|MLB Power Pros Forum
|The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
|Page 21 of 21|
|Author:||Powerprosfan31 [ Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:11 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes|
November 19, 2036
3L Apartment Complex, Unit 318, Kobe (Azuma Residence)
“--and… yep, and okay. Looks like we’re heading to the press room now.” Shouta Arai, the local sportscaster on Kobe News, said. The conference room looked to be filled.
Of course, it was filled with reporters looking to report on the retirement of Shinya Imai. Imai was the Fukushima Bears manager for all 10 of their years. He was a man I hadn’t met until the night before. He was a man that was ready to call it. On the stage, he was joined by the owner of the Bears, a woman named Masuzu Mutou, and the GM, a young man, Touya Machida.
“Hello everyone,” he cleared his throat, “I’m glad you all could make it.” He smiled; the group of reporters laughed. “Let me begin by saying I am simply beside myself. Never in all my years did I expect to be in a situation such as this.”
Imai was never much of a success during his playing days. He played a few games for the Hanshin Tigers in the mid-90s before they cut him and then he spent three half-seasons with the Dragons as a backup catcher. Nevertheless, he had done enough to be up for consideration for a manager’s position for the upstart Samurai in 2014. He wasn’t offered the job, of course, but instead took a role as an infield coach for the Dragons. He was there for 11 successful years. When the Bears (and, by extension the Niigata Toki, Sendai Sakura, and the Foxes) came around in 2026, Imai was a no-brainer. The Bears snatched him from the Dragons, he led them to seven postseasons and won Fukushima a pennant only three years after a team showed up.
Not too shabby.
“Yes, it is true, I’ll be hanging my Bears coat up for the final time.” Imai continued, “Or, well, it seems I already have.” The room laughed once again. “Truly it has been an honor to serve as the manager of these fine young men. I have memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. I have made connections that I will cherish forever, and friendships… that are more dear to me than any I’ve had before. These past 10 years have been some of the best of my long life. Fukushima… you really know how to make an old man happy…”
Imai wiped his eyes.
“Regardless, I do want to keep this brief. So, from the bottom of my heart: thank you. Thank you Fukushima. Thank you to all the fans who’ve packed the seats since the Bears were just cubs. And thank you, Ms. Mutou,” he turned to Masuzu Mutou, “for giving me this opportunity in the first place.”
Imai stood up, removed his hat, and bowed.
He then smiled, sighed, and took a step back.
Ms. Mutou took his seat at the central microphone. “We all here with the Bears organization should be thanking Mr. Imai for all he has done to legitimize baseball in Fukushima, not the other way around!” She laughed, “So thank you, Mr. Imai!” She clapped, the room followed suit.
Imai took that as his cue to exit stage right. Machida followed closely behind.
Mutou, now alone on the stage, looked quite important. She was dressed smartly in a sharp gray suit and black blouse and with a look, the room was hers.
“Though it may seem like a quick turnaround,” she said, “there is an announcement we have to make. The Bears’ search for a replacement for Imai has been ongoing this entire season. Machida, Imai, and myself have been rigorously searching. After an intense interview process, and the blessing of Imai, we have finally come to a decision.”
Out from the left side of the stage came another woman, wearing a stunning black blazer and white turtleneck.
She stood next to Mutou. This new woman was probably 10 centimeters taller than her.
Mutou smiled wide, “I could not possibly be more proud to announce,” she turned her head and met eyes with this new woman, “as of 2037, our new manager: Chisako Arata!” Like she was showing off a new car, Mutou spread her arms, presenting Chisako Arata for all to see.
The room gasped.
I couldn’t believe it. The first woman to manage an NPB team…
“Took long enough…” I said to the TV.
“She has a history in the women’s league as a player-manager, as well as experience managing Waseda University’s baseball program the past eight years.”
The room lit up with questions.
“Perhaps,” Mutou silenced them with a word, “it goes without saying, but she will be the first female manager in our league. No doubt she will face doubters and challenges, but--”
Arata cut her off, “I’m not too worried.” Her smile was so confident, it was infectious.
Wow. What a woman…
I kinda sat there, slack jawed, as I watched Arata answer questions with enthusiasm and confidence I could only dream about.
Oh boy… Can’t wait to face off against her like 21 times next year…
|Author:||Powerprosfan31 [ Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:30 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes|
November 22, 2036
Aeon Mall, Osaka
My phone buzzed in my pocket as I roamed around Osaka’s Aeon Mall looking for something to eat. The single buzz told me that it was my boss texting me. My boss, the Foxes’ GM, a man by the name of Aoto Shitamura. A man, it had just dawned, I had never actually met.
Regardless, I had set a special vibration just in case he ever decided to text me. Today was my lucky day, it seemed. It was also the last day of exclusive contract negotiations, so I expected something to come down the pipeline from him, at least.
“my office @ 15” was all the message said.
Well, he’s direct, I guess…
November 22, 2036
Foxes’ Front Office, Osaka
The man sitting at the front desk of the Foxes’ main office was a man beyond the age of 50 and beyond the stage in his professional life of caring. He greeted me as I walked in the door: “Shitamura will see you now. Down the hall.” Without so much as a second glance.
“Uh, thanks.” I replied.
He didn’t bother with a response.
The Foxes’ main office building was one I had never, truly, been in. My interview process wasn’t the most conventional and me getting the job reeked a bit of desperation from the Foxes. Perhaps they were at their wits end with Fukuhara and had nothing internally?
In retrospect, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense for them to hire me sight-unseen at the midway point of the year…
I looked around the lobby before making my way to Shitamura’s office. It was colored a dull gray with one small fake palm tree sitting in one of its corners. There was a pair of chairs sitting slightly too far from each other, and a magazine rack filled with old paper copies of the 2029 edition of CARS and CARVING a strange yearly periodical about… cars and woodwork. It was a “man mag,” so… not really something that was screaming my name.
The front desk man sat alone, focused on his phone. He didn’t seem to care that I was taking my time following his instructions.
Figuring I shouldn’t make my boss wait any longer, I began my journey down the gray hallway to his light brown door.
was printed in bold, black type on the door’s small window leading into Shitamura’s personal office. I knocked twice.
“Yes? Come in.”
The door creaked open. Behind it was an office completely unremarkable. No photos, no mess, no personality, no… anything. It was as if I had walked into an office someone was squatting in. Behind the sterile desk was a man. Was my boss. Was Aoto Shitamura.
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