Thursday, July 25, 2013

2013 to be Morimichi Takagi's Final Year as Chunichi Manager

It's looking even more official now that this will be Morimichi Takagi's last year with the Dragons.  Yakyubaka's recent post links to some reports as well as listing some of Takagi's potential replacements.  This being Takagi's last year has been rumored since before the season started, and moving onto a new manager for 2014 makes a lot of sense for both sides.  Takagi's had a decent and interesting run so far, but his style is likely wearing on the players by this point and at his age he's probably better off leaving the demands of being a professional manager.

Here's a rundown of who's being discussed for the job:

Ken Macha - Pennsylvania native, former major leaguer and former Dragons clean-up hitter in the early 1980s.  Macha also managed six years in the major leagues including four successful seasons with the Oakland A's and two mediocre seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kazuhiko Ushijima - Former Dragons closer in the early to mid 1980's and five-time NPB All-Star.  He was part of a trade that sent him to Lotte and Hiromitsu Ochiai to Chunichi.  Was the manager of the Yokohama BayStars in 2005 and 2006.

Kazuyoshi Tatsunami - Mr. Dragon, a Dragons legend and member of the Meikyukai.  Assistant coach of the 2013 Team Japan at the World Baseball Classic.

Kazuki Inoue - Long-time Dragons outfielder and current Chunichi hitting coach. 

Motonobu Tanishige - Current Dragons catcher

I'm rooting for either Tatsunami or Inoue.  I think listing Tanishige as a candidate is a stretch, though I wouldn't be surprised to see him become the manager of an NPB team at some point.

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