baseball

Yomiuri Giants fire general manager Kiyotake over feud with owner

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19 Comments
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no surprise for those who live in Japan, a common practice...but may be somthing "new" for people outside Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Corporate Japan.

The Yomuiri Giants are NOT Japan's most popular team. They are Japan's most corporate team with a media engine strong enough to create the illusion they want

The Hanshin Tigers are Japan's most popular team. Where's Babe Ruth's statue? Where did Babe Ruth choose to play in Japan? Cased closed!!

That's the game these days in the Corporate sports. Decisions are made in the Owner's Box. Phone rings, you do what you are told.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

NetNinja, the Giants are indeed the most popular team AND the most corporate. They are also the most hated team for sure.

This is just another instance of Watanabe acting like a spoiled little dictator rather than a normal businessman. He's such a cancer on NPB.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The team’s owner is the Yomiuri Group, a powerful media conglomerate which includes two newspapers and a television network.

And as long as that is the case, and Watanabe is in charge, NPB will continue to wallow in a model that broke at least a decade ago. Both TV viewership and newspaper readership are in decline, but NPD's most powerful team is tied to both.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I'm glad I'm not a fan of this team.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

they couldn't wait till AFTER the japan series to make this announcement ?? always trying to steal the spotlight .

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Giants(read Yomiuri) - the disease of Japan Baseball.

Baseballs downward spiral in Japan can only be halted by the promotion of free-thinkers (Kiyotake) and the removal of the autocrats (Watanabe).

But it aint happening soon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yomuiri Giants are definitely the worst team in Japanese Professional Baseball.

I'm a baseball fan. I love the SPORT. It's not too hard to find NetNinja. I'm usually in my Hanshin Happi screaming Rokko Oroshi at the top of my lungs.

I'll just try to stay on topic here. We are all intelligent enough to know that baseball is big business. It's a moneymaker. Behind every team is a corporation that funds the team and writes the payroll checks. I think fans want the corporate side of things off the field. He's the manager, he has to make the decisions.

Despite my pure disdain for "Kyojin" I do recognize that the lineup is filled with talent that was all bought and paid for. As a baseball fan I didn't just get off the plane and choose Hanshin. I went to a number of games by different teams to get a feel for which team I admired and respected.

When I went to my first Giants game, sat in Tokyo Dome, first base, it was my first time that I felt the game had lost it's soul. I found myself surrounded by Men-In-Black, on cell phones, not even cheering. After home-runs there was no comradeship among them.

It so easy to feel Corporate Japan inside Tokyo Dome. You see the Giabbits eating ridiculously expensive bentos. I'm glad Japan loves the game but they really twisted it up. I didn't see many families at Tokyo Dome. Very little father and son enjoying the ball game together. It's hard to describe this cold feeling I had that day.

Later I went to my first Hanshin Tigers game. Again I expected the Corporate baseball lifeless crowd but it was completely different. It's the reason I mentioned Babe Ruth earlier. Hanshin fans have the spirit of baseball protected in their hearts like the Olympic flame. They are true fans of their team and the game. Coming to a baseball is not about getting out of your BMW and sitting in Recaro seats (That's next for Tokyo Dome). It's about the game, not the corporation.

This is Yomuiri's biggest mistake and it will be their downfall if other teams beat them even after they spend millions of yen trying to buy championships.

I hope this post is on track for you. I love baseball, no matter what country I'm in. While in Japan, Hanshin is one of the few teams left that are in love with the game. Yomuiri is a bit too synthetic for me. This article simply ratifies my belief that Yomuiri is way too corporate.

6 ( +7 / -2 )

I don't give a "dog's bollocks" about The Yomiuri Giants, or the crazy old "coot" who owns them!

I'm Osaka T baby!!!

