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New nat'l baseball manager set to name coaching staff next week: officials

All Headlines 15:37 February 07, 2019

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- New national baseball team manager Kim Kyung-moon will name his coaching staff next week, officials said Thursday.

Kim was named South Korea's new skipper on Jan. 28. At his inaugural press conference, Kim said he would put together his staff by mid-February, at the latest.

Chang Yoon-ho, secretary-general of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), said Thursday that Kim has set Feb. 15 as his deadline to pick coaches.

In this file photo from Jan. 28, 2019, Kim Kyung-moon, newly appointed as manager of the South Korean national baseball team, speaks at a press conference at the Korea Baseball Organization headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)

"I understand he has contacted candidates for the coaching positions," Chang added.

The Premier 12, scheduled for November as the first qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, will be the first major competition for Kim.

The manager will have a staff of six coaches, including two pitching coaches and one hitting coach.

One KBO official said Kim is hoping to select former players who aren't currently employed by KBO teams, but given the lack of coaching depth, he will be forced to tap into the KBO pool.

Once his staff is set, Kim is tentatively scheduled to depart for Okinawa, Japan, on Feb. 25 to visit a half-dozen KBO teams in spring training.

After that, Kim will attend exhibition games between Japan and Mexico in Osaka, Japan, on March 9 and 10, according to the KBO.

The Premier 12 will be open to the top 12 countries in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) world rankings at the end of 2018. South Korea placed third behind Japan and the United States.

Baseball will return to the Olympics in the Japanese capital after an eight-year absence. South Korea won the most recent Olympic baseball gold in Beijing in 2008, with Kim Kyung-moon as the manager.

Baseball in Tokyo will feature six nations. The WBSC said the top finisher from the Americas and the top country from the Asia/Oceania region, excluding Olympic host Japan, will earn direct entries into Tokyo 2020.

The WBSC will also organize separate qualifiers for Africa/Europe and the Americas. Its intercontinental qualifier, featuring six teams, will be the final opportunity for countries to book their spots at Tokyo 2020. The participants in that one will be the runner-up from the Africa/Europe qualifier, the second- and third-place finishers from the Americas qualifier, the two best finishers from the 2019 Asian Championship that haven't already qualified for the Olympics and the winner of the Oceania qualifier.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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