Nashida agrees to manage Fighters


Former Kintetsu Buffaloes manager Masataka Nashida has reached a basic agreement with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on the terms of a contract that would make him the skipper of the Pacific League club. “I had been hoping to manage a team again and I feel up to snuff after refreshing myself off the field for three years,” Nashida, 54, said after a meeting with Nippon Ham officials at an Osaka hotel. The details of the terms were not immediately known. Baseball sources said both sides have apparently agreed on a multiyear deal. Nashida guided the Osaka club to the Pacific League championship in 2001 in his second season as manager, following a last-place finish the previous year. He stayed at the helm of Kintetsu until the financially troubled club merged with the Orix BlueWave after the 2004 season. The former catcher spent all of his 17-year playing career with Kintetsu. It emerged a week ago that Nippon Ham had approached Nashida to replace outgoing manager Trey Hillman, who will leave the Sapporo club at the end of the Fighters’ campaign this year for family reasons.