Tatsunori Hara (65), manager of the Yomiuri Giants, the most popular Japanese professional baseball team, is stepping down from the baton he held for 17 seasons. His successor is Shinnosuke Abe, chief and battery coach (44).
The Yomiuri Shimbun reported in its online edition on the 4th that Coach Hara’s retirement and Coach Abe’s promotion to coach were decided on this day. With this, Coach Hara was let go with the final year of his three-year contract remaining.
Yomiuri entered the season with the goal of winning the league for the first time in three years following 2020, but failed to advance to the Climax Series (postseason) for the second year in a row. This is the first time that Yomiuri failed to participate in the postseason for two consecutive years under the same manager.
Coach Hara, who played for Yomiuri for 14 seasons during his active career and was active as a slugger, took over the baton of Yomiuri for the first time in 2002, succeeding coach Shigeo Nagashima. In his first year in office, he led the league and won the Japan Series.
Coach Hara, who resigned after two seasons due to a conflict with the club representative, was appointed as Yomiuri coach again in 2006 and led the team for 10 consecutive years until 2015. Coach Hara, who later worked as a baseball commentator on television, returned to the Yomiuri dugout in 2019.
During his 17-year tenure on three occasions, he won the league nine times and topped the Japan Series three times.
As a manager, he recorded a total of 1,290 regular season wins (1,025 losses, 91 draws), which ranks first in the club’s history.안전놀이터
New coach Abe joined Yomiuri with the first pick in the 2001 draft and led the team as a key defensive catcher. He also made a name for himself as a slugger with both technique and slugging power. He served as captain for eight years starting in 2007 and demonstrated leadership. He reached 2,000 hits in 2017 and 400 home runs in 2019. His career regular season performance was a batting average of 0.284, 406 home runs, and 2,132 hits. He retired at the end of 2019, took office as Yomiuri 2nd team coach in 2020, took on the 1st team operations and defense coach in 2022, and head and battery coach starting this season.
He is famous among domestic fans as a close friend of current Doosan Bears coach Lee Seung-yeop, who played for Yomiuri. It is known that he learned Korean to become closer to Lee Seung-yeop.