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