Thursday, June 29, 2017

Translation: Former teammates, coaches reflect on loss of Shinji Mori

A table display in remembrance of Shinji Mori was put up at MetLife Dome
Saitama Seibu Lions pitching coach Shinji Mori died on Wednesday due to multiple organ failures. The Lions were down in Okinawa and didn't receive the news until after playing a game against the Chiba Lotte Marines.

The Japanese media spoke to several people who were teammates or coaches of Mori. Here is what they had to say:


Chiba Lotte Marines manager Tsutomu Ito: "I was so worried about him, but I never thought it would come to this. We won lots of games together as players. I had many memories with him. [He was gone] too soon and I am in total shock. May his soul rest in peace."

Ito was a battery partner with Mori from 1997-2003 as a player. He would also become the manager overseeing Mori from 2004-2005.  


Chunichi Dragons manager Shigekazu Mori: "He was just 42. He was my pitcher and I gave him my number (11) as a player. The last time we met here [in Nagoya] during the interleague play, he said 'he will do his best'. I still can't believe it is real. I hope Lions will enter the Climax Series (let alone the Japan Series) and Tsuji will manage the team well for his sake."

Shigekazu Mori was a Lions coach and saw Shinji Mori from 1997-1999.


Chunichi Dragons hitting coach Masahiro Doi: "He was kind and a very nice person. He looked good when I met him during the interleague series [against the Lions]."

Doi coached the Lions for two stints and saw Mori from 1997-1999 and 2004-2005. 


Chunichi Dragons infield defense coach Hiroshi Narahara: "He was sincerely committed and he devoted himself to baseball. We lost such a valuable asset. It is painful [to know he is gone]."

Narahara was teammates with Mori as a player in 1997. He was also with the Lions staff alongside Mori from 2015-2016. 


Daisuke Matsuzaka: "I still can't believe it. It doesn't feel like t's real. He was so nice and took care of me just like a brother. It is so hard for me to accept the fact [that he is dead]. It is too painful for me."

Matsuzaka was teammates with Mori on the Lions pitching staff from 1999-2005. He is currently with the Softbank Hawks.  


Special thanks to @Pino_Martinez for translation help and Nikkan / Other media outlets for speaking to others. 

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