Now-retired pitcher Shimizu to be New Zealand GM, head coach


Former Chiba Lotte Marines and Yokohama BayStars right-hander Naoyuki Shimizu announced his retirement Tuesday to take over as general manager and head coach of the New Zealand national team.

The 38-year-old Shimizu did not play last season, rehabilitating his left knee which he hurt in 2012. Shimizu was released by the BayStars that year.

“I want to give something back to baseball,” Shimizu said. “I want to get more people playing baseball and I took on this challenge with the hopes of helping baseball/softball get back in the Olympic program for Tokyo 2020.”

Shimizu said he will spend every other month in New Zealand at least for this year.