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Takada quits Swallows

Kyodo News

Shigeru Takada stepped down on Wednesday night as manager of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows to take responsibility for the team’s lackluster performance on the same day he had denied a report he would quit.

His announcement came after the Swallows fell to their ninth consecutive defeat in a 3-2 loss to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in interleague action at Jingu Stadium.

“I thought about waiting until the end of interleague play to think it over but I don’t want to cause the team anymore trouble,” Takada said. “This has become a major concern (whether I am staying or not) and the players won’t be able to focus on playing baseball. It was time to make this decision.”

Yakult team president Tadashi Suzuki accepted his offer to resign. Head coach Junji Ogawa will take over the helm.

Last Thursday, Suzuki gave Takada his vote of confidence and confirmed that the 64-year-old would continue to lead the team. But the Central League club took a 20-4 walloping by the Chiba Lotte Marines on Saturday and the hemorrhaging has only gotten worse.

This year, the Swallows have managed only a 13-32 record with one tie and trails in last place in the standings. The Swallows have lost 15 of their last 16 games.