Wednesday, 24th April 2024

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Professional Baseball Settlement ⑤ Will Korean Baseball which has been on a Roller Coaster

In 2023, Korean baseball had a roller coaster year.

He experienced the bitter taste of early elimination at the World Baseball Classic

(WBC) in March, where all of the elite members participated, and won a valuable gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games in October, where promising players worked together.

First of all, as we have succeeded in signaling a rebound

the remaining task is to complete the generational change without losing the momentum. 먹튀검증사이트

In that way, Korean baseball, which introduced a full-time manager system

plans to deliver results on the WBC stage in 2026 through the Premier 12 in November next year.

The 2023 WBC national team, led by KT Wiz coach Lee Kang-cheol

suffered the humiliation of being eliminated in the first round of three consecutive competitions, behind Australia and Japan.

The blueprint to advance to the semifinals for the first time in 14 years was shattered as the team experienced the humiliation of being defeated by Australia, which was considered to be one step below them in terms of power.

On the other hand, Japan, which widened the gap with Korea

went on to win, defeating the United States in the finals and taking the top spot in the WBC for the first time in 14 years.

Even before the shock of finishing fourth at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics had subsided

it was a moment when I realized the reality of Korean baseball once again.

As a result, there were growing voices saying that the national team’s generational change should not be delayed any longer.

A thin pitcher base that has no choice but to continue to rely on veterans Kim Gwang-hyun (35, SSG Landers) and Yang Hyun-jong (35, KIA Tigers), Yang Eui-ji (36, Doosan Bears), Park Byeong-ho (37, KT Wiz), Choi Jeong (36, SSG), and Kim Hyun-soo (36, SSG). The issue of aging fielders such as 35, LG Twins was highlighted.

The Hangzhou Asian Games was the international stage that brought the Korean baseball team to the international stage when it was difficult to find a breakthrough.

It was a good opportunity to test the possibility of generational change in Korean baseball

as it was decided to form a national team with only young prospects due to the controversy over military service exemption.

Excluding three wild cards, the national team consisted only of players under the age of 25 or players who have been professional players for four years or less.

The situation was not easy.

Each team was limited to a maximum of 3 starters, and with Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) and Koo Chang-mo (NC Dinos) leaving due to injury

they were evaluated as the weakest team ever.

However, the result of the bold bet was ‘jackpot’.

The Hangzhou national team, led by coach Ryu Joong-il

defeated Chinese Taipei in the final and achieved the feat of winning gold medals in four consecutive competitions.

It was meaningful to harvest a large number of ‘international players’ such as pitchers Dong-ju Moon (19, Hanwha Eagles) and Young-hyun Park (20, KT Wiz), and fielders Dong-hee Yoon (20, Lotte Giants) and Joo-won Kim (21, NC).

Many of Hangzhou’s gold medal members will also participate in the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC)

which will be held in Tokyo, Japan for four days starting on the 16th of this month.

APBC is a tournament in which professional baseball prospects from four countries, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia, participate.

Excluding three wild cards, participation is limited to those under the age of 24 or within the third year of becoming a professional.

Now the next step is Premier 12 in November next year and WBC in 2026.

The Premier 12 is a tournament in which the top 12 countries ranked by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) compete, and Korea won the inaugural tournament in 2015 and finished runner-up in the second tournament in 2019.

What is different from this year is the fact that the former coach will take the helm of the Korean national team.

Previously, the KBO brought up the revival of the full-time head coach system as a way to improve the competitiveness of the national team and announced that it would guarantee the term until the 2026 WBC.

Accordingly, the KBO Secretariat plans to begin detailed selection work as soon as the APBC ends this month and complete the selection of the head coach at the end of this year at the earliest, or early next year at the latest.

If the evaluation games against the American Professional Baseball (MLB) Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres

who are visiting Korea for the opening game of the 2024 season in March next year, are held

those games are expected to be the debut games of the former manager.

KBO sees generational change as the primary task for the next head coach, and selects ‘young leadership’ and ‘data baseball’ as criteria for selection.

The goal is to see whether it is possible to communicate smoothly with players in their early to mid-20s while actively discovering and nurturing promising players based on data analysis.

Since he must lead the national team with a long-term perspective, it is reported that he is considering ways to limit some of his resignations from the position of coach.

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