Head coach Hideki Kuriyama of the Japanese national baseball team, which is preparing to participate in the 5th World Baseball Classic (WBC), finally expressed regret over the major league’s passive attitude toward preparations for the tournament. This is because it is only possible to work hand-to-hand with the overseas players, who are the core of their strength, only right before the competition.
Japan’s Nikkan Sports reported on the 29th that “Japanese national team coach Kuriyama once again appealed for a major leaguer to join him early.”
The WBC is a tournament supervised by the Major League Secretariat, and is virtually the only tournament open to active major leaguers. However, each club does not cooperate very actively. In particular, ahead of the tournament held in March, each national team’s training overlaps with the club’s season preparation start time, so most players are unable to join the national team’s training. In Korea, it is already difficult for Ha-seong Kim (San Diego) and Tommy Edman (St. Louis) to start training together. The Korean national team starts training in Arizona, USA on February 15th, but Kim Ha-seong decided to join on March 1st when he moves to Gocheok Dome, and Edmund is still undecided. Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh) has yet to make a final decision on whether or not to participate. 토토사이트
Japan included more major leaguers than Korea. Two pitchers and three outfielders were selected. Pitchers Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Yu Darvish (San Diego), as well as Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), Masataka Yoshida (Boston), and Lars Nuthba (St. Louis) were included. It is very likely that they will not be able to join the Japanese national team during the training camp. In particular, since there are three outfielders, there is only one domestic outfielder excluding these foreign outfielders. If overseas players join late, it will be difficult to conduct an evaluation match.
The Japanese national team will train together in Miyazaki, Kyushu from February 17th to 27th. During this period, two warm-up games are scheduled against Softbank Hawks at Miyazaki Sunmarine Stadium. After that, they will move to Nagoya and have two consecutive matches with the Chunichi Dragons. The Group B stage of the first round of the tournament, which includes Korea and Japan, will start on March 9th.
According to Nikkan Sports, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is said to be negotiating with the Major League Secretariat by presenting a plan to pay insurance money in installments in case a player is injured. Director Kuriyama said, “I haven’t heard an answer yet. (In the event of an early joining failure) I am also preparing for it.” When major leaguers can freely join the national team, the status of the tournament will increase,” he emphasized.