The chairman of the SoftBank Hawks, Sadaharu Oh, expressed frustration Monday over the team’s third-place finish in the Pacific League.
“Our offseason is never exciting when we don’t win a title,” the all-time home run leader in Japanese baseball said at the outset of the team’s year-end party at a Fukuoka hotel. “I realized once again that we have to play the last game of the year.”
For the third consecutive year, the once-dominant Hawks did not win the league title or advance to the Japan Series.
The Hawks will try to reclaim the league championship in 2024 under new manager Hiroki Kokubo, who became an established power hitter during his playing career with the help of Oh.
Oh said, “Manager Kokubo will lead our team with a strong determination. I want all of you to play baseball with a strong determination, too.”