Tokyo Yakult Swallows manager Shigeru Takada said Wednesday he was surprised by media reports that he had already told the team that he wanted to resign.
With his club buried in last place in the Central League, Takada, in the final year of a three-year deal, had reportedly asked to be allowed to take a leave of absence. The Swallows, who finished third in the CL last season, were 15 games behind the league-leading Yomiuri Giants going into Wednesday's game against the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles at Jingu Stadium.
After meeting with Swallows president Tadashi Suzuki prior to the game, Takada said he was of two minds.
"I have two different responsibilities," he said. "One is to take responsibility for our record, and that would mean taking off my uniform and walking away.
"My other responsibility is to fulfill my contract and finish out the season. I don't know which one is the one I should chose."
Suzuki said both he and Takada were surprised by the reports of the skipper's imminent departure, saying he had heard nothing from the skipper himself about quitting.
"I think it caught both of us offguard," Suzuki said.
"My preference is that he stay on. We met today because I wanted to confirm that the manager wanted to stay in his position, and I've done that.
"My policy [to keep Takada as manager] has not changed at all."
The Swallows have reportedly been looking into acquiring another foreign player, with the names of Jose Fernandez, Fernando Seguignol and Hiram Bocachica being thrown around.
The club was also reportedly interested in acquiring Kazuo Matsui, who was recently released by the Houston Astros.
Marines' woes continue
The Chiba Lotte Marines continue to fight a losing battle on the injury front.
On Wednesday, the club deactivated right-hander Shingo Ono, who was hit with a line drive during the Marines' 8-0 loss to the Hanshin Tigers on Tuesday at Koshien Stadium.
Ono was making his first start since suffering an injury on April 21, but left after just 16 pitches when Hanshin's Greg Brazell lined a shot off his right shoulder.
Ono was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a severe bruise.
The Marines, who are without right-handed starters Yuta Omine and Yuki Karakawa, called up middle reliever Kentaro Hashimoto to replace Ono.
Earlier this week, the team learned that rookie sensation Takashi Ogino would be out for two months after suffering a knee injury last Friday.