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Defense is top priority: Tanishige

Kyodo

Chunichi Dragons’ newly appointed player-manager Motonobu Tanishige said Thursday he will focus on defense as he takes over the reins for next season.

“I’m a catcher so obviously (the emphasis) will be on defense. I want to do things my way,” Tanishige, 42, told a news conference a day after the Dragons announced they had appointed him as manager and former skipper Hiromitsu Ochiai as general manager.

“If you limit (your opponents) to zero (runs), then you can’t lose. That is the kind of baseball we will play. Every year as a player I have wanted to win the championship. That won’t change.”

Over an eight-year span, Ochiai, 59, guided Chunichi to four Central League pennants, including his first year as manager in 2004, and won the Japan Series in 2007. As GM, he is expected to primarily be in charge of shaping the roster.

“We have worked together for eight years,” Tanishige said of Ochiai. “He understands my way of thinking and I basically understand how Ochiai-san thinks baseball should be played. Taking that into consideration, I think I will be able to voice my opinion.”