The Baseball Federation of Mexico (Federacion Mexicana de Beisbol, FEMEBE) and the Mexican League (Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, LMB) announced that Dan Firova is the manager of the National Team for the Samurai Japan Series 2019, to be played in Osaka on 9 and 10 March.
Daniel Michael Firova was born in 1956 in Refugio, Texas, USA. A catcher in his playing days, he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners despite having suffered a serious hand injury while in High School. He appeared in 15 MLB games (1981, 1982) for the Mariners and in one more (1988) for the Cleveland Indians. He spent most of his playing career, a total 538 games, in the LMB (Nuevo Laredo, Saltillo, Dos Laredos) and at the Minor League level.
He began managing in the Mexican League in 1993 and earned Manager of the Year honours in 2000. He also served as the MLB Washington Nationals bullpen coach (2015-2017).
Firova named a 28-man roster for the Samurai Japan Series. All players are under contract with LMB teams, unless otherwise indicated:
PITCHERS (14) Carlos Hernandez (Tijuana), Luis Mendoza (Mexico), Zach Phillips (Monclova), José Samayoa (Yucatan), Manny Barreda (Tijuana), José Oyervides (Dos Laredos), Wilmer Rios (Monclova), Jake Sanchez (Tijuana), Andres Avila (Yucatan), Jorge Reyes (Dos Laredos), Aldo Montes (Yucatan), Francisco Rodriguez (Tabasco), Esteban Haro (Durango), Cesar Vargas (Monterrey)
CATCHERS (2) Xorge Carrillo (Tijuana), Ali Solis (Monterrey)
INFIELDERS (7) Luis Juarez (Yucatan), Victor Mendoza (Monterrey), Luis Cruz (Tijuana), Isaac Rodriguez (Tijuana), Rodolfo Amador (Monclova), Ramiro Peña (Monterrey), Brian Hernandez (Quintana Roo)
OUTFIELDERS (5) Jesus Fabela (Mexico), José Juan Aguilar (Yucatan), Fernando Perez (Tijuana), Joey Meneses (Orix Buffaloes-NPB), Roberto Lopez (Dos Laredos)
— Selección Mexicana de Beisbol (@MexicoBeis) 26 febbraio 2019
Firova’s staff is completed by coaches Isidro Marquez, Martin Arzate, Javier Robles, Miguel Lopez.
Javier Salinas, CEO of LMB, made clear that “the Samurai Japan Series cannot be considered friendly matches. They are sanctioned by WBSC and will be world class competition.”
Dan Firova added: “Our goal is winning. We’ve got time to get ready and we are travelling to Japan to do it all.”