Baseball: Ex-major leaguer Kazuo Matsui named as Seibu manager

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama (Kyodo) — Former major league middle infielder Kazuo Matsui will become the Seibu Lions’ manager, the Pacific League club said Thursday.

Last Sunday, Seibu announced the resignation of Hatsuhiko Tsuji, 63, who managed the club for six years, saying the move is aimed at revamping the coaching staff with younger members.

The 46-year-old Matsui served as head coach this past season for the Lions, who finished third in the regular season and were eliminated by the SoftBank Hawks in the first stage of the Climax Series playoffs.

Matsui retired as a Lion in 2018. During his best seasons in Japan, Matsui was named the Pacific League MVP in 1998 and achieved the “Triple Three” four years later with a .332 batting average with 36 home runs and 33 stolen bases.

In the majors, he hit .267 with 32 home runs, 211 RBIs and 102 stolen bases in 630 games with the New York Mets, the Colorado Rockies and the Houston Astros between 2004 and 2010.