“I think Korean baseball is still weak.”
‘Korean Express’ Park Chan-ho shared his candid thoughts on the competitiveness of Korean baseball. Kiwoom Spring Camp recently talked about the above at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. I didn’t predict specific results, but I thought it would be a tough competition. Park Chan-ho works as a commentator for a broadcasting company and shares WBC.
Park Chan-ho said, “The strength of Korean baseball is the mesh teamwork. It is important who becomes the leader and gets together well. Did you expect a semifinal at the 2006 WBC? I was there too, and Captain Lee Jong-beom was there. Senior Lee Jong-beom called me and said, ‘People around me are trying to separate the foreign and domestic groups, but let’s not be fooled and do it properly. We are a small country, so players who have grown up together since childhood can quickly unite.”
In fact, it is evaluated that LG coach Lee Jong-beom demonstrated strong leadership in the first WBC in 2006 and laid the foundation for the players to unite as one. However, the culture has changed a bit these days. Park Chan-ho also said, “Korea is a culture that listens to captains and leaders, but it must be different now with many MZ generations.”
Still, I think it’s important to unite around a leader or captain. Park Chan-ho said, “We can come together well soon. If you have a good leader and captain, you can unite even if your strength is a bit weak. Baseball is something that one pitcher can win. We just need to win Australia.” 메이저놀이터
In South Korea, Kim Hyun-soo is the captain. It is evaluated that it changed the LG dugout culture. Starting with the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he has been a regular member of the national team. He is a player who knows what the national team needs to do to win. Senior team members such as Kim Gwang-hyeon, Choi Jeong (SSG above), Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA), and Park Byung-ho (KT) can also serve as leaders.
As Park Chan-ho said, times have changed. It may not be able to surpass the leadership of Lee Jong-beom in 2006. However, it does not mean that the members of the national team do not have a sense of responsibility or mission these days. As each individual knows the weight of the Taegeuk mark, they have the conditions to demonstrate power beyond expectations as long as they get in the mood. Coach Lee Kang-cheol also said, “We are not a team that will collapse easily.”
If Japan has Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), Korea has Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres). Park Chan-ho said, “First of all, we just need to win Australia and get into the atmosphere. Japan will pay attention to Ohtani. We have Kim Ha-seong. Ha-seong Kim will share his major league experience with the national team members. He’s been through a lot of bitterness lately at the WBC, so something will be different this time.”
On the one hand, Park Chan-ho regretted that the base of amateur baseball was shaking. So, he even more hoped that Korea’s propaganda at the WBC would create a virtuous cycle. He said, “The WBC’s goal is to make world baseball buzz like World Cup soccer. Korean propaganda is very important. It shouldn’t be an American feast.”