• Kyodo


Orix BlueWave manager Hiromichi Ishige was fired after a game against the Seibu Lions on Wednesday, team officials said.

Ishige, 46, will be replaced by Orix batting coach Leon Lee, who played for three teams in Japan from 1978 to 1987 — the Lotte Orions (now the Lotte Marines), the Taiyo Whales (Yokohama BayStars) and the Yakult Swallows.

Ishige, who signed a three-year contract with the BlueWave last year, finished in last place for the first time in franchise history with a dismal 50-87-3 record in 2002.

This season, the team appeared to have bolstered its pitching staff with new additions such as major leaguers Masato Yoshii and Mac Suzuki but has got off to poor start, losing its first four games from opening day.

Orix is currently in last place with a 7-12-1 record.

Ishige played for the Seibu Lions and the Daiei Hawks and managed Daiei’s farm team before taking the managerial post with Orix.

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