Korean baseball, where did it go wrong?

Korean baseball commanded world baseball, such as winning the gold medal at the Olympics and runner-up in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). However, he suffered the humiliation of being eliminated in the first round of the WBC three times in a row.

The national team won 22-2 in the final match against China in Group B in the first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) held at Tokyo Dome, Japan on the 13th. However, it did not mean much because the match was held in a state where advances to the quarterfinals were already frustrated. This is because Australia previously secured second place in Group B by beating the Czech Republic.

In Group B, Japan, which won 4 consecutive wins, advanced to the quarterfinals as first place in the group, and Australia took one ticket to the remaining quarterfinals with 3 wins and 1 loss. Korea lost 2-2 and was pushed to 3rd place in the group.

Aside from the loss to Japan, a strong candidate for the championship with the strongest power ever, the first match against Australia was painful. Initially, Korea’s strategy was to play the first match against Australia, which is virtually the second place match in the group, and face Japan without much burden, but the plan went wrong from the first match. As they suffered a 7-8 defeat, they were burdened with the pressure of the second game against Japan, and the humiliating result of a 3-14 defeat came out.

In fact, from the moment we lost the first game to Australia, the elimination in the quarterfinals was no different than predicted. This is because it was difficult to expect that other teams, such as the Czech Republic or the weakest China, with firefighters and teachers, would catch Australia.

It was regrettable that the pitchers were sluggish.메이저놀이터 After giving 8 points to Australia, which was evaluated below one level, it dedicated 13 points to Japan. Even in the game against the Czech Republic, where the minimum conceding goal was important, he lost face by conceding three runs.

It is pointed out that the preparation before the competition was wrong. Prior to the tournament, the national team conducted battery training in Tucson, Arizona, USA, but it was an unfavorable condition in which they had to travel for a long time and adapt to jet lag. Of course, a number of teams, including kt, the team of coach Lee Kang-cheol, the national team commander, were digesting spring camp in the United States, but it was almost the other side of the globe from Japan, where the first round of the WBC was held.

In addition, the grievances of the national team players who were training at the spring camp of a team other than the United States doubled. Players from Doosan, Samsung, and Lotte had to endure the journey of coming to the United States and then going back to Japan. Doosan catcher Yang Eui-ji fell asleep while standing at the airport on the day of entering Tucson.

The weather was also the worst. In Tucson, a cold wave warning was issued due to rain and wind as well as snow, and pitchers in particular did not train properly. There was not even an indoor bullpen training ground, so when the weather was bad, there was no choice but to take a forced break. There was also a lack of practice training, with one evaluation game canceled due to bad weather. On the day of returning home, there was even a bad news that 22 players had to travel by bus for 8 hours due to an abnormal flight in the United States. Fatigue was bound to accumulate.

The competitors in Group B were different. Japan improved their condition in Miyazaki without jet lag, and Australia also arrived in Japan about 10 days ahead of Korea and began adaptation training. Although it is the result, the difference in preparation before the competition led to performance and became a watershed between victory and defeat.

Korean baseball experienced the pain of being eliminated in the first round of the WBC in 2013 and 2017. At the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, there was even a controversy over military service benefits. Therefore, this tournament was a great opportunity to restore the fallen status of Korean baseball. However, due to poor preparation before the tournament, it was a waste of opportunity.

Even in the actual game, the benches and players were complacent and even showed a lack of desperation. In the first game against Australia, Kang Baek-ho (kt) made the fatal mistake of getting his foot off the base and being out due to being distracted by the ceremony even after hitting a double. It was a more regrettable scene because it was the 7th match.

In the 9th inning, trailing 7 to 8, the lead batter got on base, but a handshake came out, choosing a strong ball instead of a sacrifice bunt. Of course, the next hitter, Ha-seong Kim (San Diego), is a one-shot hitter, and after playing for two years in the major leagues (MLB), the bunt may be new to him. However, it was a short-term game, not a pennant race, and was behind by one point in a must-win game. In the end, Kim Ha-seong withdrew with a floating ball in the outfield and could not lead to a true base.

The next hitter, Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), also hit a fly ball in the outfield. However, if the runner reached second base with a bunt earlier, Lee Jung-hoo’s fly ball would have made it possible for him to advance to third base. If you are 2nd out and 3rd base, the possibility of scoring, such as an opponent’s wildfire, can increase even more. However, while this possibility was blocked by a strong ball, the Korean bench was belatedly trying to steal the base from the 2nd company, and the game ended in vain. It was regrettable that runner Tommy Hyun-su Edman (St. Louis) did not make a head-first slide, but the misjudgment of the bench was even more painful.

Coach Lee said after the game against China, “I sincerely thank the fans who came to the ballpark even though it was decided to be eliminated,” and “I want to say sorry to the fans in Korea.” He then lowered his head, saying, “The players prepared well and did their best.”

Of course, it can be the result. However, the preparation situation, which had been uneasy before the competition, was not strange at all even if it failed. He said that his sad premonition was never wrong, but indeed it was. Here’s a bit complacent, and even a game that lacked desperation… Is Korean baseball still full and should it suffer more humiliation?

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