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Ichiro throws wrench into Japan’s WBC Manager problems

by on Oct.19, 2008 @ 11:04 pm, under WBC

Ichiro has been fairly quiet on the recent WBC Manager situation in Japan... At least, until now. In a recent interview he said, "No current manager's? That doesn't sound like a team that really wants to win. If you're serious about winning, you shouldn't be worried about who to pick as manager." Whether or not this is a sign that Ichiro doesn't approve of Hoshino becoming the manager again is not known, but such a comment could be an indication that he's isn't entirely on board with the idea.

A lot of fans look up to Ichiro and his comments may ultimately force Japan's hand. During the last WBC meetings, it appeared as though Hoshino would be named as the next manager, but now that Ichiro has spoken his mind, it's entirely possible that things will begin to change. (Incidentally, I think most fans want to see Nomura as manager. Not sure what Ichiro thinks of Nomura.)

Ichiro does make an interesting point. If the top Japanese players are going to take time out of their pre-season activities to participate in the WBC, why shouldn't managers be doing the same? I certainly understand the concern -- current managers would be taken away from their teams during a very important period of time, but again, what about all those top players? Is Japan Baseball basically saying that it's ok to take top players away from their teams, but it's NOT ok to take top managers away from theirs? How would that make active Japanese players in the Majors feel? And ultimately, if you really want to put together the best possible team, doesn't that also include employing the top manager?

It will be interesting to see whether or not Ichiro's remarks cause any shifts at the next WBC meetings set to take place on the 27th.

Some other things Ichiro said about the WBC:

"The WBC shouldn't be used a platform for revenge. Japan lost in at the Olympics. End of story. We shouldn't be dragging that into the WBC, the two are separate."

"I want to play for the world title on more time. I want to put on that uniform and make people proud of our accomplishments. It's really that simple."

WBC監督問題にイチロー苦言 星野氏白紙も Sponichi

0 comments on “Ichiro throws wrench into Japan’s WBC Manager problems

  1. knucklehead7

    I think it might be slightly different for managers than players. The players that are participating in the WBC are still playing so they are getting preparation in for the coming season, and it doesn’t seem near as important who the players around them are while they do this. But if a manager is away from his team, he can’t evaluate the players that he will need for the upcoming season. And while the managers will be missing the players that are participating in the WBC, most of them are well known entities that don’t require near as much evaluation.

    I’m not saying I entirely disagree, just offering up a slightly different perspective.

  2. Gwynar

    I’m not necessarily agreeing with Ichiro’s statements either.

    I think it’s a tough call. Managers probably do have a little more to lose by missing out on pre-season work-outs and games. And as you mention, they have player/personnel evaluations they need to make.

    But then players are also giving up things like practice time with team mates (and if there are new players joining their teams, they miss the chance to work with them as well) and a greater possibility of injury. Injuries can obviously happen anywhere, so I’m not necessarily talking about those types of injuries, but rather injuries that could come about from trying to hard. For example: A player might not dive for sinking line drive during a regular exhibition game, but during a big WBC game, he might.

    In the end, I think Ichiro is just trying to say don’t insult the players by saying you’re going to put together the best team possible and then turn around and pick a manager that might not be the best option available.

    There are quite a few people in Japan (and perhaps this includes Ichiro) that feel Oh had a big hand in their victory during the first WBC. And it wasn’t just about his managerial skills, but rather the connections he made with his players. Everyone on that team wanted to win so badly for Oh that it became a rallying point that ultimately brought everyone together. I’m not so sure if Hoshino has that kind of personality or respect…