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Taguchi energized, excited about return to Buffaloes

Kyodo News

Former major league outfielder So Taguchi, who was released by Chicago Cubs at the end of the 2009 season, said Saturday he feels reinvigorated after returning to play for the Orix Buffaloes for the first time in nine years.

“I feel really refreshed. I have no concerns. I am really looking forward to everything,” said the 40-year-old Taguchi, who will make ¥80 million plus bonuses in a one-year deal.

Taguchi spent 10 seasons with Orix before joining the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002 in a free agent deal. He won the World Series with both the Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I wanted to learn about baseball once again under a true senior that I really respect,” Taguchi said, referring to his former teammate and current Orix manager Akinobu Okada.

“The most important thing will be the type of baseball that I play, not my order in the lineup or anything like that.”

Taguchi said he looks forward also to taking on a leadership role in the team. “I am confident that I can work as one of the cogs of the team. We will win the championship.”

Taguchi is a career .279 hitter in the majors with 19 home runs and 163 RBIs in 672 games over eight seasons. He helped lead Orix to a Japan Series title in 1996.