Naona, 40-year-old manager of Nippon Professional Baseball…Lee Seung-yup’s former teammate, Imae Rakuten, is likely to take over, 2005 Chiba Lotte Japan Series MVP
Will a 40-year-old coach be born?
Toshiaki Imae (40), a former teammate of Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop (47) during his time with the Chiba Lotte Marines, looks set to take the helm of the Rakuten Eagles. Japanese sports publications such as Sports Nippon reported on Wednesday that Kazuhisa Ishii, 50, has announced his resignation and that Imae, a batting coach, is the leading candidate for the job.
Imae worked with Lee for two years in 2004 and 2005 when he played for Chiba Lotte. He was a member of the 2005 championship team that led Chiba Lotte to its first title in 31 years. The team finished first in the Grapefruit Pacific League and won the Japan Series, sweeping the Hanshin Tigers in four games.
Imae had a big game in Game 1 of the Japan Series, going 4-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs, and three runs scored. He was named the Japan Series MVP. Lee hit home runs in Game 1 at Chiba Marine Stadium and Games 3 and 4 at Koshien Stadium.
Imae moved to Rakuten in 2016, where he played for four more years until 2019. In 18 seasons, he played in 1704 games, amassing 1682 hits, 108 home runs, and 726 RBIs. He represented Japan in the 2006 World Baseball Classic (WBC), winning the title.
Rakuten failed to advance to the Climax Series (postseason) after losing the final game of the pennant race against Chiba Lotte 0-5 on Tuesday. Had they won the final game, they would have played fall baseball in third place. 4 for the second year in a row 레고토토
In addition to the above, Coach Ishii has announced his resignation.
Coach Imae began his coaching career at Rakuten after retiring as a player and joined the first team coaching staff in May. By May, the team’s batting average was 2.1, but it jumped to 2.6 in June, shortly after he took over as first-team hitting coach. His skills as a hitting coach were recognized.
Rakuten won its first and only championship in 2013, when Masahiro Tanaka led the team to a 24-1 record in the regular season.