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Nagashima peps up Giants

Kyodo

Former Yomiuri Giants manager Shigeo Nagashima on Friday made his first visit to the team’s spring training since he suffered a stroke in March 2004.

The 70-year-old baseball legend, taking the field at Sun Marine Stadium in Miyazaki without the walking stick he once needed, gave a pep talk to manager Tatsunori Hara and players.

“We’ll win this year no matter what,” Nagashima said in front of them. “I say this three times — We’ll win, we’ll win and we’ll win. OK?” Yomiuri last won the Central League title in 2002 and finished fifth and fourth the past two seasons, the first time the club suffered back-to-back finishes in the bottom half of the six-team league standings.