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Baseball: Hanshin Tigers manager Tomoaki Kanemoto to step down

Tomoaki Kanemoto is leaving his role as Hanshin Tigers manager, informed sources said Thursday.

For the first time since 2001, the Tigers, one of the most popular ball clubs in Japan, will finish last in the Central League under Kanemoto, hired to manage them from 2016 on a three-year contract. The Tigers finished fourth that first year, and were second a year ago but were eliminated in the first stage of the CL Climax Series.

(Kanemoto speaks to fans at Koshien Stadium after the Tigers’ final home game of the season)

«This (decision) is based on poor results,» Kanemoto said at the Tigers’ team offices outside Osaka. «I have unfinished business, but the bottom line is what matters in this game.»

The Tigers were reportedly trying to sign Kanemoto to a multiyear extension, but he indicated that he was finished.

«Our president asked me to hang in a little longer, but my mind is made up,» the skipper said.

Kanemoto, a fast power-hitting outfielder, turned pro out of university and played from 1992 to 2002 with the Hiroshima Carp. He joined Hanshin as a free agent in 2003 and played until his retirement in 2012. He was the CL’s MVP in 2005, and was elected to Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame in the first ballot this year.

All — Kyodo News+

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