Incoming Yomiuri Giants manager Shinnosuke Abe is taking over a team that missed the postseason the past two seasons, but the former Yomiuri star player is not lacking confidence.

Giants manager Tatsunori Hara introduced Abe to the fans as his successor during the team’s season-ending ceremony at Tokyo Dome on Wednesday. The pair met reporters in a more formal setting later in the week, and Abe wasted little time taking aim at the Central League champion Hanshin Tigers.

“Everyone got excited about 'are' this year,” Abe said during the news conference, according to Nikkan Sports. He was referring to the Japanese word for “that,” which is how Tigers manager Akinobu Okada often refers to the league title. The phrase took on a life of its own among Tigers fans as the team stormed to this year’s pennant.