Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh Pirates) conveyed his impressions of facing Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels) and gave a message to the Korean national team players participating in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) ” In order to cope with fast balls, you have to practice even with a ball machine.”
Korea is aiming for a semi-final or higher at the WBC, which will be held in March. National team coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “I want to get out of Japan. I want to go far away once.” Amidst the theory of a baseball crisis, Korea aims to recover its popularity by achieving good results in international competitions.
Korea will play the first round at the Tokyo Dome. They were in Group B along with Japan, China, Australia and the Czech Republic. If you pass the first round, you will have a quarterfinal tournament in Japan. If you advance to the semifinals, you will go to the championship round in the United States.
First of all, passing round 1 is important. For this reason, Korea is most concerned about the first game against Australia. In addition, it is in a position that it cannot back down from facing its fateful rival, Japan. In Japan, major leaguers who throw fastballs such as Darvish Yu or Ohtani are expected to start for the Korean match.
In particular, the confrontation with Ohtani is attracting attention. Korea has a bitter memory of struggling against Ohtani in the 2015 Premier12. I was helplessly hit by Ohtani’s fastball. Choi Ji-man, who faced Ohtani in the major leagues, said, “It’s not a ball I can’t hit if I can adapt.”
Choi Ji-man said, “Ohtani is a really good player. There are many things to learn from him. There are so many such balls. Ohtani or Darvish can come out against Japan. If so, you have to keep hitting fast balls with the ball machine.
At the same time, Ohtani and anecdotes were also introduced. Choi Ji-man and Ohtani met and talked at first base during the game, which was captured on the broadcast screen. Choi Ji-man laughed, saying, “We exchanged greetings. We ask each other how the ball was. On days when the hitting feeling is good, we joke about asking for a bat.”
Choi Ji-eun believes that young players will grow through the WBC. He said, “It will be very helpful if I can compete with major league players in the WBC,” and pledged to help young players grow by joining the WBC national team.
Meanwhile, Choi Ji-man boarded a plane to the United States on the 8th. He will soon be negotiating with the Pittsburgh club to join the WBC national team. If he gets permission from his team, Choi Ji-man will wear the Taegeuk mark for the first time in his life. 스포츠토토