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Livedoor appoints O’Malley as manager

The Associated Press

Internet services company Livedoor on Thursday announced the appointment of former Yakult Swallows and Hanshin Tigers player Tom O’Malley as manager of its baseball team.

O’Malley, who played for six major league teams including the New York Mets, would become the team’s manager if Livedoor is granted entry into Japan’s professional leagues for the 2005 season.

The 43-year-old former infielder is a native of Orange, New Jersey, and currently works as a North American scout for the Tigers.

Along with Rakuten, Livedoor is one of two Internet services companies bidding to enter Japanese professional baseball for the 2005 season.

Japanese baseball officials are expected to make a decision on which company to grant a team to on Nov. 2.

O’Malley played a total of six seasons in Japan from 1991 to 1996 and was one of the most popular foreign players in Japanese baseball. He was the Japan Series most valuable player in 1995 when the Swallows defeated the Orix BlueWave.

Second hearing

The second and likely the final public hearing for Livedoor Inc. and Rakuten Inc., which have applied for membership of Nippon Professional Baseball, was held Thursday to give the two sides an opportunity to present their business propositions.

Following the first hearing on Oct. 6 in which talks centered around their planned baseball facilities in Sendai, Internet mall operator Rakuten and Internet service provider Livedoor discussed financial matters with the five-man NPB panel set up to screen the applicants.

Both applicants, each racing to establish a new professional baseball team, are planning to locate their team in Sendai.

Squads finalized

Chunichi Dragons outfielder Kosuke Fukudome and southpaw Shigeki Noguchi were left out of the team roster for the Japan Series as the event organizers announced the registered players Thursday.

Fukudome, who is nursing a fractured left hand, and Noguchi, who was unproductive in the second half of the season, were not named to the 40-man list but the Seibu Lions made no major changes to their regular-season roster.

BayStars blank Carp

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Southpaw Yuji Yoshimi came within one out of a no-hitter Thursday, leading the Yokohama BayStars to a 4-0 blanking of the Hiroshima Carp in the Central League.

Yoshimi (7-5) allowed a double to Kazuki Fukuchi, the 27th batter he faced in the game at Hiroshima Stadium, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth for the only hit he gave up en route to his first complete game of the season.