Art Howe has spent a lifetime in baseball and after managing and coaching in the Major Leagues for nearly two decades he’s about to export his experience to China.
The former Astros skipper signed up to be the hitting coach for China in this spring’s World Baseball Classic. Former Angels first baseman Wally Joyner was originally had the job but had to step out when he landed joined the coaching staff of the Philadelphia Phillies. Team China manager John McLaren turned to Howe.
Despite joining team China, Howe won’t be spending any time in China. He’ll be catching up with the team at the end of January in Phoenix.
“We’re going to share a complex with the Mariners for the first three weeks of February and then fly from Phoenix over to Japan,” Howe said Friday in Katy on the Astros CAREavan. “ That’s where our draw will take place the first week of March.”
Staying in the World Baseball Classic more than a week will be a difficult task for Team China. Japan, Cuba and Brazil are in the same pool and only two teams advance to the next round.
There will be obvious hurdles to close the cultural and communication gap for the coaching staff. That doesn’t mean a crash course with Rosetta Stone is in Howe’s future, though.
“Thank God they have interpreters,” Howe said with a laugh.