Finally, the expected happened. Murayama came in, stoically submitted his resignation as manager, then notified the club of his retirement as a player. After "realizing" that Murayama could not be persuaded to change his mind, the owner quickly offered the post to Kaneda. Kaneda said he needed some time to think about the job; then he accepted it a few days later. Murayama refused a position in the Tiger organization, ignored overtures from other teams and dropped quietly out of baseball.
This whole chain of events may seem bizarre to Americans, who are used to seeing managers fired with total disregard for feelings. But in Japan, where the human values of duty and personal honor are all-important, any change in the status quo is a serious undertaking. A kyuyo saves the day in those cases where the firing of a losing manager would subject him to national disgrace.
It sounds wacky, but then there must be some reason why Japanese baseball continues to improve by leaps and bounds. Perhaps it has to do with the mentality that invented the managerial kyuyo. Who knows, maybe kyuyos will even catch on in the States. More than one major league manager would jump at the chance to take a month off in midsummer to go fishing—and, of course, to reflect on his team's problems.