The Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association has confirmed on Friday that current San Francisco Giants hitting coach and former Major League Hensley Meulens will be the Netherlands manager during the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He will take over for Brian Farley, who gets demoted to bench coach duty during the tournament, which sees the Dutch team facing Korea, Australia and a qualifying team in the first round in Taichung, Taiwan from March 2 to 5.
Meulens is not unfamiliar to the Dutch national team. He played in 35 games for the team, including the 2000 Olympics, the 2001 Baseball World Cup and the 2002 Intercontinental Cup. He later worked as assistant coach for the team, most recently at the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics. His San Francisco Giants are playing the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals right now. KNBSB Director Robert Eenhoorn and Farley visited Meulens in San Francisco during the playoffs to talk about the World Baseball Classic and to finalize the agreement.
Farley, while disappointed that he is not at the helm during the 2013 WBC, understands the decision as he recognizes the need for a manager with MLB experience during that high-caliber tournament. Farley has coached the Dutch national team in the last two years having succeeded Rod Delmonico and Jim Stoeckel. He led the Netherlands to the win at the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup, pushing European Baseball right at the top of the pyramid in International Baseball. This year however his Dutch team missed out on winning the European Championship in front of a home crowd, settling for the silver medal in September.