Hoshino to Head Japan WBC Team

Update: The good news is that the article below does in fact appear to be a rumor, and probably an unreliable one at that. As of 10/22, Hoshino is still being written of as being uninterested in the job and none less than Ichiro Suzuki called on Japanese baseball officials to hurry up and name a manager already just a couple of days ago. We apologize for any near heart attacks the (hopefully) inaccurate item below caused.

Despite promising he wouldn’t, unsuccessful Olympic baseball manager Hoshino has accepted the top job for the World Baseball Classic, according to stories filtering through this morning.

Although I thought, and hoped, it was a rumor, it appears to be for real. I guess it wasn’t that surprising. Older, respected managers tend to get jobs regardless of performance and tend not to be held responsible for bad decisions or incompetence by the powers that be in Japanese baseball. It’s also an old boys club, which means only the older, respected members of the club, guys who played by the rules and toed the line throughout their careers were ver really in contention. Sadaharu Oh had already accepted an advisory position with the WBC team and remains in poor health, so he was out. Talk of fresh blood was hopeful gossip, not a real possibility.

From this point, I’m sure you, the readers and commenters, can express the thoughts we’re probably all having best, so have at it.

  • I was under the impression that he was just the leading candidate, based on the Nikkan Sports articles this morning (October 17). The qualities they are looking for are basically:

    1. Someone who is free – not already getting a team ready for the start of the season, and

    2. Someone who is already familiar with the players.

    I suppose that you could argue that he didn’t know the players well enough in Beijing to manage them properly.

    Katoh-commissioner seems to really want Oh to do the job, as does Nomura-kantoku.

    I was kind of surprised to see former Carp Nomura Kenjiro on the pannel. At 42 years old, he’s far and away the youngest member on the committee. Kenjiro’s international experience was being a member of the silver medalist Seoul Olympics team while at Komadai.

  • I should have made it clear that I’m still reporting rumor as far as I can verify. I had a couple of people swear up and down to me that they saw an official announcement on Yahoo! News this morning (the 16th), but I haven’t yet seen an actual announcement or article.

    I can’t say that Oh or Nomura would give me a whole lot more confidence than Hoshino, but I doubt they’d be any worse. I’d like to see someone from the next generation down get a shot. Considering that the players would almost all be on teams getting ready for the next season, I’m not sure if #1 should be the be-all-and-end-all of the matter. And #2? Wouldn’t any pro manager be pretty familiar with most of the players?

    Hoshino might not have known the players all that well, but that doesn’t explain the apparent lack of coherent strategy.

  • Furuta’s free, and he’s familiar with the players. Yeah, I know it’s just a pipe dream, but hey..

  • Seems like a a SHOGANAI ( can’t do anything about it) for Hoshino Kantoku.
    Nothing gets done in Japan until the GUZEN (coincidence )gods make it happen.

  • Keith

    For someone hoping that Japan would field a competitive team for the next WBC, I have to say that I’m sorely disappointed. Nevertheless, Hoshino has his merits. He’s always good for a laugh.

  • If this rumor proves to be true, it will be all shades of stupid.