Japan's search for its next national baseball manager may be over.
On Monday, Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato decided to ask Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara to lead Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, which begins March 5 at Tokyo Dome. Kato made the announcement after meeting with his advisory committee for the WBC.
"We decided to go with someone who is currently managing," Kato said. "We wanted an experienced manager with a track record and Hara fits that description. He has managed three league champions and has won the Japan Series [in 2002]."
On Saturday, Hara's Giants clinched a spot in the Japan Series against the Pacific League's Saitama Seibu Lions. He told reporters he had yet to receive a formal offer.
"I'm now...preparing for the Japan Series," Hara said. "If an offer comes, I'll follow the instructions of the team owner.