Bizarre news out of Nagoya this week: the Dragons will not re-up the contract of manager Hiromitsu Ochiai after the season and instead will bring back Morimichi Takagi for a third time (Takagi was interim manager in 1986 and also ran the team from 1992 to 1995). At 70, Takagi will be the second oldest manager in NBP history, following Katsuya Nomura.
Ochiai has managed the Dragons since 2004 and has taken them to the Series four times in the seven complete seasons, winning the Series in 2007 (Chunichi's first championship since 1954). He's finished second twice and third once in the other seasons and has the Dragons poised for the playoffs again this year. Chunichi has explained the move by saying that Ochiai has a high salary and the team hasn't been profitable during his time as manager. My take would be that if the Dragons haven't been profitable during the most successful (on the field) eight years in their history, someone in the marketing department needs to be fired, not the manager.
This is not to knock Takagi, who Chunichi pretty much admits is simply a bridge to their next "real" manager. Sort of like Jack McKeon with the Marlins this year. Here's a card of Takagi from the 2006 BBM Dragons 70th Anniversary set (#31):
Sources for this post were NBP Tracker and Yakyu Baka (this post and this post).