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Shigeru Takada steps down as manager of the Swallows

by on May.26, 2010 @ 11:55 pm, under NPB

And so it is.

Shigeru Takada announced that he was stepping down as manager of the Yakult Swallows after the team dropped their 9th game in a row earlier tonight.  Head coach Junji Ogawa will now step in as interim manager.

It seems that club president Tadashi Suzuki tried to persuade Takada to stay on, but could not.

"We kept on talking about having him stay on, and we had his understanding...," said Suzuki.  "And just a little while ago, we tried to persuade him to stay, but we couldn't.  He had already made his decision.  This was really a sad decision for us."

Sanspo has posted parts of the press conference.  Below is my English translation (these are all comments made by Takada):

What are your reasons for stepping down?

It only makes sense for the manager to step down after losing so many games.  We tried a number of things, but in the end, I thought the only way to change things was for the manager to quit.  I'm not sure if this was the right decision though.

What was the cause of the team's poor performance?

We got a pretty decent start at the beginning of the season.  But then we stopped hitting and we started dragging our feet.  I thought that we could maybe right this ship during Inter-league play, but things got even worse and I could no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel.  And I also think the pressure of winning only increases with each loss.

When did you decide to step down?

Today.  With the rumors of my stepping down in the media...  Tomorrow, the day after...  These rumors probably weren't going to die down and I thought it would just become a distraction for the team and the players.  That was my main reason.

Any comments for the team?

There are still quite a number of games left on the schedule.  I'd like for them to pull of a comeback.  I still think it's possible.

2 comments on “Shigeru Takada steps down as manager of the Swallows

    1. Gen Post author

      I’m still not entirely convinced this is all Takada’s fault. I do think he played a part, just not quite sure how big yet.

      I obviously won’t complain if the team does turn things around. But based on the numbers, that’s sort of a given.

      Incidentally, I’m in the camp that tends to believe managers don’t have as much control over a team’s performance and that their main role is to squeeze out as many wins as possible from the group of players under his control.

      Now, Takada may have failed to get the best overall output his team, but is really he so bad that he can’t at least get average output? Takada has made his fair share of questionable moves, but does that really equate to the type of season the team is having right now? Or is he just operating with some bad luck? I’m thinking it’s more the latter than the former.

      Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I think he’s a great manager or anything. I just don’t know if you can really blame the entire season on him.

      That said, I do think it was time he stepped down. When you lose 9 straight, it starts becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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