Reporter Jang Hyeon-gu = The World Baseball Classic (WBC), which was launched in 2006 under the leadership of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Secretariat, which advocated ‘globalization of baseball’, has not disappeared and has been held for five years this year. Korea and Japan are the two countries that have made a significant contribution to celebrating the 2nd anniversary.메이저사이트
It is not an exaggeration to say that the two countries actually saved the WBC, which was in danger of being stranded with the launch due to the refusal of MLB stars to participate.
The two countries showed off the power of Asian baseball to the world by playing one after another in the first competition in 2006 and the second competition in 2009.
The process of preparing for major competitions such as the Premier 12, the Olympics, and the WBC is also similar between the two countries.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and the Japan Baseball Organization (NPB) support the national team with all their might.
However, the atmosphere of the two national teams seems to be quite different ahead of the Korea-Japan match, which will be held at the WBC for the first time in 14 years.
At the training site of the Japanese national team, which was convened on the 17th in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, ‘cloud spectators’ gather every day to see the top stars.
The Japanese press writes a game between the Japanese professional baseball Softbank Hawks (25-26, Miyazaki Prefecture) and Chunichi Dragons (March 3-4, Nagoya City) as a ‘go-to match’. .
“Janghaeng” is an expression often used in Japan, which means going on a long journey with great ambition. Of course, it is operated as a paid game.
The Korean baseball team, which gathered in Tucson, Arizona, USA on the 15th, is currently maximizing its power in a quiet atmosphere on the 23rd.
In the two practice games played in NC Dinos and KIA Tigers in Tucson, there were only MLB scouts and Korean reporters covering the national team, but not many Koreans or local baseball fans wanted to watch the game.
Our national team will finish training in Tucson on the 28th, return to Korea on March 1st, and after the formation of the national team on March 3rd, we will have an evaluation match against SSG Landers, the 6th and last in Korea, and leave for Japan on March 4th.
As a result of inquiring into the KBO secretariat, they said that this evaluation match would also be held without spectators. This is because the practice match against SSG can be conducted in an unofficial form.
It would have been even better if there had been a farewell party in which the players of the national baseball team and coach Lee Kang-chul, who are fighting for the revival of Korean baseball, posted the WBC appearances in front of fans, and professional baseball fans cheered them on and boosted the morale of the players.
The reason for the relatively large difference in WBC heat temperature between Korea and Japan can be found in several aspects.
Japan won the 2019 Premier12 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics one after another. Even in the WBC, which determines the true baseball powerhouse, public opinion is high that they want to win the championship.
On the other hand, Korea was blocked by Japan in both competitions and stayed in the runner-up and 4th place, respectively.
The popularity of professional baseball has stagnated due to the sluggish international competition, the disappointing behavior of some players, and the spread of the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19).
Knowing this well, the baseball team is sweating with the determination to advance to the semifinals to regain the fans’ trust and lead it to a revival of box office success in the KBO League.
There are practical reasons. After raising their strength in the warm south of the country, the Japanese national team raises expectations in front of fans and plays the first round of the WBC Group B finals at Tokyo Dome, their hometown.
It is an environment where you can fully enjoy the home advantage effect.
However, Korean professional baseball teams have to prepare for the regular season in the United States, Japan, Australia, and Guam, leaving cold Korea.
The fact that the KBO Secretariat is the national team coach Lee Kang-cheol and the active command tower of kt wiz, that six out of 10 teams in the US are training, and that Ha-seong Kim (San Diego Padres) and Tommy Hyun-soo Edman (St. Louis Cardinals) are two big leaguers. Considering the need for an agent to replace the two in training and actual combat due to the failure to join, a base camp was set up in Tucson, where kt’s spring camp is located.
As we set up a tight timetable of maximizing our strength in Tucson, adjusting to the time difference for three days in Korea, and finalizing our strength for four days in Japan, we were unable to find an opportunity to connect with fans.
Even the weather in Tucson, such as rain and strong winds, hindered the national team’s path and disrupted training.
The ‘farewell party without fans’ is also a proof that the domestic baseball world’s perception of the ‘baseball industry’ is still at a nascent level even after 40 years of the KBO League’s launch.
There are rumors that the national team’s uniforms were sold like wings, but it is nothing compared to Japan, which makes a lot of money with the national team licensing business called ‘Samurai Japan’. Paid spectators’ send-off game’ is also linked to this.
In reality, 10 professional clubs have to support the KBO secretariat to establish a long-term plan and actively promote national team-related projects, but unfortunate events such as rumors that some clubs cut the WBC budget are repeated all the time.