The Saitama Seibu Lions announced Hatsuhiko Tsuji as their manager earlier this week. They would introduce him in a press conference in front of general manager Haruhiko Suzuki (standing off camera).
Here is the translated transcript of what he said:
"As accepting the post of [Seibu Lions] professional baseball manager, a first for me, there are a large number of concerns. As long as I am in a Lion uniform, I will do my best to win a championship."
What were your thoughts when you were offered the Lions manager position?
"I was surprised that I was offered the position. I've never thought of receiving an offer to be the manager of Lions. As I was scouted by team, I came into the professional baseball world and worked for 12 years as a [player] of Lions, which is what made me who I am today. I am grateful [for the offer.] I hope I can make any contribution to the team to show my appreciation to my home team.
Have you seen the Lions from your time away?
Honestly, I have been caring about Lions since I left and I have thought why the team, which is supposed to keep winning, has not been in a good shape in recent years. I never believe the capability of the team is less than others, but there must be some reasons for their current position in the league. My belief is that defense (with a strong pitcher in the middle) would come first to go through a whole season, so I want to focus first on defense."
How did you see the Lions from the outside ?
"Up until five years ago I had seen the Lions from a commentator's perspective. I believed they had potential, but when it comes to a game, the point is the balance between batting and defense. And in that point my perception is that Lions are not well- balanced. I thought they had enough strength, but weren't well-balanced between the pitchers and the fielders."
What is your view of a manager in professional baseball?
"I don't know well. Luckily, I have worked with so many managers who were called as a great managers and I learned a lot from them. So I hope the things I learned will help when I myself work as a manager."
What do you think of the 101 errors, which were the worst in the Pacific League?
"I don't know the detail of those errors, but in the autumn camp, I would like to judge plays' capability and give advice where it is necessary. Errors are inevitable in baseball, so the stance should be, as often said. It's ok as long as it is a result of aggressive trial, otherwise the number will increase. For sure a player who doesn't express his aggressiveness makes errors, so I hope they try aggressively."
Closing statement for fans:
"Our goal is to win the championship and i will try my very best to establish a strong team. Come and continue to support us."
Special thanks goes to our friends "Shiba Scope", Mizuho Miyazaki and "Maple Ash" for translation help.
For those who can speak Japanese, the condensed video can be seen here
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