Hanshin Tigers Forever!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I hate everything about the giants, especially the fossils at the top, they wud be better in a 2bit dictatorship, maybe the old goat cud set up a team in pyonyang!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yomiuri invented professional baseball in Japan as a business and have made untold millions out of it. They made sure they were the "most popular team" in Japan as they were the only team on TV every night (they never even used to play day games for that purpose) and that some big cities were not allowed to have their own teams. Drafts were fixed. Other teams would give up their best players to the Giants and umpires continually favored them. They even used to lie about the attendance at Tokyo Dome. It was always given as 55,000 even though it had only around 44,000 seats...to maintain the myth Yomiuri created, they just had to be the biggest and best in everything. Until the Japanese public got sick of the whole charade a few years ago. They are most certainly NOT the most popular team in Japan anymore. Watch any televised game and you will find Hanshin Tigers' fans greatly outnumber any other teams' away supporters. BTW, Yomiuri tried to do the same with soccer until FIFA ruled they couldn't name their team, Yomiuri Verdy, after a company. Then they soon got out of the game.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Giant's feud?

Of course, it's a feudal system here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Watanabe needs to retire, he is 85 years old, he has too much power. Just retire and enjoy the rest of your life, instead of messing up the Giants even more than they already are

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The fact that he didn't consult on the Egawa thing screams no confidence/do us a favor and quit...surely..I dont care for the Giants and love to see them lose as much as the next Osaka-jin,but they must have a fatal attraction..re:Kiyohara

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And there might be even more ... the name "Shigeo Nagashima" has popped up in the news as being a prospective consultant for the Giants. During his playing and managing days, Nagashima was known as "Mr. Giants." He is still a popular sight at the Giants games, but a severe stroke has slowed him down. The Giants' circus never ends. And, oh yes, watch the free agent movements following the Japan Series ... the Giants will be sniffing at all the big-name talent available ... as they usually do. They can't find their own players, they always have to steal from other teams ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tigers draw a bigger crowd both at home and away than Kyojin. Their fans are crazy they also play in the nicest baseball stadium in Japan but I think Chiba Lotte Marines fans are the craziest fans in Japan, despite not being that many of them. They have the best ouenkas too.

I never agree with Watanabe. I think he is insane. There is not a nice bone in him. But I think Egawa would be a good coach or manager. Better than Hara.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Growing up in Japan as a kid, the only baseball I have ever been familiar with is Japanese baseball. To me it is puro yakyu. The king of all sports. I do not doubt for a second that Americans know how to play some serious baseball but still, my heart is with Japanese baseball. The non stop trumpeting, the beers, bentous. I'm into it. In contrast having spent over 50% of my life in Europe, I could never get into football in the same way as baseball. I do love football though. I went to Rotterdam to watch the Euro and to Marseille for the World Cup. Even was lucky enough to see English hooligans in Marseille going crazy. Pretty funny. The fans are crazy in Europe. Sometimes too crazy. It can get ridiculously ugly there but more often than not, Europeans know how to create an electic atmosphere but to me Japanese baseball is the best. The great Hanshin Kyojin rivary or the Seibu Lotte rivary. Despite it's passionate support the people are nice and mellow to each other unlike in Europe where you can get beaten up or even killed for just wearing a wrong jersey. How twisted is that?

As for Kyojin. Not all their players are bought. They do have home grown talent too. Best teams tend to be teamswith a mix of home grown and imports, young players mixed with old. As for Egawa. I give him the nod. The guy is OK.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Many nice comments here from Dotobock, NetNinja, etc. "nicest baseball stadium in Japan"

I agree Koshien is a great place. But we could debate whether it is thought of as Japan's baseball shrine because it houses NPB's Tigers, the amateur high school tournaments, or because it survived a WWII bombing raid. I would give the high school tournaments primary importance in explaining the reverence for Koshien. The Tigers just lucked out to share the space, and actually play second fiddle to the kids by playing in other stadiums in Kobe or Osaka during the high school tournaments. Maybe I'm biased because Tigers fans are into irrelevant stuff like KFC Colonel Sanders statues (just because it looked like Randy Bass to drunk fans looking for things into the Dotonbori) and simultaneously released bat-shaped balloons. I liked the NPB games I've been to, but for whatever reason, I'm starting to appreciate the high school games (even the mandatory crying and especially the nostalgic dirt gathering) more than the NPB product anymore.

In the off season, it's worth visiting Koshien just to walk around reading all the messages from fans in the personalized bricks on the concourse. You can warm up with a paper bag full of 70 yen taiyaki from the vendor across the street from the station. No trip to Kobe is complete without a stop at J baseball's best stadium!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't Egawa supposed to be a pretty good guy who speaks his mind and isn't a Giants stooge?

I wouldn't mind seeing him be given a chance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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