The Hangzhou Asian Games are coming up in September.
The baseball gold medal is expected to be a three-way battle between South Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei. This was the case four years ago. After meeting in the final at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, South Korea and Japan split the gold and silver medals, respectively, with Chinese Taipei finishing third. Based on the objective strength of the field, it’s likely to be a similar story this time around.온라인카지노
South Korea announced its 24 athletes for the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday. Japan held a three-day selection camp last weekend with a total of 39 athletes participating.
Japan operates under the name “Samurai Japan,” uniting each generation, including women’s baseball. Unemployed baseball players have been represented at the Asian Games since the 2014 Incheon Games.
Unemployed athletes may be thought of as “working while playing baseball as a hobby,” but this is not the case. Of the 23 players who competed in the last Jakarta-Palembang Games, three pitchers and one catcher were drafted into the professional ranks. Unemployed players in their early 20s have a strong desire to go pro. In addition, most of the companies that have unemployed teams are large corporations, and they have private stadiums and indoor practice fields that are as good as those of the second-tier professional teams.
Japan’s strength is its pitching. At the Jakarta-Palembang tournament, Kim Jae-hwan (Doosan), who was the center fielder for the SeonDong Yeolho, said of Japan at the time, “Their pitchers are first-team level,” and “they can be exploited if you meet them a few times like in the regular season.” In fact, South Korea was held scoreless in the first inning against Japan’s Katsutoshi Satake in the Super Round, but from the second inning on, Kim Ha-seong, Park Byung-ho and Hwang Jae-gyun hit home runs in a 5-1 victory.
Now 40 years old, Satake was called up to the national team’s selection camp as an active pitcher. “I felt that I needed a more detailed pitch, not just outside and inside, but a low outside pitch and a high inside pitch,” Satake said, reflecting on the game against South Korea five years ago.
There is a general consensus in Japan that South Korea is a stronger batting team than Japan when it comes to battles between Asian Games teams. Aranishi Yudai, who pitched out of the bullpen at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games before joining the Orix Buffaloes (now in the Independent League), recalled that “Korean hitters had the ability to hit long balls without missing a pitch.” Head coach Akio Ishii, who took over the reins of the Asian Games after the last edition, said he recently changed the team’s direction. “Japan has a strong perception of ‘defense baseball,’ but if we want to win (against Korea), it might be a little different. We saw that we needed hitters with power (for the Asian Games), and those players were included (in the call-up).” Japan’s national tournaments are held in July and November. Performances in these two tournaments are evaluated. “We want to select players based on their domestic performance as well as their international experience,” Ishii said. Ishii, who led a team of unemployed players to victory at the U-23 Baseball World Cup in October last year, also revealed that he intends to consider the experience of those players in selecting the Asian Games squad.
Japan will announce its roster for the Asian Games on July 25 after the conclusion of the National Unemployed Baseball Tournament in Tokyo.