“I lost by skill. As a baseball player, I’m sorry.”
Doosan Bears coach Lee Seung-yeop, the “national hitter”, smiled bitterly at the news of Japan’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) final, worrying about Korean baseball.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop, whom we met ahead of the exhibition game against KT Wiz held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 21st, responded to a reporter’s question, “Are you watching the WBC tournament?” I came to the stadium today while watching the semifinal match between Japan and Mexico.”
I couldn’t watch the game to the end because I had to prepare for the game. However, I watched until Japan made it 3-3 with Masataka Yoshida’s home run at the end of the 7th inning. Manager Lee Seung-yeop said,스포츠토토 “Japan was losing, but Yoshida tied the game with a three-run home run. He felt again that he really did not know about short-term battles.”
While Doosan and manager Lee Seung-yeop were working hard on training, Japan, which had been dragged by Mexico with two more runs, won a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the bottom of the ninth with Shohei Otani’s double, Kensuke Kondo’s walk, and Munetaka Murakami’s two-run double. . Murakami, who had previously been sluggish with a batting average of 0.190 (4 hits in 21 at-bats) and 11 strikeouts, played a decisive role in the end. Japan dramatically advanced to the finals.
This news reached director Lee Seung-yeop’s ears. Upon hearing the news of Japan’s final, coach Lee said, “It seems that Murakami (who has been sluggish all along) has finally made it. It’s great,” he said. Next, coach Lee smiled bitterly about Japan’s progress to the final, saying, “I think it was an opportunity for us to be stimulated as well.”
Coach Lee Seung-yeop was previously asked by reporters about the WBC home run king. Coach Lee Seung-yeop drew five arches in the 2006 invitational competition. Five home runs in a single tournament, this record set by manager Lee Seung-yeop has not been broken for 17 years. In the 4th tournament in 2017, Vladimir Valentin (Netherlands) shot 4 and came close to Lee’s record, but could not match his shoulder. Trey Turner (USA), who hit 4 homers in 2023, is challenging the 17-year-old record again.
However, director Lee shook his head, saying, “It doesn’t make any sense.” Rather, he said, “My heart is heavy.” Director Lee said, “There is no big meaning in relation to the great record. It is regrettable that the Korean national team has suffered three consecutive failures, and as a baseball player, I feel sorry,” he said, worrying more about Korean baseball.
The Korean baseball team accepted the shocking result of being eliminated in the first round of three consecutive tournaments in 2013, 2017, and 2023, leaving behind the glory of the semifinals in 2006 and runners-up in 2009. In this tournament, the atmosphere was broken as they lost to Australia, which they considered to be one step below, and they bowed their heads as they suffered a crushing defeat to Japan, which led to a cold game defeat. Afterwards, they saved face by defeating the Czech Republic and China in turn, but it was after the elimination was already confirmed.
In response, coach Lee Seung-yeop worried about Korean baseball, saying, “If the sluggishness is prolonged, the image of our national team as weak against other countries will be established.” He continued, “(Korea in this tournament) obviously lost with their skills. I think I need to prepare a lot so that I can get good results at the next competition. My heart is heavy,” he said with a bitter smile.