Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Former skipper Tatsunori Hara appears poised to rejoin Giants

Kyodo

Former Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara appeared ready Monday to return to the club as manager next year.

Hara, who has been asked by the Central League club to manage next season’s campaign, is scheduled to appear at a press conference on Tuesday along with outgoing skipper Yoshinobu Takahashi and Giants owner Toshikazu Yamaguchi.

The 60-year-old Hara managed the Giants in 2002 and 2003, before resuming the post from 2006 to 2015. During his two stints, Hara won seven CL pennants, and three Japan Series. His last two series victories, in 2009 and 2012, were the last two won by a CL team to date.

Hara quit abruptly in 2003 after enduring daily criticism in the media from then-owner Tsuneo Watanabe about the team’s performance. In 2015, he again surprised the team by saying he needed to step aside. Takahashi, then an active player looking forward to the 2016 season, took over as skipper when the Giants asked him to do so.

In three years under the 43-year-old, the Giants finished no better than third.