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Okada proud of time as skipper

OSAKA (Kyodo) Akinobu Okada believes the Hanshin Tigers have turned into perennial title contenders through his five-year stint as manager.

“I managed to make the Tigers title contenders and made it possible for them to reach new heights if they can improve in things that they lack,” Okada told a press conference a day after Hanshin was eliminated by the Chunichi Dragons in the first stage of the Central League Climax Series.

Okada, 50, had earlier announced his resignation regardless of postseason results after Hanshin squandered a 13-game lead to allow the Yomiuri Giants to win the league title.

Hanshin had hoped to persuade Okada not to quit but he remained firm in his decision.