The painful reality of Korean baseball that couldn’t be proven wrong
There was nothing wrong with Choo Shin-soo’s remarks, which were criticized as ‘absurd remarks’.
The Korean national baseball team, led by coach Lee Kang-cheol, suffered a crushing defeat against Japan in the second round of Group B of the ‘2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)’ held at Tokyo Dome, Japan on March 10. The national team was defeated 4-13 that day and barely escaped a called game.
The national team, which suffered a shock defeat in the match against Australia in the first match, was trampled on by Japan, and the worst report card of being knocked out in the first round of the WBC 3 in a row was approaching.
Choo Shin-soo (SSG), a former major leaguer, suffered measles for what he said on a Korean radio show in Texas during the offseason. He defended Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom), who was shunned in the national team selection process due to a history of school violence, and said that a generational change was needed for the national team. He also left a nuanced remark that Korean professional baseball players are like frogs in a well.
Choo Shin-soo received strong criticism for defending Ahn Woo-jin and for the fact that Choo Shin-soo himself had never appeared on the national team since he was exempted from military service for participating in the Asian Games. Choo Shin-soo’s remarks were called ‘absurd remarks’ and became the biggest controversy in the offseason professional baseball world.
However, looking back at this point, there was not much wrong with Choo Shin-soo’s words, except for remarks that seemed to take school violence lightly. In particular, remarks related to the level of Korean baseball almost matched.
Choo Shin-soo said, ‘How long are Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong? Kim Hyun-soo is a good player, but if he were me, he would have seen the future,’ he said. It was a word that caused resentment to the extent that junior Kim Hyun-soo refuted it head-on while leaving field training, but as the tournament began, Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong, as well as Kim Hyun-soo, who had been a pillar of the national team, are struggling.
Of course, the generational change does not happen by forcibly pushing the backs of young players who lack skills. However, the golden generation, which led the heyday of Korean baseball until the early 2010s, is now in their mid-30s and has aged, and there are no young players who can surely push them with their skills. This is the current state of Korean baseball, which is truly miserable.
Choo Shin-soo also said, “In Korea, when you reach a certain level, you know you’re really good at baseball.” Choo Shin-soo added, “In the US, if I do well, another player like me will come out after 10 minutes, and 3-4 more players will appear after 30 minutes.” Including the minor leagues, there are close to 200 professional baseball teams, and compared to the United States, where independent leagues are active, the player base is thin like a sheet of paper. 먹튀검증
This was also revealed as a painful reality in this competition. The best players in the KBO League were trampled mercilessly by Japan and could not even surpass Australia. Even the best pitchers in Korea had a hard time putting the ball into the strike zone with power, and batters were beaten by a pitcher born in 2002 in Japan. A player who was under fire for chewing gum while losing at the Tokyo Olympics, got on the national team with ‘name value’ despite poor performance last year, but focused more on the ceremony than stepping on the base, and was out again. It aroused outrage.
Shin-soo Choo’s outspoken remarks angered the baseball world in unison. However, he was only angry and did not prove Choo Shin-soo wrong. Of course, it cannot be said that Choo Shin-soo’s attitude was right, but it has become a situation where he cannot refute it. The miserable reality of Korean baseball just hurts.