Tag Archives: Tatsunori Hara

NPB news: Oct. 10, 2023

Tuesday was part of a dream come true in a country where the schedule often means a week of meaningless makeup games. Before he left us, the late great Wayne Graczyk, spoke of his dream of the season being decided on the regular-season’s final game.

Although the pennants were both decided in September, the Pacific League playoff picture came down to the final out in Sendai on Tuesday.

We also had some news about Rintaro Sasaki, who was expected to attract major attention in this month’s NPB draft, while yesterday I published some research on outgoing Giants manager Tatsunori Hara and how much of his results he owes to Yomiuri’s ability to secure talent from rival teams each year. It’s a surprising amount.

Tuesday’s game

Marines 5, Eagles 0: At Miyagi Stadium, the Marines played a winner-take-all game against Rakuten. Their win knocked the Eagles out of the playoff picture, and pushed the Marines into second place ahead of SoftBank.

Continue reading NPB news: Oct. 10, 2023

Tatsunori Hara retrospective, part 1

In the aftermath of Tatsunori Hara’s “stepping down” as Giants manager for ostensibly the third and final time, I thought it was time to do some research into his interesting tenures in Yomiuri Land.

There were a variety of stories out there trying to explain Hara’s failure to get the league’s wealthiest team into the upper division for two consecutive seasons. One of the more interesting takes was the team’s failure to land free agent catcher and 2019 Pacific League MVP Tomoya Mori. Despite a personal appeal from Hara, Mori selected the two-time defending PL champions – and his hometown team – Osaka’s Orix Buffaloes.

This point was brought up in a few stories that also blamed Hara’s failure on his annual turnover of coaches, or player injuries, or the players simply not trying hard enough.

We assume that Yomiuri has the best access in NPB to domestic talent, both amateur and professional, but how much is that really worth on average each season? To find out, I looked up every player in NPB who had played for a different team the year before and how much they produced that year, while also making note of the team that lost that individual.

Hara won nine pennants with the Yomiuri Giants and three Japan Series championships, and won more regular season games than any other Yomiuri manager. Let’s see how he compares to other contemporary managers with 500 or more games managed.

Continue reading Tatsunori Hara retrospective, part 1