SENDAI – The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles have offered to make former big league pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii the team’s general manager, the club president Yozo Tachibana revealed Friday.
The Eagles have been mired in last place since the start of the season. Hall of Fame former manager Senichi Hoshino, who had been in charge of baseball operations, died in January and on June 16, manager Masataka Nashida announced he was stepping aside to take responsibility for the club’s poor results.
Ishii played for the Central League’s Tokyo Yakult Swallows (1993-2001) before moving to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002 via the posting system.
He played four seasons in the majors, posting a 39-34 record. After his final year, with the New York Mets, Ishii returned to the Swallows for two seasons before joining the PL’s Seibu Lions.
He retired after the 2013 season not long after his 40th birthday.
The Eagles are hoping Ishii’s contacts and the knowledge he has cultivated in Japan and the United States will prove valuable in reorganizing the team.