As coach Hideki Kuriyama of the Japanese national baseball team is about to retire, legendary stars representing Japanese baseball, such as Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui, are being discussed as candidates. 안전놀이터
Japanese media Sponichi Annex said on the 30th, “Coach Kuriyama, who led Samurai Japan (Japan national team) and won the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in three tournaments last March, ends at the end of this month. An official announcement will be made soon. The Samurai Japan Reinforcement Committee starts selecting new managers. Ichiro and Matsui are expected to be nominated.”
Coach Kuriyama, who took over as coach of the Japanese national team in November 2021, led the WBC national team and won the championship in 14 years. Although he achieved the best performance, coach Kuriyama reaffirmed his intention to resign after the end of his term, saying, “If you think of Samurai Japan in the future, having a new person coach is the way for the future of baseball.”
Sponichi Annex said, “The Samurai Japan Reinforcement Committee plans to start selecting the next director by the end of August. Candidates include Ichiro, who has won the first and second WBC tournaments, and Matsui, who played an active role in Yomiuri and the Yankees, although he has no coaching experience. Former Chiba Lotte coach Tadahito Iguchi, who also played an active role with the White Sox, former coach Kimiyasu Kudo, who won five championships with Softbank, and former Yomiuri coach Takahashi Yoshinobu, who participated in the 2004 Athens Olympics, are also being mentioned as candidates.”
Ichiro played for the Seattle, Yankees, and Miami, and recorded an OPS of .757 with 117 homers, 780 RBIs, 1420 runs scored, 509 stolen bases, and a batting average of .301 (3089 hits in 9934 at-bats) in 2653 major league games. Matsui played for the Yankees, Angels, Oakland, and Tampa Bay, and recorded a batting average of .282 (1253 hits in 4442 at-bats), 175 homers, 760 RBIs, and an OPS of .822 in 1236 games.
The next Japanese national team coach is expected to make his first international appearance at the 2nd Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) to be held at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan in November.