MLB

Mike Scioscia named Team USA manager ahead of baseball’s return to Olympics

USA Baseball announced three-time World Series champion Mike Scioscia as the manager for the team trying to reach the 2021 Olympics. Scioscia, 62, was a catcher on the Dodgers‘ 1981 and 1988 championship teams and led the Los Angeles Angels to their first World Series title in 2002 as manager. Now, he will look to lead Team USA to a berth in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“I am extremely honored and excited to lead Team USA this year,” Scioscia said in a statement released Tuesday. “I am looking forward to the privilege of wearing the USA jersey and I know every member of our team will feel the same way. It is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that will hopefully end with the USA winning an Olympic gold medal!”

Scioscia served as the Angels’ manager for 19 seasons from 2000-18, finishing with a 1,650-1,428 overall record. As a manager, Scioscia made the postseason seven times and won two Manager of the Year awards (2002 and 2009).

Prior to the announcement of Scioscia as manager, Joe Girardi was named manager in August 2019, but after he accepted the manager job with the Philadelphia Phillies, he was replaced by Scott Brosius in October 2019.

Baseball is set to return to the Olympics this summer in Tokyo for the first time since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where South Korea took home the gold medal. Cuba won the gold medal in 1992, 1996 and 2004 while the United States took home the gold in 2000. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed to this summer due to the global coronavirus pandemic. This year’s baseball tournament will take place from July 28 through Aug. 7 in Fukushima City and Yokohama, Japan.

Mexico, Israel, South Korea and host Japan have already qualified for the six-team Olympic tournament. The U.S. will host the Americas qualifying tournament in Florida in June. Group A will include the U.S., Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua. Canada, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela will be the teams in Group B. The schedule for the qualifier will be announced at a later date, according to USA Baseball.

The tournament winner will claim the fifth bid to the six-team Olympic field. The second- and third-place finishers will have one final chance to qualify for the Olympics, at a qualifier in Taiwan later in June.

Players on Major League Baseball 40-man rosters are not eligible to play for Team USA in Olympic qualifiers and the roster will likely consist of minor-league and college players.



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