Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Mori staying put with Dragons


The Chunichi Dragons announced Thursday their acting manager Shigekazu Mori will take on the job full-time next season.

In August, the Dragons placed third-year manager Motonobu Tanishige on leave, effectively firing him and promoting Mori, who was the bench coach at the time.

Chunichi is finishing last in the Central League this year for the first time in 19 years, but the team values the 61-year-old Mori’s coaching experience and willingness to use the younger players.

“There’s nothing to be radiant about,” Mori told a news conference. “There’re lots of things to work on. We’ll look to deal with one thing at a time.”

Mori, who pitched predominantly as a reliever for the Seibu Lions during his playing career, served as Chunichi’s pitching coach between 2004 and 2011 before he left the club, but returned in 2014.

“A defensively solid team is ideal but that won’t get us results if we can’t score,” he said. “We have to raise our level as a whole (to get into the CL top three). We’ll introduce various things in batting as well and I hope I can develop some tough, strong players.”

Mori added he hopes to eventually hand his role over to Chunichi’s farm team coach Michihiro Ogasawara, who played for the Dragons for two years from 2014 before retiring.

“We’ll rebuild from scratch and I hope I can somehow pass it on to the next man,” Mori said. “I’ll stand back once I feel I’ve got the team into a good shape.”