The World Baseball Classic (WBC) Japan national team, which formed the strongest power, started training at the Miyazaki Camp on the 17th. Of the 30 representative players, 26 people, excluding four from major league clubs, will join the team until the 27th. Of the five major league players, Yu Darvish (37, San Diego Padres) was the only one to participate. On the 25th and 26th, a practice match against the Softbank Hawks is scheduled at Miyazaki Sunmarine Stadium, the training ground.
Japan national team coach Hideki Kuriyama (61) said at a team meeting on the first day of convocation training that he would not have a captain. There was no captain even during the national team evaluation match held in November last year. I played 4 matches against the Nippon Ham Fighters, Yomiuri Giants and the Australian national team.
Samurai Japan is aiming for the championship for the first time in 14 years since 2009. Both the mound and attack are evaluated as the ‘strongest power’ ever. A generational change was made mainly for young players, and players in their early and mid-20s became the main focus. Only 9 out of 30 representative players are in their 30s. The atmosphere has changed a lot from the previous team.
Darvish, born in 1986, is the oldest. During the 2009 WBC, he pitched as a finishing pitcher in the final against Korea and confirmed the championship. He is the only player in the national team to have won the WBC championship.
It is the age and career that have no choice but to be the center of the team. As the ace of Nippon Ham, he boarded a plane to the United States in 2012 and won 95 wins (75 losses) in 11 years. One year before the end of his contract, at the age of 37, he renewed the contract for 6 years. He is a veteran who is looked up to by his juniors in the Japanese national team with awe. 메이저놀이터
Most of the representative players are unfamiliar to Darvish, who has left for the major leagues for a long time. There is no relationship whatsoever. Considering this, a veteran fielder with a lot of experience in the national team could be put forward as the captain, but he didn’t.
Coach Kuriyama said, “It will be different if all players think that I am the captain and play. I hope that each player will lead the team with pride.”
Coach Kuriyama said that he had been worried since the evaluation match in November last year. He explained that he once pondered the captaincy between catcher and infielder.
He asked all players, regardless of age or performance, to act as responsible as the captain.
According to Japanese media, there was only one captain for the Japanese national team during the 1st to 4th WBC tournaments. During the 2013 tournament, Shinnosuke Abe (Yomiuri Giants) served as the captain. Even at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the competition was held without a captain.
It is different from the Korean national team. National team coach Lee Kang-cheol made Kim Hyun-soo (35, LG Twins) the captain. It’s a heavy burden, but it’s an honorable position.
Kim Hyun-soo started with the Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, went through the Premier 12 in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and took on the captaincy of four consecutive competitions. As a key hitter and team leader, he has no choice but to have a heavy responsibility.
In the previous WBC, Lee Jong-beom, Son Min-han, Jin Gab-yong, and Kim Jae-ho claimed. Looking back on the first tournament in 2006, which reached the semifinals, Park Chan-ho said, “Lee Jong-beom played a big role as the team leader.”