The prestigious SoftBank Hawks of Japan’s National Professional Baseball (NPB) have been “humiliated.
SoftBank did not have a single player named to the final 26-man roster for the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), which was announced on Thursday. Local Japanese media, including Nikkan Sports, reported that SoftBank was the only organization without a representative at the APBC. The APBC, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan, next month for 16 days, will feature players from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Australia who are 24 years old or younger (born after Jan. 1, 1999) or in their third year of eligibility (born after 2021). Teams can include up to three players aged 29 or younger with a wild card concept.
SoftBank barely crossed the threshold into fall baseball this season with a 71-69 record (.507 winning percentage), good for third place in the Pacific League. However, they were swept by Chiba Lotte (70 wins and 68 losses) in the first stage of the postseason (PS). The team’s power was said to have diminished significantly from its peak, and they were given a dismal APBC report card of “0 representatives”. SoftBank’s pride will be further bruised by the fact that the Central League’s last-place Junichi Dragons had three representatives (Tatsuya Shimizu, Kota Ishibashi, Yuki Okabayashi) and the Pacific League’s last-place Nippon Ham Fighters had two (Haruka Nemoto, Chusei Mannami).온라인카지노
The Yomiuri Giants, who have not been performing well lately, also had three players on the final roster, with Yuji Akahoshi, Makoto Kadoki, and Akihiro Yuto. SoftBank has NPB representatives such as Kohei Aihara, Tsuyoshi Wada, Gensuke Gondo, and Yuta Yanagita in its lineup, but it hasn’t had a smooth generation change. This is the biggest reason for their recent poor performance, and the final roster for the APBC proved it once again.
New head coach Hiroki Kokubo, who was appointed after the season, acknowledged the reality. “It’s a pity,” said Kokubo, who now coaches in the Miyazaki Education League, “that there are no young players (in the team), but that’s the reality. The gap (between the young players) and the main players has widened a lot.”