After finishing last for two years in a row, he’ll be at the helm next year.
Nippon Ham Fighters head coach Soyoshi Shinjo, 51, has re-signed with the organization. Nippon Ham announced on July 27 that it has re-signed Shinjo to a one-year contract. 메이저사이트“If we achieve the same results as this year, I will fight with the determination to take off my uniform,” Shinjo said.
“I want to lead the team next year,” he told the media in the middle of the season.
As of Sept. 26, the team has 58 wins, 1 draw and 78 losses, with a winning percentage of 4.22%. The team vowed to rebound this year after the opening of their new home, Escondido Hokkaido, but the reality was harsh. With six games to go, they are in last place, six games behind the fifth-place Seibu Lions. Last place is virtually assured.
For the fifth year in a row, they’ve missed the postseason in Class B (4th-6th out of six teams).
In their first year as head coach, they finished last last season with 59 wins, 3 draws, and 81 losses, a winning percentage of 4.021. They finished nine games behind the fifth-place Chiba Lotte Mariners.
It’s the second year in a row that they’ve finished at the bottom of the standings, but that’s to be expected with their current power.
Niihon Ham outfielder Mannami hit 25 home runs in his fifth year as a pro. He is tied for the Pacific League lead in home runs. Photo source=Niihon Ham Fighters website
The team hasn’t had much outside power in the past few years. After last season, leadoff hitter Gensuke Kondo became a free agent and moved to the Softbank Hawks. The team made a concerted effort to retain Gondo, but was unable to overcome SoftBank’s financial strength.
This year, prospect development paid off. Outfielder Jusei Mannami, a 23-year-old with five years of professional experience, has broken through and is on track to become a home run king. Mannami hit his 25th of the season against Chiba Lotte on the 26th. He is tied for first in home runs and tied for third in RBIs (73).
Shinjo, who was known for his powerful shoulders and unique demeanor as an outfielder, reached the major leagues after playing 10 years with the Hanshin Tigers. He spent three years with the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants before returning to Nippon Professional Baseball.
He started fresh with Nippon Ham, who moved from Tokyo to Sapporo, Hokkaido. In 2004, his first year with Nippon Ham, he hit a career-high 150 hits and batted .298. He retired in 2006 after Nippon Hammers won the Pacific League and Japan Series.
Photo credit: Niihon Ham Fighters website
Shinjo took the helm of Nippon Ham in October 2021 with no previous experience coaching a professional team. He succeeded head coach Hideki Kuriyama.
Shinjo said, “I want to show that Soyoshi Shinjo is not done with this, that he is a miracle worker.”