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Kanemoto becomes manager

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Featuring Christopher Amano-Langtree (a.k.a. Christopher)

This blog will attempt to report on as many Hanshin Tigers games as possible. Games will be, if possible, reported the day after and on rare occasions the same day.


Kanemoto becomes manager

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After a long hiatus this blog is back. Last season was so full of stunning mediocrity that I just could not bring myself to write anything on the team. Whilst Wada had earned his fourth year by taking the team to the Japan Series he then blew it by squandering a first place lead to finish third. As a similar loss of momentum happened in the previous year it was obvious that he had to go.
Once again though Tigers turned to an OB - this is not a learning organisation but at least they chose an interesting one this time. Kanemoto was one of Tigers greatest stars (though his final years were disappointing) and an exciting No. 4. However, he has absolutely no management experience whatsoever. He acknowledged as much and it was this as much as anything that made him initially reluctant to take up the manager's post when it was offered. Tigers persisted and won him round gradually. So what can we expect from a Kanemoto reign?
In his introductory press conference we were at least spared the usual drivel about developing young players but instead got to listen to some interesting ideas about motivation. This is very much what the Tigers have been lacking in recent years - the extra motivation needed to win the vital games. We also learned that Kanemoto wants power as well - another positive thing to take away - batters with pop are also something Tigers need. He also referenced genuine managers (Mimura, Ochiai and Hara) as role models. This is all very positive and promising and coming from Kanemoto it's credible. His commitment to the Tigers and to his role as 'Iron Man' was never in doubt and if he can bring that kind of commitment to the team then things are going to look up. If he can instill that level in the players then they look even better.
With Fujii gone and Tigers are at last freed from mediocrity behind the plate and can look to a more proactive approach to pitching as well. Potential coaches include Kataoka (again), Yano and Shimoyanagi which once again brings in a low level of experience but an openess to new ideas because of a lack of preconceptions. Kanemoto indicated this himself when quizzed about his lack of experience. I feel exciting times might be ahead for Tigers and am looking forward to blogging the new regime.
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