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[10/31/2014] Yakult Swallows name Junji Ogawa senior director

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 11:29 pm, under NPB
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The Yakult Swallows announced today that Junji Ogawa will remain in the organization as a senior director, effective January 1, 2015.

"I would like to do what I can to help the team get stronger. I have experience managing at Ichi-gun and Ni-gun, so it will be a matter of how I balance what I know with what the players and coaches are thinking," said Ogawa.

The two sides will finalize a contract in November.

Source: official announcement, Sports Hochi 10/31/2014, Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014

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[9/22/2014] Yakult Swallows: Junji Ogawa to step down after the season

by on Sep.22, 2014 @ 2:14 pm, under NPB
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Junji Ogawa held a press conference at the team office in Tokyo today to announce his decision to resign after the regular season.

"We finished in last place last year and we're currently in last place this year. I wanted to take responsibility and submitted my resignation. It was accepted. I wanted to draw the line somewhere. Honestly, I feel relieved," said Ogawa to reporters.

He also said, "I have nothing but regrets. I regret things had to end like this and I regret missing the championship in 2011. In total, regret is the only word I have."

Chief hitting coach Mitsuru Manaka is considered the front-runner to replace Ogawa. The Swallows are expected to name him their next manager once the regular season ends.

Through Sunday, Ogawa was 310-317-36 as manager of the Yakult Swallows.

Source: Daily Sports 9/22/2014, Sports Hochi 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014

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[9/29/2013] Yakult Swallows: Junji Ogawa to return next season [UPDATE @ 2:36pm]

by on Sep.29, 2013 @ 1:18 pm, under NPB
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The media learned today, based on conversations with a team official, that the Yakult Swallows are planning to ask Junji Ogawa to return next season.  The team official feels Ogawa will accept the request.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/29/2013

UPDATE @ 2:36pm -

According to Sports Hochi, team owner Tsuyoshi Kinugasa has announced that Ogawa will be returning next season.

"It was an unfortunate season and in normal circumstances, it would probably lead to a resignation, but we feel he did a good job for us over the last three years, including the time he was interim manager in 2010.  We hope he can pull everything together next season and approach things with determination," Kinugasa said.

He most likely agreed to a one-year extension.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/29/2013

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[9/24/2013] Yakult Swallows to ask Junji Ogawa to return in 2014

by on Sep.24, 2013 @ 4:57 pm, under NPB
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According to a report by Sponichi, the Yakult Swallows are planning to ask Junji Ogawa to return in 2014.

Nikkan Sports reported on the 20th that Ogawa was planning to take responsibility of the team's poor performance by submitting his resignation at the end of the season.  Team officials told reporters that the team's final record was not the only thing they were looking at when evaluating performance and that other things had to be considered.  They also said they might not accept a resignation.

A new report, filed by Sponichi this morning, indicates the Swallows are now ready to ask Ogawa back after holding internal discussions.  Key to the decision: the team was hampered by injuries early on and throughout the course of the season; despite a bad season this year, Ogawa guided the team to the Climax Series in 2011 and 2012; Ogawa is popular among the players.

When reporters asked Ogawa on Monday what he would do if asked to return next season, he replied, "I cannot say until I am in that situation."

Source: Sponichi 9/24/2013

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[9/20/2013] Yakult Swallows: Junji Ogawa could still return in 2014 (UPDATE 9/21 @ 11:18am)

by on Sep.20, 2013 @ 2:29 pm, under NPB
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According to a report by Nikkan Sports, Junji Ogawa will most likely take responsibility of the team's losing season this year by stepping down as manager of the Yakult Swallows.  He is expected to formally submit his resignation when he meets with team officials at the end of the season.

Ogawa took over as interim manager for the Swallows in May 2010.  He signed a two-year deal as manager after the season and guided the team to a second place finish in 2011 and a third place finish in 2012.  He was given a one-year extension before the current season with hopes of another third place or better finish.

The Yakult Swallows are currently in last place with a 51-76-2 record.  They could be eliminated from the Climax Series as early as the 22nd.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/20/2013

UPDATE @ 7:23pm -

Team president Tsuyoshi Kinugasa told reporters nothing would be decided until the end of the season.

"If things were already decided, we would have already told the manager of our intentions.  Staying, going, there is no change to our plans to make the decision when the season ends," Kinugasa said.

