“I will make sure to win the gold medal and come back without any accidents, so please support me.””
Ryu Joong-il (60), who leads the national baseball team at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which will open on the 23rd, apologized on behalf of baseball players. He also promised to do well in the tournament with the goal of winning a gold medal. The Korean national baseball team will challenge for gold medals four times in a row following 2010 (Doha), 2014 (Incheon), and 2018 (Jakarta-Palembang).
The Asian Games are a burdensome competition for Korean baseball. As the participating countries have relatively strong power, there is a widespread atmosphere that takes the championship for granted. Therefore, there was a lot of controversy. Not only when he failed to harvest the gold medal, but also after winning, there was a controversy over his entry. Coach Ryu Joong-il, who knows this better than anyone else, threw his hat into the ring with a serious attitude.
The South Korean national baseball team, led by head coach Ryu, announced the final 24 entries in June. The list of competitions was selected with a significantly different standard than before. The main goal is players under the age of 25 or under 4 years of professional joining, and wild cards are also limited to players under the age of 29. 토토
Previously, key players from each team were selected and the league was completely suspended, causing a setback in the schedule. In addition, it was evaluated that the selection of similar players is related to the recent poor performance of the national team. In terms of generational change and strengthening internal stability, the selection criteria were changed to form the national team with a new color.
Nevertheless, the situation is very different from Japan and Taiwan, which will compete for the championship. Although Japan consists of all unemployed players, and Taiwan includes several U.S. minor league players, it is difficult to evaluate that it is ahead of South Korea in terms of power. That’s why coach Ryu is more agonizing. Moreover, outfielder Lee Jung-hoo (Kium) has left due to injury, and pitcher Koo Chang-mo (NC) has not yet returned to the first division. On top of that, the injury situation of Lee Eui-ri (KIA) should also be examined.
Coach Ryu Joong-il said in a telephone interview with Star News, “For now, we did not select the best players in the KBO League, but we also set an age limit.” It’s a pity that there are not enough players with enough experience, he said. “The players who dominate the league are almost in their 30s or older. It is also painful that Lee Jung-hoo is missing. “As it is a short-term match and the spirit of youth, the coaching staff and players, including me, should become one,” he said.
Korea is expected to become a “public enemy” in this competition as well. “We expect that we will mainly respond to left-handed pitchers in Taiwan and Japan because we have a lot of left-handed hitters,” he said. “We have to be prepared.” It won’t be a big score because it’s a short game. We’ll make the best pitcher, too. He expressed his belief that they are hitters with the ability to hit the left-handed pitcher’s ball well.
He is determined to learn from his elimination in the first round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) earlier this year. “Even when we lost to Australia at the WBC, the problem was that (our pitchers) had a high breaking ball on an advantageous ball count,” he said. “We should pay more attention to the ball control and be careful about getting a big shot.”
There are many players who are not in normal condition, but they also believed that they will get better. Coach Ryu said, “We will play from October 1st. “I expect players with poor conditions to improve their performance because the heat will go away by then,” he said adding, “Of course, my goal is to win a gold medal, but I hope this tournament will help young players grow and naturally change generations.”
It is a Korean baseball that has slipped repeatedly in recent international competitions. As the selection criteria for the national team have changed, there are also concerns that recall painful memories of the 2006 Doha Asian Games disaster (bronze medal). In particular, at the last WBC, some players were criticized for drinking during the tournament.
Coach Ryu, who is well aware of this view, said, “I will definitely win a gold medal,” adding, “I apologize on behalf of baseball players to fans who have been hurt by unsavory events at WBC.” “I will do well without any accidents at this Asian Games, so I ask for a lot of support from domestic baseball fans.”