• Kyodo

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First-year Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles manager Hiromoto “Dave” Okubo stated Tuesday that he will step down at the end of the season.

The 48-year-old Okubo was promoted to manager this year after serving briefly last season as the interim skipper. The Eagles, who lost 8-2 to the Chiba Lotte Marines at QVC Marine Field on Tuesday, are last in the Pacific League, 36 games behind the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.

“I will take responsibility and take off my uniform,” Okubo said. “I thought we would show our spirit after (finishing last) last year and finish in the top three.”

Okubo began last season as the farm team skipper and was the second of two interim skippers the club used when Senichi Hoshino was sidelined with back troubles. When Hoshino stepped down at the end of the season, Okubo was named to replace him.

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