We asked Shinya Miyamoto, a commentator on NHK professional baseball, who was the captain of the 24 members who were appointed as the representatives of Japan for the Tokyo Olympics in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
Japan National Baseball Team Unofficial Member
Rakuten Masahiro Tanaka
Orix Yoshinobu Yamamoto ★
Seibu Taira Kaiba (first)
Hanshin Iwasaki Yu (first)
Hanshin Aoyagi Akihiro (first)
Giant Tomoyuki Kanno
Giant Kota Nakagawa ★
Chunichi Ohno Yudai ★
Hiroshima Kuribayashi Ryo吏 (first)
DeNA Yasuaki Yamazaki ★★
participated in Premier 12
Softbank Kai Takuya ★
Hiroshima Aizawa Tsubasa ★
Rakuten Asamura Eito ★
Seibu Genda Sosuke ★
Giant Sakamoto Hayato ★
Yakult Yamada Tetsuto ★
Yakult Murakami Munetaka
Hiroshima Kikuchi Ryosuke ★
★ participated in Premier 12
Softbank Yuki Yanagita
Softbank Ryoya Kurihara (first)
Nippon-Ham Kensuke Kondo ★
Hiroshima Seiya Suzuki ★★
participated in Premier 12
How do you see Shinya Miyamoto?
Q. What is your impression of seeing the members' faces?
A. (International tournament held two years ago and won by Japan) I felt that the flow of Premier12 was very strong. It has been more than a year since the Premier12, and the power map of this year's professional baseball has changed significantly. I expected that young players would come in more and more when I expected a series of battles under the scorching sun, but I feel that I chose it in terms of teamwork, circles, and cohesion.
Q. On the other hand, there were young pitchers such as Taira (Seibu), Morishita (Hiroshima), and Kuribayashi (Hiroshima).
A. It was not strange that Hayakawa (Rakuten) and Miyagi (Orix) came in. My impression is that there were fewer young people than I expected.
Q. Players who have broken down or are not feeling well were also selected.
A. The Olympics are held during the season, so it's easy to choose players who are in good shape. However, it seems that there is a strong feeling that it is not possible to win because Inaba has gathered players who are in good shape. I think I had a strong feeling that I had been forming a team for four years. Of course, at the Olympics, it's hard to win unless you become a “team”. That is a very important point.
Q. I didn't appoint a captain.
A. When I was the captain, I was an instant team, so it would have been easier to understand if I created a responsible position. Director Inaba has built a team over the years, so I think he decided it wasn't necessary. Since the members of Premier12 are the main members, it seems that everyone can do it without having to take a responsible position.
Q. Director Inaba wants Tanaka (Rakuten) and Sugano (Giant) to lead the starting pitchers.
A. I think Yamamoto (Orix) will be the axis. I'm young and energetic, so I'd like you to make a full turn, and if you're a starter, I want you to win in two or more games. Among them, it is better for Tanaka and Kanno to support them aside. I think Yamamoto should be used in the starting lineup, but he also has experience in relief. How will Director Inaba decide whether to leave the most difficult 7 times and 8 times, or to leave the closer?
Q. What is the key man in the batting line?
A. In international competitions, batters who can hit in the opposite direction often play an active role even if they look at the past. I think Asamura (Rakuten) will be the axis when it comes to hitting in the opposite direction due to long hits. When you want a hit point, you can do that kind of batting, and when you want a long hit, you can wait for such a ball and aim for a long hit.
Q. What do you expect from 24 people to win the Olympics?
A. There are 24 representatives from Japan, so I want you to fight with all your heart. As a professional baseball player, I tend to try to play beautifully, but I want you to remember the heat and play the game in front of you with all your might. There will be gold medal pressure, but I want you to show a wonderful match with a passion.