Out With The Old

Updated: December 26, 2015

11/7/2022- Tokyo, Japan

Used to be being older, wiser and more experienced was considered an asset. In the Neo-Tokyo organization that could mean a ticket out of town, at least in the current atmosphere. Management’s ground up rebuild has veterans looking over their shoulder, or waiting for a tap on their shoulder. Then again, some vets are not waiting to be told their leaving. They’re taking the first outbound bus they can get on. “You can’t fire me, I quit!” With the new roster make over, it’s apparent that anyone nearing the age of 30 and making above the league minimum is considered expendable.

SP Juan Garcia is a perfect example. Despite a 16 loss season he was considered a solid, reliable mainstay of the rotation. Fans and teammates loved him. However, front office overtures on a contract extension were met with a firm “No thanks.” Clubhouse infighting and poor morale has moved a number of veterans to complain to the front office. The lack of any meaningful action by the front office has caused more than one player to decide to look elsewhere for employment.

Keitaro Sato wants to get paid

SP Hirohisa Narita, a mainstay of the rotation since 2016, is also keeping his options open. “In my 6+ years here, I’ve never seen it this bad.” he confided. A 16 loss season may limit his options elsewhere. “I don’t intend to go through another season like this.”

1B Koto Murakami is Neo-Tokyo’s all-time leader in a number of offensive categories, yet his playing time and productivity dropped considerably this season. With one year remaining on his contract he could be on the fence. Ownership is demanding a more impactful bat at first base next season.

OF Keitaro Sato is only 28, but a severe offensive drop off from last season has ownership questioning whether he is the long term answer in leftfield.  Arbitration eligible this offseason, he will have to justify a $4 million+ contract extension.

C Noriyuki Suzuki at 26 has adapted well to PEBA play, being the most consistent offensive weapon each of the past 2 seasons. Bringing stability to the crucial starting catcher role, he has already been signed through next year and discussions are reportedly underway for a long term deal.

Even the coaches are under scrutiny. An evaluation of some of the high priced coaches that were brought in showed a lack of progress and effective teaching. Several changes have already been made in the minor league ranks. The Akira seem to be distancing themselves from the team that took the field on opening day 2021, their first in PEBA play. GM Ron Hiscock is on the hot seat to show progress in becoming a respected and competitive organization in the Planetary Extreme Baseball Alliance.