“30 years” Ichiro remarks that stimulated Korean fighting spirit… 17 years later, Japan is cautious again

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“I want to win so that my opponent will feel like ‘I can’t touch Japan’ for the next 30 years.”

The remarks made by Ichiro Suzuki (50) before the Korea-Japan match of the 1st World Baseball Classic (WBC) 17 years ago shook Korea greatly. Ichiro’s remarks were translated somewhat stimulatingly, burning the fighting spirit of Korean baseball fans and players. At the time, the Korean national team, stimulated by these words, won two consecutive victories over Japan in the preliminary round of the 2006 tournament and planted the national flag on the mound. 바카라사이트

Even after that, whenever there was a war between Korea and Japan, Korea re-examined Ichiro’s remarks. This continued until the second tournament in 2009, leading the national team’s promotion. South Korea, which was evaluated as one step below, stood shoulder to shoulder with Japan with 4 wins and 4 losses until the 2nd tournament, and produced a game with sweat in their hands in every game.

In the process, Bae Young-soo, who hit the butt of Ichiro, the protagonist of absurd remarks, became the ‘arranger’. In the following 2009 competition, Bong Joong-geun, who kept Ichiro in check, earned the nickname ‘Bongyeolsa’ and made the public go wild. Like this, Ichiro’s comments became a good stimulus to the Korean national team and led the Korean team’s promotion. 

Seventeen years later, Korea and Japan met again on the WBC stage. The two teams tied to one group (Group B) in the 5th WBC tournament will face off in the first round of the finals on March 10th at the Tokyo Dome. Although they often met in the Premier 12, the Olympics, and the Asian Games, it was the first time in 14 years since the final in 2009 that the major leaguers had a head-to-head match at the WBC. 

But the atmosphere is quite different. Unlike 17 years ago, when he showed arrogance beyond confidence, as Ichiro said, this time he is cautious and careful. Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels), who is currently in a similar position to Ichiro in the Japanese WBC team, said, “There are many great players in Korea. Korea is a team with players who can fight on the world stage. He’s playing great baseball.” It means not belittling Korea.

Japanese WBC coach Hideki Kuriyama had a similar attitude. In an interview with Japanese media last year, coach Kuriyama said, “I am well aware that we are always fighting fierce battles with Korea. I will risk everything and prepare well,” stressing the importance of the Korea-Japan match. When he visited Korea last fall to check the skills of Korean players, he was wary of being careless, saying, “Korea is a team with potential.” An atmosphere of prudence, quite different from 17 years ago, is forming within the Japanese national team.

The bitter experience in 2006 has influenced the current mood. Tokyo Sports, a Japanese media, said, “Ichiro’s remarks motivated Korean players. Ichiro’s 30-year remarks have become a big stain on Samurai Japan,” he criticized, saying, “It would be a natural flow for Japan, which aims to be the world’s best, to ban provocative acts.

Japan , like Ohtani, wants to overcome a difficult battle with a heart that respects the opponent,” he praised Ohtani’s prudent attitude. It is a determination not to create a boil by scratching the experience of Ichiro’s provocations having counterproductive effects.  In addition to Ohtani, active big leaguers such as Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres) and Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs) have made their names on the roster.Munetaka Murakami (Yakult Swallows), who became the youngest home run champion in Japan with 56 homers last year, Top-class players in their own country, such as Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte), a rookie with a 163km fastball, are also ready to launch. The possibility and motivation to win the championship are more than ever. However, Japan was wary of Korea’s fighting spirit 17 years ago and agreed with the courtesy. He is preparing for the Korea-Japan match and the WBC 

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