“I think it’s more unfortunate because I thought we were baseball players.”
Well, Korea’s third consecutive World Baseball Classic (WBC) first round elimination has been confirmed. Kim Hyeon-soo (35, LG Twins), the captain of the national team, made it difficult to say a word that he had kept in his heart. Kim Hyun-soo announced his retirement from the national team after this tournament. This is Kim Hyun-soo, who responded to the call of the nation 10 times, starting with the 2008 Beijing Olympics and ending with this WBC. Returning the Taegeuk mark, which he always proudly and heavily accepted, Kim Hyun-soo spoke out for his juniors who will lead Korean baseball in the future.
“(In the meantime) I’ve heard a lot of words of comfort from seniors who have come to the national team a lot, but it seems that a lot of people who don’t seem to think it’s very easy.
Korea left a result that must be reflected on in this tournament. The 7-8 come-from-behind defeat to Australia, which was evaluated as a relative underdog, was the beginning of the national team’s ‘mental collapse’. As they lost 4-13 to their archrival Japan, the level of criticism towards the national team increased even more. They won a 7-3 victory over the Czech Republic and a 22-2 5th cold game victory over China, but it was after the chances of advancing to the quarterfinals were already slim. Korea finished third in Group B with 2 wins and 2 losses, and suffered the bitter taste of being eliminated in the first round three times in a row, following 2013 and 2017.
The problem started when some ‘self-proclaimed’ seniors, who had not contributed in any way to the development and future of Korean baseball, 스포츠토토 took up the microphone. On his personal YouTube channel, he poured out vicious words under the pretext of pointing out the reality of Korean baseball. Perhaps because he was conscious of the number of views and profits of the video, he did not hesitate to say words that could be written as malicious comments and insisted on ‘criticism’. Pointing out the mistakes of each player, he even said, “Someone should come to Korea by boat, not by plane.” It wasn’t something a baseball player who was really worried about Korean baseball would say.
In fact, it was the players themselves who were most shocked by this competition. Last year’s KBO MVP Lee Jung-hoo said, “(Japanese pitchers’ balls) were balls that I hadn’t seen in the league. Many young players, including me, participated in this tournament, but it was a tournament where I could feel that our skills were inferior to many baseball players around the world.” said
Major Leaguer Kim Ha-seong said, “First of all, I felt that the Australian team I met this time was a little more organized and well prepared than the Australian team in the Premier 12. I thought that Japanese pitchers are good pitchers because they have very good balls. I think it’s all excuses, but I really think the Australian players did better than us,” he said calmly.
If you are a real senior, you should have provided constructive opinions based on the problems of Korean baseball that appeared in this tournament. Instead of simply blaming the mistakes and sluggishness of a single game in the tournament, we had to discuss how Korean baseball, which is regressing, can stand shoulder to shoulder with world baseball again. In addition, from the perspective of a baseball player, fans would have been able to sympathize if they pointed out the current address of the unknown baseball world.
However, the seniors who poured out only vicious words never visited the site from the moment the national team started training camp in Arizona, USA on February 14th until the 13th when they were eliminated from the competition. There is no way to know what is going on inside the national team other than what has been disclosed to the media. That’s why they only raise the surface of watermelon criticism.
If he was a senior who would often visit his juniors and say a few words while buying a warm meal, the juniors would have thought of him as a bitter voice filled with affection. He has no particular interest in the present and future of Korean baseball, and then suddenly pretends to be an adult in the baseball world, so his juniors only live with antipathy.
It is true that the players did their best according to the players. That’s why I would have been able to honestly admit the gap that Korean baseball has opened with world baseball. Young players who have hit the wall of the world will return to the KBO League and find a way to develop themselves while refining the points they felt were lacking.
Now, I want to hear the voices of seniors who are thinking about the present and future of Korean baseball so that juniors do not feel frustrated repeatedly in international competitions. The poisonous language of a poisonous speaker, no more and no less nutritious criticism, must now stop for the sake of Korean baseball.