• Kyodo

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The Hanshin Tigers announced Wednesday that manager Yutaka Wada will resign at the end of the season.

The 53-year-old Wada led the team to the Japan Series a year ago after finishing second in the Central League. Although Hanshin is likely to reach the postseason again this season, the Tigers have been eliminated from pennant contention.

It had been reported that the team’s ownership had already decided not to offer Wada a contract next year. The skipper, in his fourth year at the helm, tendered his resignation, effective at the end of the season, and the club accepted.

Former Hiroshima Carp and Tigers star Tomoaki Kanemoto is seen as the popular choice to replace Wada, but team owner Shinya Sakai refused to comment.

“We still have games to play, so we want him (Wada) to keep fighting for us,” team president Nobuo Minami said.

The Tigers will begin play on Thursday in third place with a 1½ game lead over the fourth-place Carp. The Tigers have two games remaining, while the Carp have four as they fight for the CL’s final playoff spot.

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