Yesterday in my World Baseball Classic update, I mentioned that there had been some WBC news over the past few weeks that I had neglected to share. Consider this a catch-up post on those things.
- It has been announced that Ian Kinsler will manage Team Israel at the 2023 WBC. Kinsler, of course, was one of the best second-basemen of the late 2000s and the 2010s, making four All-Star Games and winning two Gold Gloves. He played for Team Israel at the Tokyo Olympics.
- Speaking of Tokyo, it was announced there back in June that the new Samurai Japan manager will be Hideki Kuriyama. Kuriyama managed the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters from 2012-2021, including a Japan Series title in 2016.
- During a press conference announcing that Eduardo Perez would be the Team Puerto Rico General Manager, some names were put out as candidates for the squad’s manager. Among them: Ramon Vazquez, Carlos Beltran, Josue Espada, Joey Cora, Juan Gonzalez, Sandy Alomar Jr., and perhaps even Yadier Molina (unless, of course, he is playing).
- Henry Blanco is reportedly one of the finalists for the Team Venezuela job, but says he hasn’t heard anything recently.
- Efforts by Cubans who have left the island to either have their own team or be able to play on the national team are unlikely to happen, but reportedly there is some discussion of having a team of Cubans-in-exile play some exhibition games together.
- Humberto Castellanos of the Diamondbacks hopes to suit up for Mexico next spring.
- There have been some articles written about a possible Team Canada over the last few months. Among those who definitely sound interested in playing: Abraham Toro, Josh Naylor, and Cal Quantrill. Joey Votto is still unsure and hasn’t thought that far in advance, while pitchers like Nick Pivetta and Jameson Taillon admit that that while they aren’t ruling it out they aren’t sure yet either given how far it is in the future. Sadly for Canada, two players definitely won’t be playing for them: Jordan Romano is planning on playing for Italy, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will suit up for the place he grew up (the Dominican), not the place he was born.
I’ll have more WBC news as it becomes available and as I find it.