Hiring 2005 White Sox is the hottest managerial trend in Japan

Vinnie Duber
NBC Sports Chicago

In Major League Baseball, the hottest managerial trend is hiring guys with no experience, grabbing them out of the front office or broadcast booth to helm World Series contenders.

In Japan, the hottest managerial trend is hiring members of the 2005 White Sox.

Last week, the Yakult Swallows named former White Sox reliever Shingo Takatsu their latest skipper. He joins Tadahito Iguchi as a manager in Japan's NPB. The former White Sox second baseman managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in each of the last two seasons.

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All kidding about White Sox connections aside, obviously these guys have every reason to be managing in their home country. Takatsu pitched for the Swallows for 13 seasons before coming to the U.S. to pitch for the White Sox and another two seasons after returning from the big leagues. He first managed way back in 2012, when he was a player-manager in an independent league in Japan. He spent the past three years as the manager of the Swallows' farm team.

Iguchi, meanwhile, played nine seasons with the Marines after his major league career was over, retiring in 2017 at age 42. He took over as the team's manager the next year. In 2018, the Marines won 59 games. Last season, under Iguchi's watch, they won 69, a 10-win improvement - just like the 2019 White Sox.

And who knows, if Iguchi keeps winning in Japan, maybe he'll catch the attention of the decision-makers on the other side of the Pacific.

When he visited the South Side in 2017 to celebrate his retirement, he talked about his desire to once again wear the White Sox uniform and to some day manage in the big leagues.

"In the future," Iguchi said through a translator that day, "he wants to wear the uniform in Major League Baseball.

"About two years ago, he was invited for SoxFest, and he remembers he spoke to Jerry (Reinsdorf, team chairman) about wanting to come back to the Chicago White Sox again."

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Hiring 2005 White Sox is the hottest managerial trend in Japan originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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