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Hoshino appears ready to lead Eagles

Kyodo News

Former Chunichi Dragons and Hanshin Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino hinted late Thursday that he will manage the Rakuten Eagles next year.

“I’m a baseball guy, so if I get a chance, I’d like to wear a uniform again,” Hoshino said in a TV appearance amid reports that Rakuten is prepared to make him an offer to become the team’s new manager.

Eagles chairman Hiroshi Mikitani has already sought permission from Tigers owner Shinya Sakai to negotiate with Hoshino, who currently serves as senior director at Hanshin.

Rakuten is trying to find the right timing to start talks with the 63-year-old since Hanshin closed out the regular season Thursday night but is scheduled to open its playoff series against the Yomiuri Giants on Oct. 16.

Rakuten fired Marty Brown last month after just one season. In the first year of a two-year deal with the volatile skipper, Rakuten dropped to the bottom of the Pacific League after finishing second in 2009 under Katsuya Nomura.

Hoshino has won a total of three Central League titles with Chunichi and Hanshin.