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Okada set to take reins at Orix

OSAKA (Kyodo) The Orix Buffaloes are to appoint Akinobu Okada as manager for next season, the Pacific League club said Tuesday.

The 51-year-old former Hanshin Tigers skipper is set to be unveiled as the club’s new boss at a news conference at Kyocera Dome on Wednesday.

“He knows the club well and has five years experience managing Hanshin,” said Orix senior official Yoshio Murayama. “He is the best suited person to rebuild the team.”

Okada played for Hanshin from 1980-1993 and spent the next two seasons with Orix. He had coaching stints at Orix and Hanshin and managed Hanshin from 2004 until the end of the 2008 campaign. Okada will replace Daijiro Oishi.

Oishi was promoted to manager from the post of head coach during the 2008 season and helped guide Orix to its first Climax Series playoff spot in second place.