“There is a sense of pressure to produce good results in order to repay the fans.”
Lee Kang-cheol, coach of the Korean national baseball team, has always mentioned the success of Korean baseball from the moment he took the baton. It is a burdensome task just to prepare for one competition, but both baseball players and baseball fans are taking the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) as a measure of baseball resurgence. I can’t help but feel the pressure beyond imagination that I must win.
The first match against Australia in Group B of the first round of the 2023 WBC held at Tokyo Dome in Japan on the 9th was a game in which all of Korea’s burden was revealed. From the moment the final entry was announced in January, Korea has been preparing for the tournament by shouting “win against Australia”. It was calculated that if Australia won, the door to the quarterfinals tournament and even the semifinals would open. Coach Lee and other coaches were risking their lives to win to such an extent that they personally visited Australia and analyzed their strength. 온라인바카라
Is that why? Korean players were much more frozen than Australian players. The batters were being chased as they retreated with 13 consecutive batters until one out in the bottom of the 5th inning. In the meantime, starting pitcher Koh Young-pyo gave up 1 run each in the 4th and 5th innings, leading to a 0-2 score.
At the end of the 5th inning, Yang Eui-ji, the master of the house, burst into a come-from-behind 3-storey run, and the players started to laugh. At the end of the 6th inning, fourth hitter Park Byeong-ho scored an RBI and a timely double, leading the team to 4-2.
However, the atmosphere turned upside down again as Kim Won-jung in the beginning of the 7th inning and Yang Hyeon-jong in the beginning of the 8th inning were hit with 3-run homers in succession. Pinch hitter Kang Baek-ho hit a double after one out in the bottom of the 7th inning, and while holding a big ceremony to revive the dugout atmosphere, his foot fell off the second base and was tagged out. In the bottom of the ninth inning, trailing by 7-8, Tommy Hyunsoo Edmon, who went on base with a hit by the lead batter, stole second base and was out after recklessly stealing second base when he reached first base with two outs without a follow-up hit. In Australia’s two big home runs, all the plays that felt how shaken and rushed the Korean players were poured out.
All of the players coming out of the mixed zone after the game against Australia had frozen faces. Kang Baek-ho, who was hit by the ceremony, passed the mixed zone with his hat on, and Yang Eui-ji, who played an active role in multi-hits including 3 points, left the field blaming himself for “not leading the pitchers properly.”
Korea seems to have shrunk to the point of being chased by Australia, which was evaluated as a relatively weak player. Coach Lee said, “Since the overall performance in international competitions has been poor recently, this year’s game is the same for the KBO League, and there is a pressure to produce good results in order to repay the fans.” It was a word with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics no medal and the 2013 and 2017 WBC first round elimination in mind.
It would be nice if the sense of mission of the Korean baseball box office would lead to fighting spirit, but it seems to only act as a burden to the national team now. There is even a scene that shouldn’t come out under the weight of the Taegeuk mark. If we don’t quickly forget the defeat against Australia, the game will continue to be twisted.
On the 10th, Korea will play a decisive match against Japan, where the fate of advancing to the quarterfinals is at stake. Korea pitched left-handed ace Kwang-Hyun Kim, and Japan pitched veteran major leaguer Darvish Yu as starting pitchers. It is true that Japan has an advantage over Korea in terms of objective power, but it is not known until the end of baseball. Rather, there may be a sense of pressure that Japan must defeat Korea.
Lee Kang-chul-ho needs to put aside the sense of mission of leading the KBO league box office for a while, and he needs to relieve the burden by thinking of only winning one game. It seems that he will not repeat the same mistake as the match against Australia only if he feels free to play against Korea and Japan as well as the first round.