Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Giants manager Yoshinobu Takahashi to step down over failure to bag pennants

Kyodo

Yoshinobu Takahashi on Wednesday confirmed he will step down as Yomiuri Giants manager after failing to win the Central League pennant during his three years in charge.

While the Giants are still in the race for this year’s CL Climax Series, Takahashi said he needed to take responsibility for the lack of a pennant the past three seasons.

“From the time I took over, I have held that the manager is responsible for the team winning or losing,” Takahashi, 43, said.

“I told the owner directly that I would take responsibility for the team’s performance.”

Yomiuri owner Toshikazu Yamaguchi revealed earlier in the day that this season would be Takahashi’s last.

Takahashi took the reins for the Giants in 2016 as successor to Tatsunori Hara, whose 12-year tenure included seven CL pennants and three Japan Series titles.

A member of Japan’s bronze-medal winning team at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Takahashi played all 18 years of his professional career with Yomiuri. He doubled as a batting coach and outfielder in his final season in 2015.

In his first year in charge, the Giants finished second in the CL before being knocked out by the DeNA BayStars in the opening round of the Climax Series.

The Giants missed out on the playoffs last year after finishing the season with 72 wins, 68 losses and three ties.

The club is currently locked in a battle with the BayStars for the third and final spot in this year’s CL Climax Series.