It appears as though the Chiba Lotte Marines are in the final stages of recommending Norifumi Nishimura (head coach) to replace Bobby Valentine next season as manager of the team. Sponichi goes further and says that the information was verified by a number of baseball people and that Yoshihiko Takahashi (batting coach) will likely become the manager of the Ni-gun team. The only thing that's needed now, apparently, is the seal of approval from team owner Takeo Shigemitsu.
If / when Shigemitsu approves the recommendation, the announcement will likely be made immediately after the end of the season.
Comment from Club President Ryozo Setoyama: As I've mentioned in the past, the new manager won't be announced until after the season ends. Until then, all I can say right now is that we'll continue to support the team in the hopes they'll make the Climax Series.
Comment from Assitant Club Rep Akira Ishikawa: We're in the middle of the season right now. As such, I'm not at liberty to discuss the manager situation.