The Softbank Hawks either blocked or avoided the lonely transfer of franchise star Tsuyoshi Wada to the FA. According to an exclusive report by Japan’s Nikkan Sports, the Seibu Lions planned to announce Wada as compensation for Hotaka Yamakawa’s transfer to the FA. However, the situation changed after the report due to a flurry of fan backlash. Seibu chose Hiroshi Kaino, a former Premier 12 national team member, over Wada.
Softbank defended Wada. However, it is problematic that the incident revealed a mismatch between the team’s field and the front office. A Japanese baseball player expressed concern about the atmosphere of the Softbank Hawks, using the harsh term “air dissolution crisis.”
Wada is a franchise star who only played for the Hawks, from Daiei to Softbank, except when he tried in the Major League. Although he is a veteran who will turn 43 this year, he proved that he is still in the first team with 100 innings pitched last year, and new manager Hiroki Kokubo said he would put Wada in the starting rotation in the first week of the season.헤라카지노
Japan’s “Ronspo” reported commentator Masanori Matsui’s opinion on the Wada incident on Sunday. “Since distrust between the field and the front office has been revealed, the team may be split up in the air,” he pointed out.
Commentator Matsui said, “We are making guesses based on information revealed by reports,” adding, “If it is true that Wada was excluded from the 28-member protection list, we should have discussed with him while excluding him from the list. I think he is a player who should do that much. I think he did not protect him because he judged that he would not nominate him due to his age at 42 and his estimated annual salary of 200 million yen, but Seibu has brought veteran Tetsuya Utsumi from the Yomiuri Giants in the past.”
“Considering Wada’s performance and impact on young players, including her personality, we could have expected that she would be nominated. She should have explained to Wada the reason and intention to remove her from the list of protection, and if she failed to ask for understanding, she should have put her on the list. The front desk let her guard down.”
The situation does not end just by blocking Wada’s leak. Commentator Matsui was worried that the latest incident revealed differences between the field and the front desk. “Recruitment of Yamakawa may have resulted in uncomfortable feelings towards the front desk, such as competition for positions within the squad. The number of juniors who participated in the joint camp together shows Wada’s personality. If Wada is treated like that (excluding the protected list), other players may think, “What is the front desk doing?” He expressed his concern, saying, “To win, we need not only backup at the front desk but also consensus with the field.”
Disagreements between the field and the front office are also evident in Kokubo’s plan. Kokubo had already announced that he would put Wada in the starting rotation in the first week of the season. “The fact that the team did not protect such a pitcher naturally raises questions about communication between the front office and the field manager. Softbank is known to have strong opinions from the front office. We do not know how much the coach’s opinion was reflected in the selection process, but the coach must have known that Wada was absent,” commentator Matsui added.
Wada is a veteran left-handed pitcher who was born in 1981. Wada made his debut as a member of the Daie Hawks in 2003, and remains the last Daiei native among the active Japanese pro baseball players. In the 2003 Japan Series, he was a rookie and had a brilliant first season as he pitched in Game 7, winning all of them. He started his career as a member of the national team at the Athens Olympics in 2004. He then played for the national team at the 2006 WBC (World Baseball Classic) and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He left the team from 2012 to 2015 to challenge himself in the Major League, but returned to the team in 2016. He was a 35-year-old veteran when he returned, but he still has his uniform off. He was competitive in the first division even after turning into his 40s with seven wins and four losses in 17 games in 2022 and eight wins and six losses in 21 games last year with an ERA of 3.24.
Yamakawa, who triggered the Wada crisis, played first base as a slugger with 218 homers in 786 games during 10 seasons with Seibu. At the same time, he was the one who caused trouble last year over allegations of sexual assault. Seibu had kept Yamakawa out of the first-team game in view of his recent weakness.
After recruiting Yamakawa, Softbank Chairman Wang Jeong-chi said, “I think we should give him a chance to regret it.” Fans’ complaints are on the verge of exploding due to the team’s poor performance, which gave the Orix Buffaloes the lead in the Pacific League for the third consecutive year since 2020.