Japan's HR king accepts Ichiro may not play in WBC
TOKYO -- Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh, a special adviser to the national team, says he accepts that Japan may have to defend its title at next year's World Baseball Classic without star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.
Suzuki, who was instrumental in helping Japan win the WBC in 2006 and 2009, is reportedly considering sitting out the 2013 event, joining fellow Japanese major leaguers Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki.
Oh managed the Japanese squad that won the inaugural WBC in 2006.
Japanese baseball officials invited the 39-year-old Suzuki to join the 2013 team, but don't expect a response until he knows where he will play in the majors next season. Suzuki, a free agent, was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the New York Yankees in July.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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