WBC national team coach Lee Kang-cheol prepares for the tournament in a very realistic way. On the 9th, I returned home after a business trip to Australia with coaches and officials. Now, coach Lee is calmly planning the competition in Korea, but other officials will soon move on to Melbourne to continue their analysis in Australia. In preparation for the second round, they plan to go to Taiwan.
Coach Lee Kang-cheol said at the arrival hall at Incheon International Airport on the 9th, “If we win the first game (against Australia) easily, we will leave good pitchers in preparation for the game against Japan, but there are many good players in Australia. We have to use the best pitchers against Australia and think about the next game.”
Starting with the match against Australia on March 9, Korea will enter Group B in the first round. Japan on the 10th, the Czech Republic on the 12th, and China on the 13th. Realistically, Japan is a difficult opponent to beat, and the Czech Republic and China are classified one step below Australia.
Therefore, if Korea defeats Australia, there is a high possibility of winning a ticket to the second round, which is given up to second place in the group, and if it loses to Australia, there is a high possibility of being eliminated in the first round three times in a row, following the 2013 and 2017 tournaments. In the end, coach Lee and officials of the national team believe that the watershed in the first round will be the match against Australia, not against Japan.
In other words, coach Lee intends to think about the game against Japan after putting all his energy into the game against Australia. Manager Lee said, “If only Australia wins, he can go to the next game in peace. We will appoint players who are in the best condition on the day. It’s a fight to get 2-3 points first.” 안전놀이터
In particular, he said that the level of pitchers did not drop. Coach Lee said, “There is no guarantee that the players I saw will actually enter the national team,” but “There are pitchers who throw 150 km. He knew how to strike out with a manned ball, and efficiently used breaking balls with a full count.”
Overall, the level of the Australian league is lower than that of the KBO league, but players who could be selected for the national team were evaluated at a level that would work even if they came to the KBO league. Coach Lee also showed a confident expression that he was wary of Australia, but that it was worth trying. At this point, there is no Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) or Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres) in Lee’s head. Australia must win first to recreate the legend of the semifinals. I dream of the so-called Chojeon smash.