SAPPORO – Ex-major league general manager Randy Smith will be a senior adviser to the GM and major league scouting director to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, the Pacific League club announced Thursday.
Smith, the general manager for the San Diego Padres (1993-95) and Detroit Tigers (1996-2002), rejoined the Padres front office in 2003, but was fired in October. The Fighters have a working agreement with San Diego Padres, whose spring training facility they currently use in February.
“He has both knowledge and a head for administration, and his connections are a source of hope for us,” said Fighters GM Hiroshi Yoshimura, who in 1999 worked under Smith in Detroit. “We look to his advice regarding every aspect of our team, not just in the acquisition of foreign players.”
The Fighters, who won this year’s Japan Series, easily boast Nippon Professional Baseball’s most eclectic front office.
The team’s top executive, Toshimasa Shimada, is a former interpreter who worked his way up the ranks and engineered the club’s move to Hokkaido. Yoshimura held various posts with the Pacific League, Detroit and the Central League’s Hanshin Tigers before joining Nippon Ham.
Last year, the Fighters began holding the first phase of their spring training at the Padres’ facility in Peoria, Arizona.
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