Hara Set to Manage Team Japan at WBC

OK, this really looks like it’s for real.  I held off posting until enough mainstream media outlets picked up the story that I could be sure I was not reporting rumors.

After Senichi Hoshino reiterated his refusal to lead Japan’s team again, Sadaharu Oh, NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato, and the rest of the crew flipped their approach around 180 degress and decided to go with an active manager.  Not only is Yomiuri skipper Tatsunori Hara still an active manager, his team is still in the Japan Series, has Fall camp coming up, and could be starting Spring training during the WBC.  So much for wanting the manager’s undivided attention.

I’m going to be cynical and say that the manager of Japan’s national team has to be a celebrity, which means he has to be a former star player, has to have a Japan Series title under his belt, and has to be an eager participant in the good old boys’ network of Japanese baseball.  Hara fits the bill.

While I think Hara’s performance has been overrated as manager of the Giants, his experience there might make him well-suited to the WBC job.  After all, in fairness he’s done pretty well at letting a team of stars do their thing and win.  The real test of immediate impact will be how well he uses his ptiching staff in the WBC and he hasn’t done too badly at that with Yomiuri.

I’m not a fan, but I expect him to be an improvement over Hoshino.

  • Rob

    Don’t be so down on yourself for the Hoshino story.
    I think their source said Hoshino was a done deal, but they wouldn’t go on the record, so the reporter had to fuzz it.
    Or it was a trial balloon – and since it wasn’t the official decision, NPB could back away from it when it went up in flames.

  • Well, I feel an apology is in order for a few reasons:

    1. It just wasn’t well-substantiated. No reputable news source or blogger that I saw had picked it up and I hadn’t heard anything from anyone I know who would know better.

    2. Hoshino had already said he wouldn’t take the job. I was a little quick to assume he was posturing.

    3. It was embarrassing. I went off on a rant over something that hadn’t even happened.

    4. I felt it necessary to make it clear that the Hara story was real, not another rumor.

    I’m not exactly crying over it, though. Thanks for the kind words.

  • Ken

    I saw the story that Hoshino was hired on Yahoo News. They pulled the story, but they did run it.

  • So I hear. Yahoo! seems to be the culprit as that’s the source a few people mentioned to me. Oh well, these things happen. Not the first, and won’t be the last time media outlets or I’ve been wrong.