Monday, December 26, 2016

Report: Hisanobu Watanabe promoted to organization director

Photo credit: Sponichi
The Saitama Seibu Lions will have a new structure for 2017 in the front office. Senior Director Hisanobu "Nabe-Q" Watanabe has been promoted to being the organizational director, the Lions announced on Monday.

General manager Haruhiko Suzuki said that there needed to be "accountability" for the last three seasons of finishing in B-class (Bottom 3 in the Pacific League). Suzuki, 65, will keep his position being in charge of the Lions personnel moves.

With this promotion for Nabe-Q, it's clear he will be in line to be the full-time general manager in the future. It's possible that both Nabe-Q and Suzuki will have to agree on making decisions together in the front office for the time being.

When Nabe-Q stepped down after 2013 as a manager, he had Tetsuya Shiozaki in line to replace him. Suzuki refused to follow through with this and hired Haruki Ihara for 2014, who would later resign in the middle of the year. Norio Tanabe would take over for the rest of the season and be in charge for both 2015 and 2016.

For the hiring process of Hatsuhiko Tsuji, Nabe-Q had more of an influence in the decision and gave his approval. Suzuki said there is a "good chance" that Nabe-Q will take the reigns when he steps down.

This move overall is just another transition for the direction of the Lions front office.


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