• Kyodo

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Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles manager Masataka Nashida has resigned to take responsibility for the team’s poor performance, the Pacific League ballclub announced Saturday.

The 64-year-old, who took the helm in 2016, handed in his resignation after Rakuten’s 2-1 loss to the Hanshin Tigers the same day in interleague play. With the loss, the Eagles dropped to 20 games below .500 with 21 wins, 41 losses and a tie.

“Twenty games below .500 is an awful record. It’s the line where I needed to take responsibility,” Nashida said after his resignation was accepted by the team.

Head coach Yosuke Hiraishi will act as manager for the club for the remainder of the season, according to Rakuten president Yozo Tachibana.

Nashida took the job after the Eagles suffered their second straight last-place finish in 2015. He led them to third place in 2017, after a fifth-place finish in 2016.

Nashida spent his entire playing career with the PL’s Kintetsu Buffaloes before managing the club to the 2001 league pennant only to lose the Japan Series. He went on to guide the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters from 2008 to 2011.

The Eagles won their first championship in 2013 under Senichi Hoshino, who passed away in January due to pancreatic cancer.

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