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Bruce Bochy to manage French national baseball team

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Bruce Bochy will manage France’s national baseball team, SFGate’s Douglas Zimmerman reports. France will attempt to qualify for the World Baseball Classic in 2021.

Bochy, 64, was born in Bussac-Forêt, France as his dad was stationed there with the U.S. Army. Bochy said, “This is a moment in which I think of my career after the Giants. I want to stay involved and give back to baseball what it gave to me.”

Bochy “retired” after the 2019 season, his 13th season with the Giants. Along with helping the franchise win three championships (2010, ’12, ’14), Bochy led the Giants to a 1,052-1,054 record during the regular season. Prior to managing the Giants, Bochy was the Padres’ skipper, memorably at the helm of the 1998 team that won the National League pennant.

France came up short attempting to qualify for the 2013 and ’17 WBC. In 2013, France was eliminated with an 8-0 loss to Spain and a 5-2, 11-inning loss to South Africa. In 2017, France was defeated 9-2 by Panama before taking down Spain 5-3. They were ultimately eliminated with another loss to Panama by a 7-4 margin.

Zimmerman notes that Bochy’s older brother Joe will help coach the French team. Bochy’s son Brett is also eligible to play for France.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.