• Kyodo

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The Yomiuri Giants appear to be in no hurry to name their next manager following Tatsunori Hara’s sudden announcement on Saturday night that he would resign, a team source said.

The source, speaking Sunday, one day before Hara was to meet with the club’s supreme advisor and former owner Tsuneo Watanabe, said: “It will probably take some time. Concrete discussion will begin from now.”

In recent weeks, former ace pitcher Suguru Egawa and head coach Masahiro Kawai have been reported to be the leading candidates to replace Hara should he fail to win the Central League championship for the fourth straight season. The Giants finished second, but lost to the newly crowned CL champion Tokyo Yakult Swallows in the final stage of the playoffs.

Hara is in his second stint as manager. He first took over the Giants in 2002 and served two seasons before quitting. At that time, his announcement was made at the same press conference in which Tsuneo Horiuchi was named as his successor.

This year, however, the team indicated it would withhold a job offer for next year until the season was over.

“This was different from the practice in other years,” the source said.

Hara made his announcement moments after the Giants lost Game 4 of the CL Climax Series Final Stage at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium. The loss kept the Giants out of the Japan Series for the second straight year.

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