• Kyodo

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Coming off their franchise’s first 96-loss season, the Tokyo Yakult Swallows announced Wednesday that the team’s senior director, 60-year-old Junji Ogawa, will manage the Central League club in 2018.

Ogawa first managed the Swallows on an interim basis in 2010, when the team went 59-36 with three ties after he took over from Shigeru Takada. That result earned him the job, and he managed four more seasons.

After reaching the postseason in 2011 and 2012, injuries decimated the club and Yakult finished last for two seasons, and he was kicked upstairs to a front office job.

In 2015, the Swallows won their first CL pennant under first-year skipper Mitsuru Manaka. However, injuries and the continuing poor form of 2015 MVP Tetsuto Yamada saw the Swallows finish fifth a year ago and last this season.

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