Sponichi is reporting that there's still a chance the Eagles might bring Katsuya Nomura back for the 2010 season.
Amidst a great run that will likely see the Eagles finish in second place (they can clinch tonight), fans have begun to clamor for the return of their lovable manager next season.
Could it be, perhaps, that the Eagles' front office saw what happened in Chiba and decided that it might make more sense for them to work along with the fans, than against them?
IMHO, just let Nomura play out the rest of his managing career with the Eagles. I think he's already mentioned that he only wants to manage a few more years, so it's not like they'd be stuck with him for another 5-10 years. And maybe Nomura would be willing to take a pay-cut if it meant the team would be spending that money towards gettinyon some bullpen help?
=== Update 10/9/2009 @ 11:58pm
A follow-up story by Sponichi provides a reminder that a bunch of Eagles' fans gave Rakuten a headache when they decided to let Yasushi Tao go after a year at the helm. The idea here is that Nomura is much more popular and letting him go after such a strong season will likely lead to a much larger lock-out of fans.
The story continues that the team could retain try to retain Nomura in a different role, like Senior Director, in order to deflect his removal as manager.
It would appear, at least based on these two articles, that the Eagles' front office is very much aware of how popular Nomura is and what removing him could do for the team's popularity. The question now is in which direction the team goes in based on this information.