It almost looked as if 2015 would be the year for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. Since 2002, the team has placed dead last in the Central League (with 2005, they came in 3rd and in 2007, they came in 4th and in 2013 & 2014, they came in 5th). But during the spring and heading into the summer, the BayStars looked as if they showed great potential with great pitching and wonderful batting, it almost seemed as if they were the team to beat as they were in first place in the Central League.
But baseball seasons should never be looked at by how teams begin but how they finish and unfortunately for the Baystars, the team suffered a monumental collapse and would end their season dead last in the Central League.
Kiyoshi Nakahata would resign after the end of the season to take responsibility for his team’s dismal performance at the end of the season and in October, former Baystars (and also former Yakult Swallows and Yomiuri Giants) slugger Alex Ramirez would be named as the manager for the 2016 season.
But I have to admit that if there was a team that I have had the opportunity to watch and also see how the team and its fans have interacted with each other, I have nothing but respect for the BayStars and their fans.
I have followed the team since the ‘90s and with my friends living in Yokohama, it has always been my primary destination to visit when I’m in the area.
From their newer theme song being played over and over in the team store, to hearing the jingle being played at the train station, you can’t help but hope the best for the BayStars, who have not one a Japan Series since 1998 (prior to that, the last time was in 1968).
But unlike teams with consecutive losing seasons where fans don’t show up, Bay Stars fans have remained supportive even to this day, hoping their team will make it to the playoffs.
With a new direction and leadership, perhaps in 2016, these BayStars fans will get their wishes fulfilled.