Ogawa also spoke to the media today and said, "I have nothing to say.  It is my responsibility to fight until the end of the season."

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/20/2013

UPDATE @ 8:47pm -

Additional quotes from Kinugasa:

He stays, we find someone inside the organization, or find someone out side the organization, all are options.  We will figure it out at the end of the season or some time around then.

It is not quite as easy as he stays because the team is in fifth place and goes because they are in sixth.

I am not sure if the manager and coaches were effective in their efforts.

Source: Sponichi 9/20/2013

UPDATE 9/21 @ 10:48am -

If Ogawa wants to resign but the organization decides they want him back, they might turn his resignation down.

Possible managerial candidates include Ni-gun manager Mitsuru Manaka, Ichi-gun batting coach Takahiro Ikeyama, and former manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu.

Source: Daily Sports 9/21/2013

UPDATE 9/21 @ 11:18am -

Sports Hochi has posted the following quote from Kinugasa:

Finishing in last, being twenty-five games under .500, you could look at these and think of them as reasons to resign.  We could accept, but asking him to stay is not completely out of the question.  We will look at the big picture when thinking about next season.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/21/2013

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Yakult Swallows sign Junji Ogawa to a one-year extension

by on Sep.10, 2012 @ 10:52 am, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows' president Tsuyoshi Kinugasa announced today that Junji Ogawa accepted a one-year extension.

Kinugasa spoke to reporters on Sunday and said that they were planning to offer him an extension because of his track record.  With regards to the current season, he said the manager could not be blamed for everything since there were problems that went beyond his control, like injuries.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/10/2012Nikkan Sports 9/10/2012

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Yakult Swallows: Junji Ogawa to return as manager next season as planned

by on Sep.17, 2011 @ 8:08 pm, under NPB
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Junji Ogawa formally received and accepted team president Tsuyoshi Kinugasa's request to return as manager of the team next season before tonight's game against the Yokohama Bay Stars.

"It goes without saying, since it's a 2-year deal," said Kinugasa.  "But with other teams having issues with managers, I thought it might be best to confirm it.  I also wanted to make sure he can put all his efforts into winning."

In other words, this was all a formality more than anything.

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Yakult Swallows: Junji Ogawa quickest in franchise history to 100 wins

by on Aug.03, 2011 @ 4:53 am, under NPB
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Junji Ogawa picked up his 100th managerial victory in his 176th game last night and became the quickest manager to 100 wins in franchise history.

UPDATE 8/3 @ 12:25pm - A little more on Ogawa's 100th managerial win:

It made him the 125th manager in NPB history to record 100 wins.

His record is 100-62-14.

100 wins in 176 games also makes Ogawa the 13th quickest to 100 in NPB history.  That would be behind managers like Tatsunori Hara (100 in 167 games) and Hiromitsu Ochiai (100 in 170 games).

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Yakult Swallows News and Notes: December 5, 2010

by on Dec.05, 2010 @ 5:10 pm, under NPB
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Sanspo notes that the Swallows while the first four spots in the 2011 starting rotation appear to be set with Masanori Ishkawa, Shohei Tateyama, Yoshinori Sato, and Kyohei Muranaka, the last two spots remain wide open.  Pitchers that could end up competing for the final two spots include Ryo Kawashima, Mikinori Kato, Tatsuyoshi Matsubushi (could move out of the bullpen), Hitoshi Yamamoto, Ryo Hidaka, and Masato Nakazawa.  The competition could also include Young-Soo Bae, assuming the Swallows successful sign him.

Incidentally, the media learned that 25-year-old Nakazawa filed marriage papers a 27-year-old sports instructor named Ayumu Tsujinaka (? 辻中歩) on December 1.  The two had been going out for 2-years before they decided to tie the know.

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Shinya Miyamoto will go back to using a 33 inch bat next season after using a 33.5 inch bat over the last two seasons.

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Junji Ogawa is scheduled to hold a lecture for Kawai Musical Instruments employees in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka on 1/20/2011.  After graduating from Chuo University, Ogawa joined Kawai and played for their baseball team for two years before being drafted by the Swallows in 1981.  The Kawai team has since been dissolved (11/2001) but there are still plenty of baseball fans within the company and it seems those fans (and former players) asked Ogawa to visit their company.

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