WBC in 6 years, will it take revenge this time?
Established in 2006, the WBC will hold its 5th tournament this year. Since 2009, the competition has been held every four years. The last competition was in 2017. It was originally scheduled to be held in 2021, but due to the global spread of Corona 19, it has been held in six years.
The Korean national team, which has participated since the first tournament, has never won a championship until the fourth. However, it did well in the 1st and 2nd competitions, leading not only the potential of Korean baseball but also the popularity of domestic baseball.
In the first inning, major leaguers such as Park Chan-ho, Kim Byung-hyun, Kim Seon-woo, Koo Dae-seong, Bong Joong-geun, Seo Jae-eung, and Choi Hee-seop, along with Lee Seung-yeop, who played in Japan, succeeded in advancing to the semifinals.
In the next competition, it went up a notch higher. At that time, a game method called ‘Double Elimination’ was created with the addition of a loser’s respawn. It was a tournament format in which losing twice in a group consisting of four countries was eliminated. Because of this, Korea faced Japan five times. In the final, they met Japan, but unfortunately lost in overtime and finished runner-up.
Since then, Korea has not been able to laugh one after another at the WBC. In 2013, he was eliminated in the first round. In the next tournament, 2017, he finished the tournament in the first round. It was even more shocking because it was held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Korea.
Recently, Korean baseball’s status in international competitions has declined significantly. WBC, of course, suffered a no-medal humiliation at the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021. In the KBO League that year, cases of violating the Corona 19 quarantine rules came out and the image of Korean professional baseball was greatly damaged. During the Corona 19 era, the number of spectators decreased significantly, and even a ‘crisis theory’ emerged.
In fact, the prospects for the Korean national team in this tournament are not very bright. Lee Kang-cheol, coach of the WBC national team, said at a press conference on the first day of the national team’s convocation on January 16, “Everyone says it is a crisis (of Korean baseball). I will use the crisis as an opportunity and prepare well so that I can play as many games with the players as possible with a national team filled with young and veteran players.”
Japan has 5 big leaguers and Korea has only 2.
At the end of January, Fox Bet, an American broadcasting company affiliated with Fox Sports, predicted the Korean national team’s chances of winning 7th out of 20 countries. The United States, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela have mostly major leaguers in their national teams. Five big leaguers, including Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Yu Darvish (San Diego), are also on the Japanese national team aiming to win this tournament. Moreover, Japan belongs to Group B, the same as Korea. In addition to Korea and Japan, Australia, China and the Czech Republic form Group B.
The Korean national team was originally scheduled to have three big leaguers. Choi Ji-man’s team, Pittsburgh, refused to participate, and it ended in misfire. Ha-seong Kim (San Diego) and Tommy Hyeon-su Edman (St. Louis) are the only two players who play in the major leagues. 온라인카지노
I also suffered from unwanted noise. On January 21st, SSG’s Choo Shin-soo caused controversy with a remark he made on a Korean radio broadcast in Dallas, Texas, USA. He expressed dissatisfaction with Kiwoom An Woo-jin, who had a history of being disciplined for school violence, not being selected for the national team, and said to the effect that the generational change of the national team had not been properly carried out. The waves of this remark spread one wave. Before leaving for the United States at the end of January, manager Lee Kang-cheol had to answer, “I think (Choo Shin-soo) expressed his personal opinion for the development of Korean baseball.”
Even in this process, the WBC team raised its anchor towards the goal of advancing to the semifinals. The national team players gathered in Tucson, Arizona, USA on February 15 and started training in earnest. Two major leaguers were missing, but Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), who announced that he would advance to the United States through the posting system after the 2023 season, is attracting attention from local scouts. The national team’s training continues with a ‘3-day training, 1-day break’ schedule. Practice matches with NC, KIA, KT, and LG to raise the sense of actual combat.
Even after returning home on March 1, he plans to continue his busy schedule. On the 2nd and 3rd, recovery training and practice matches will be held at Gocheok Sky Dome. On the 4th, they move to Osaka, Japan. This day is the official convocation day for each country’s national team set by the WBC Organizing Committee. The national team will have official training at Orix’s home stadium, Osaka Dome, on the 5th, and will have their final preliminary exams on the 6th and 7th in a match against Orix and Hanshin.