Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Yokohama to retain Ramirez as manager for fifth season

Kyodo

The DeNA Baystars said Tuesday that manager Alex Ramirez would stay at the helm next season despite the Yokohama-based Central League team making an early exit from the postseason playoffs.

The 45-year-old told owner Tomoko Namba after Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Hanshin Tigers, in the third and decisive game of the CL Climax Series first stage, that he will give everything to help the team win next year, accepting a contract offer for a fifth season.

“He put a lot of effort into getting us this far, and we give him credit for that. I told him winning (the Japan Series) is our only goal for next year,” Namba said.

This season, the Venezuela-born Ramirez made dramatic changes in the BayStars lineup, and switches to defensive positions, after coming off a 67-74-2 season in which they finished fourth.

The BayStars have not clinched the CL pennant since 1998 — the year they won the Japan Series title — but finished second in the league this season, their best result in the intervening 21 years.

They have earned a place in the Climax Series three times in the past four years. The top three finishers in each league play in the two-stage playoff, with the two winners from the Central and Pacific leagues competing in the best-of-seven championship.

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