Two major leaguers, lack of time for the national team to match up with the domestic players until March
About a month before the WBC (World Baseball Classic) called ‘Baseball World Cup’, the Korean national team has a new problem. It’s not an injury nightmare or conflict within the squad. This is because there is less time to refine teamwork in advance with the best organizational skills.
Early joining of the national team by big leaguers failed… When to breathe?
The WBC team includes MLB (US Professional Baseball) active big leaguer Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres), Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh Pirates), and Korean-American player Tommy Edman (28, St. Louis Cardinals). When the final list was announced on the 4th of last month, it was expected that they would join the national team early in February and work together with domestic players.
However, it is known that Ha-seong Kim and Edman will join their teams in March after starting to harden themselves in mid-February at the spring camp of their respective teams. MLB clubs are favorable to their players participating in the WBC, but they try to minimize the training period for the national team to prevent injuries.
It is important for Kim Ha-seong and Edmon, who are likely to form a keystone combination for the national team as a shortstop and second baseman, to play together in as many practice games as possible. If the two of them have less time to play, it can lead to an unstable infield defense. Lee Kang-cheol, coach of the WBC national team, also said, “I think Kim Ha-seong will help a lot (Edman adapts to the team).”메이저놀이터
However, players who have not fully established themselves in the team have no choice but to pay attention to the club. In the case of Kim Ha-seong, it became more important that Xander Bogarts (31), a former ‘All-Star shortstop’, came in after last season and show good form from spring camp. Choi Ji-man has not even been confirmed to join the national team. In order to participate in the WBC, the consent of the affiliated team is required, but Choi Ji-man has not yet received a definite answer, and has even applied for an annual salary adjustment. For this reason, the possibility of selecting a substitute player is being discussed ahead of the WBC final entry deadline (8th).
From the 15th, the Korean national team will hold a two-week training and practice match in Arizona, USA. He will return to Korea on the 2nd of next month, go through domestic training, and then go to Japan on the 4th. In Osaka, we will have two practice matches with the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) team, and on the 9th we will play against Australia, the first match of the first round of the WBC finals.
A similar situation in Japan
The situation of the Japanese national team is not much different. Japan made unconventional promises, such as paying the necessary insurance premiums for big leaguers to join the national team training early in February, and coordinated the schedule with the players’ clubs. As the WBC quarter-final tournament is held in Japan, he took off his feet to make the tournament a box office success.
However, out of the five big leaguers selected for the Japanese team for similar reasons to Korea, only Yu Darvish (37, San Diego Padres) joins the team early. Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels) will also participate in Arizona’s spring camp, pitch in an exhibition game, and join the Japanese national team around March 3. Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), Lars Nutba (St. Louis Cardinals), and Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox) also participate in training for the Japanese national team around the same time as Ohtani.
Darvish said, “From the beginning, the club said, ‘Let the players decide’, so it was not a difficult situation for me. He said, “Thank you to the club for giving me the right to decide.” I hope that the atmosphere of ‘I can join the national team late because I am a big leaguer’ will not be taken for granted (to everyone).”