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Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006

Buffaloes linked with move for Collins


Staff writer

Katsuhiro Nakamura is no longer in the Orix Buffaloes' plans, and the franchise's third manager in its three-year existence is likely to be a foreigner, according to reports in the Japanese media.

News photo
Makoto Imaoka of the Hanshin Tigers (7) hits a two-run bases-loaded double in the seventh inning against the Central League-leading Chunichi Dragons on Friday at Koshien Stadium. The Tigers won 4-0. KYODO PHOTO

It has been reported the Buffaloes are on the verge of hiring former Houston Astros and Anaheim Angels manager Terry Collins.

When contacted Friday by The Japan Times, an Orix public relations staff member denied that Collins had been hired, saying that, "It has not been decided yet."

Nakamura had big shoes to fill, taking over for legendary manager Akira Ogi, who coached both the Kintetsu Buffaloes and Orix Blue Wave in separate stints leading to the clubs' merger before the 2005 season.

Ogi died of respiratory failure in the offseason at the age of 70, and Nakamura led Orix to a 52-81-3 record this year, good enough for fifth place in the Pacific League.

Nakamura stepped down Wednesday.

Collins, meanwhile, has enjoyed success at the big-league level, posting a 444-434 mark in a six-year career in which his teams finished second in their respective division all but one time.

Collins later managed at Triple-A Las Vegas, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was promoted to director of player development for the club, and he was a candidate to replace Jim Tracy as Dodgers manager when Tracy was released after the end of the 2005 season.

Tigers extend streak

NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Makoto Imaoka hit a bases-clearing double and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi combined with three relievers on a six-hit shutout as the Hanshin Tigers beat the Chunichi Dragons 4-0 at Koshien Stadium to extend their winning streak to nine Friday.

Hanshin moved within two games of Chunichi, whose magic number remained at nine for its second Central League title in three years.

BayStars 4, Swallows 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Yuki Yoshimura and Shuichi Murata each homered and scored twice to help left-hander Yoshihiro Doi get his first win since May 6.

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Eagles 4, Hawks 0

At Yahoo Dome, Yasuhiro Ichiba threw his second shutout of the season and Hisanori Nishitani drove in three runs as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles handed the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks their sixth consecutive loss with a 4-0 win in the Pacific League on Friday.

Arakaki hospitalized

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Softbank Hawks right-hander Nagisa Arakaki was hospitalized Friday with an acute inflammation of the intestine and is expected to miss a start in the first stage of the Pacific League playoffs starting Oct. 7.

Softbank will have to try and beat the Seibu Lions in the best-of-three road series without Arakaki, who has a 13-5 win-loss record with a 3.01 ERA in 23 games this season.



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