Tsuyoshi Shinjo is the leading candidate to manage the Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters, Nikkan Sports reported Sunday, citing multiple sources, as part of a shakeup that will now see General Manager Hiroshi Yoshimura focus on his duties as head of player personnel and former Fighters coach and Japan manager Atsunori Inaba take over as GM.
The Nikkan Sports used the word “gyoten” to describe the move, which could be interpreted as a state of being amazed or horrified.
Tokyo Sports Web, which one has to tread lightly with, reported Sunday that the team had been hoping to move Inaba from his current community relations position with the team into the manager’s slot but that Shinjo’s candidacy was pressed on the organization from the parent company keen to clean house.
The Fighters are due to move into their new ballpark in nearby Kita Hiroshima in 2023, and the team is currently under a cloud surrounding the circumstances of former cleanup hitter Sho Nakata’s assault of a teammate this summer.
Toshimasa Shimada, who was the Fighters’ chief executive until his retirement a few years ago, seemed a little surprised to think the Shinjo story might be true, but did say he respected his hustle as a player and wrote on his Instagram account last year that Shinjo’s busting his butt down to first might instill more of the hustle the team lacked.