The next “Samurai Japan Manager” appointment is a difficult one. ……NPB is rumored to be in contact with “a surprisingly big name who will be the trump card”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The next “Samurai Japan Manager” appointment is a difficult one. ……NPB is rumored to be in contact with “a surprisingly big name who will be the trump card”.

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The selection of the next manager to lead Samurai Japan in the World Baseball Classic ( WBC) scheduled to be held in 2026 has been difficult.
In June, Tokyo Sports reported that ” Former SoftBank Hawks manager Kimiyasu Kudo (60) has been singled out,” but other newspapers did not follow suit. On the contrary, the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization ( NPB) protested that it was “factually incorrect.
Hara led the Samurai Japan team to victory in 2009.
Hideki Kuriyama (62) called up the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (29) and other solid Samurai Major Leaguers to represent Japan in the WBC held in March of this year, and the team succeeded in regaining the world’s top spot. Naturally, the next manager will be under pressure and expectations to win another championship. That seems to be one of the reasons for the difficulty in negotiations.
In the past, we selected an alumnus of professional baseball who had no experience as a coach, such as Hiroki Kokubo (51, current SoftBank second team manager), but the results were not good,” said Yomiuri. Since the Yomiuri Shimbun is deeply involved in the management of Samurai Japan, it is believed that candidates will be selected from the connections of the Yomiuri Giants, a group company,” ( baseball desk of a sports newspaper ).
Come to think of it, both Sadaharu Oh, 83, the first manager of the Giants, and Kimiyasu Kudo, who was named as a candidate by Tōspo, have deep ties to the Giants. The sports newspaper desk clerk mentioned above continues.
Hirokazu Ibata, 48, who is the manager of the U-12 Japan national team, would also be a candidate. He was a solid infielder for the Chunichi and Giants. After retiring, he coached the Samurai Japan team and made a significant contribution to winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics the year before last.
When Kazuyoshi Tachinami, 53, took over as manager of Chunichi in the off-season the year before last, he was approached to become a coach underwater, but he turned it down. I think he has a strong desire to ‘ manage the team by himself’ rather than working under someone else.”
Other candidates for the job are Yoshinobu Takahashi (48) and Atsuya Furuta (57), but ……
Mr. Takahashi has managed the Giants once, but the results were not good, and he cannot fail anymore. Mr. Furuta’s TV appearances and other talent activities are going well, and it is hard to imagine him throwing away an income that is said to be worth no less than 100 million yen. It is thought that he will not accept the position of representative director until he takes the risk.
With one month left until the set deadline, the NPB side has finally begun contacting “the man.
It is Mr . Tatsunori Hara, the manager of the second WBC championship. Hara has always been concerned about Samurai Japan, and has a desire to coach Samurai Japan again in the future. Since June, NPB officials are said to have visited ballparks in the Kanto area in secret and contacted Hara. When negotiations finally reach an impasse, it may be possible for him to rejoin the team,” said a source close to the baseball world.
The Giants, with Hara at the helm, are currently hovering around the 50% mark in winning percentage, partly due to the poor performance of their supporting foreign players. They are falling out of contention for the championship.
If they fail to win the championship, there is a possibility that he will retire at the end of this season. If he fails to win the championship, he may have to retire at the end of this season.Thecall-up of Otani and other big-name major leaguers will also go well if former manager Kuriyama, who adores Hara, supports him in the form of an advisor.
The new manager who will be entrusted with the responsibility of winning back-to-back championships will be…….

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