Ian Kinsler to manage Israel at 2023 World Baseball Classic

September 4th, 2022

Ian Kinsler has one World Baseball Classic title on his mantle and now he wants another one. This time, though, it will be for a different country and in a different role. Kinsler, who hit .267/.353/.400 with 1 home run and 3 RBIs as part of the World Baseball Classic-winning Team USA in 2017, will be back in uniform as the manager for Team Israel at the 2023 WBC this March.

It won't be his first time with Israel: Kinsler represented the country at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, hitting .222/.333/.444 with a home run during the competition. Now, the star second baseman will be tasked with managing the club who were the Cinderella story in the 2017 tournament. Ranked 41st in the world and the last of the 16 teams to qualify, Israel confounded baseball experts with upset victories over South Korea, Chinese Taipei, the Netherlands and Cuba, en route to a sixth-place finish.

“I enjoyed my time playing in the tournament and now that I know Israel Baseball well from my time in the Olympics, I am convinced that we will have a very competitive squad that will go far,” Kinsler, currently an advisor in the Padres front office, told the San Diego Jewish World this summer. “We are already hard at work putting together a winner roster for Israel at the WBC.”

Currently ranked 20th in the world, Israel will still have a hard task ahead: They'll play against back-to-back runners-up Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and a yet-to-be-determined team when Pool D play begins on March 11, 2023, in Miami, Fla.