46-year-old Belgian Steve Janssen is becoming the new manager of the German Baseball National Team. His assignment officially starts on January 1st, 2019. He also will be responsible for the German U23 National Team. Janssen is succeeding Martin Helmig as manager.
Germany’s managing director Dirk Fries cited disappointing performances of the past 12 months of the German national teams as main reason for the change. With the new manager they would like to connect the U23 and Senior national teams better. They are hopeful that Janssen will be able to implement a respective program on their way to a successful European Championship at home in Bonn and Solingen.
Janssen worked as pitching coach in the Chicago Cubs organization during the 2018 season. Between 2013 and 2017 he was the manager of the Netherlands. Between 2003 and 2012 he worked as pitching coach for the Netherlands on multiple occasions. With the Dutch team he won the 2011 Baseball World Cup in Panama and led the team to back-to-back European Championships in 2014 and 2016. He also was successful as club coach with Neptunus Rotterdam.
Helmig, one of the most accomplished player and coach in German baseball, had taken over as manager for the 2016 European Championship. At the Honkbalweek Haarlem Germany beat Cuba for the first time in history, but lost all the other games in the tournament. At the Super6 in Hoofddorp they won just one of the five games.