A Roosevelt Game

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A Roosevelt Game
Author: Jun Ikeido
Specifications: ISBN  978-4062173766
440 pages
14.0 x 19.0 cm / 5.6 x 7.6 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Kodansha Ltd.
Tokyo, 2012
Buy now: amazon.co.jp


Aoshima Industries is a mid-level manufacturer that produces sensors for cameras. The company baseball team, once a powerhouse, has been struggling of late: archrival Mitsuwa Electric has lured away its manager as well as two of its best players. The new manager, Daido, analyzes his players' statistics and looks for a way to bring the team back to success. Meanwhile, in the midst of an economic downturn, the company's clients are making hard-nosed cost demands that the company cannot meet, leading to a financial squeeze. Management presents a restructuring plan to the bank in hopes of gaining new financing, and the idea of dissolving the baseball team is tabled as well.

Back in the days when the company was riding the high tide of economic growth and the workers were putting in long overtime hours and even sacrificing their weekends, President Aoshima had established the baseball squad as a token of his gratitude for their tireless efforts. The team had done well, becoming a source of pride for all the employees. But the man who grew the company to 50 billion yen in sales in a single generation retired from day-to-day operations two years ago. Virtually no one is left in top management to oppose the team's dissolution. Even as they become dimly aware of these discussions, Manager Daido and the tightly knit team head into the tournament that will determine the Tokyo regional champion.

Meanwhile, General Affairs Chief Mikami pushes ahead with the restructuring, and comes to a decision: the team must go. At the same time, Mitsuwa Electric, which would like to acquire Aoshima's technology, approaches him with a merger proposition. Against this background, the team puts together a winning streak. When the research department is able to complete development on a new product just in the nick of time, Mikami rebuffs the merger proposition as Aoshima's financial outlook takes a sudden turn for the better.

The doomed ball team wins the championship game. But will the team be given a reprieve? And will a company threatened with failure really be able to return to health? . . .

(The title comes from a comment attributed to Franklin Roosevelt, to the effect that the best baseball games end in a score of 8 to 7?as occurs in the championship game between Aoshima and Mitsuwa. It is also a reference to Aoshima Industries' last-minute "come from behind" recovery when its very existence is at stake.)

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