NAGOYA – The Chunichi Dragons have told manager Motonobu Tanishige to take a leave of absence due to poor results, the Central League club announced Tuesday.
Longtime head coach Shigekazu Mori will act as interim manager in place of Tanishige, who is managing full time this season after serving two seasons as player-manager.
Tanishige, a former catcher for the Yokohama BayStars and Dragons is on a four-year contract. The Dragons finished fourth in 2014 and fifth last season.
The 45-year-old last year set Nippon Professional Baseball’s record for games played with 3,021. Ahead of Tuesday’s game, Chunichi (43-58-3) was in last place in the Central League, 16½ games behind the leading Hiroshima Carp.
“From my playing days, I’ve been putting my heart and soul toward doing anything to get the Dragons stronger. I couldn’t come up with the results with what I was given to work with,” Tanishige told a press conference.
“It’s sad and frustrating to leave this way but it can’t be helped in a world where results are everything.”
Dragons president Takao Sasaki said he made the decision after considering the fans’ point of view.
“I feel sorry and it goes against my desire, but I requested he take time off to draw a line at some point to demonstrate accountability,” Sasaki said.