Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Buffaloes manager Junichi Fukura won’t lead team next season

Junichi Fukura will step down as manager of the Orix Buffaloes at the end of this season, the 58-year-old revealed Tuesday.

Fukura told reporters at Kyocera Dome he was asked to stay on by the team but will resign after what will be Buffaloes’ fourth straight season with a losing record.

“It means I’m taking responsibility. The game is all about results,” he said.

With eight games remaining in the season, the Buffaloes, who have a 60-70-5 record as of Monday, have slim chances of advancing to the Climax Series.

Former major leaguer So Taguchi, currently serving as the farm team manager, is rumored to be a potential successor.

Fukura joined the Osaka-based Pacific League club as head coach in 2013. He slid into the manager’s spot on an interim basis in June 2015 when he replaced Hiroshi Moriwaki, who took a “leave of absence” due to the team’s poor results.

He was promoted and officially named the Buffaloes’ new manager in October that year, when they finished fifth in the six-team league standings. Orix finished last in 2016 and fourth last year.