama's wife fell sick three years ago. His wife's health factored into his decision not to manage at the 2013 World Baseball Classic and was likely one of the reasons why he decided to step down as manager of the Hawks. His daughter heading off to college this year also probably played a part.

Source: Sponichi 10/14/2014, ZakZak 10/14/2014

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NPB wants Softbank’s Koji Akiyama to manage Samurai Japan

by on Sep.24, 2012 @ 9:53 am, under WBC
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According to Sponichi, NPB commissioner Ryozo Kato reportedly wants Koji Akiyama to manage Samurai Japan.  But since Akiyama has expressed concerns about active managers participating in the WBC, Kato may have Sadaharu Oh speak to the Softbank Hawks' manager in an attempt allay his worries.

Source: Sponichi 9/24/2012

Nikkan Sports is also carrying a similar report, but they also include Tatsunori Hara in some sort of a support/advisory role in order to offset some of the burden.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/24/2012

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Sadaharu Oh thinks Hiromitsu Ochiai is a good candidate for WBC manager

by on Jun.21, 2012 @ 6:24 pm, under WBC
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Sadaharu Oh told reporters on Wednesday that he felt Hiromitsu Ochiai was a good candidate for WBC manager.

"[Ochiai] is not an active manager and he has the credentials." said Oh.

When asked about Softbank manager Koji Akiyama, he replied, "It is no surprise that [Akiyama's] name has been mentioned, but I think candidates should be people not actively involved in baseball."

Akiyama also provided his thoughts: "No, no.  Even if they ask, I will turn it down.  It is a job that would be difficult for active managers.  It would be impossible."

Source: Sponichi 6/21/2012, Sanspo 6/21/2012

Softbank Hawks leaning towards giving Koji Akiyama a 2-year extension

by on Dec.30, 2010 @ 5:45 pm, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks are planning on giving Koji Akiyama a 2-year extension (they have no intention of finding a replacement).  Akiyama will be in the final year of a 3-year deal next season.

The interesting question will be what happens if the Hawks tank in 2011.  It isn't likely, but what if?  There's obviously a lot at stake for Akiyama next season.

In other team related news:

Hiroki Kokubo used to burn his broken bats at a temple during the off-season.  But he stopped doing that last year and now has over 50 broken bats in his possession.  A huge proponent of carrying around his own set of chopsticks to help the environment (less waste) and because it makes food taste better, Kokubo appears to be thinking about turning those broken bats into chopsticks that fans will be able to purchase.

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Koji Akiyama meets with the owner

by on Oct.30, 2010 @ 11:41 pm, under NPB
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Koji Akiyama met with team owner Masayoshi Son on Friday to file his report for the 2010 season.

Seems Son is on board with Akiyama and told reporters that he wanted Akiyama to approach him for whatever needs he might have.

"In terms of improving the team, I'd like Akiyama to speak up without any concerns," said Son.  He then added, "The team came together as one this year, and that's something the team should be proud of.  If there's anything we can do from behind-the-scenes, we'd be more than happy to help."

Said Akiyama, "We managed to come through with our first goal of winning the Pacific League, but we're still disappointed about missing the Nippon Series.  We intend to get better one step at a time."

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Akiyama to stay on as manager in 2011, extension possible

by on Sep.27, 2010 @ 9:04 am, under NPB
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Koji Akiyama is in the second year of a three year deal with the Softbank Hawks.  On Sunday, the Hawks officially decided to keep Akiyama on board through to the end of his three year deal.  It seems the club is also open to the possibility of giving Akiyama a multi-year extension past the 2011 season, likely dependent on how he does next year.

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