When the national team, led by professional baseball players, performs poorly in international competitions, the “Korean Baseball Crisis” is always cited.
It’s true. When highly paid athletes who play baseball for a living can’t compete on the international stage, they end up as frogs in a well. That fact alone is enough to create a sense of crisis, and it should. At this rate, all we’ll be able to do is talk nostalgically about the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. If the team continues to struggle in the upcoming Asian Games and the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), there is a real danger that disappointed baseball fans will turn away.
The youth national team was proud even when their older siblings failed,
‘This is the real crisis’ after losing to Chinese Taipei
But even when their professional counterparts are struggling, little league, middle school, and high school baseball players have always held their own on the international stage. This year alone, the U-13 Little League World Series got off to a strong start by winning the overall title, while the youth national team finished in the top three at the World Championships and repeated as Asian champions, proving that they were at least as good as their older brothers. With this confidence, some have gone on to excel in the professional ranks. Because of these achievements, it was not uncommon for some to blame the Amen High School Baseball coaches for the lackluster performance of their older brothers on the international stage.
This year, however, things will be a little different. That’s because the team struggled in the opening round against Chinese Taipei, falling 1-6. Hwang Jun-seo, the left-hander, was knocked out after three innings, and the bats could only muster scattered hits. It was a complete loss with no excuses.
The previous game, Game 3 of the Bonghwang Daejeon Round of 16, ended in an 11-10 victory for Pochulgo. However, in the process, the two schools exchanged a whopping 25 dead ball strikes. It’s hard to blame the robot referee for this disappointing performance. In the previous game, 41 dead balls were exchanged, so it’s hard to say that the variation in high school baseball between regions is severe. The professional scouting team also said, “I’m stuck. We need to bring in players like that and teach them from scratch,” the professional scouting team said in a self-help voice.
If this happens, the national team is not sure if they will be at 100% for the rest of the tournament. Both Puerto Rico and Mexico are in tough shape, and in a worst-case scenario, the team could be out of the running for a Super Round berth.
These concerns, coupled with the sobering assessments of multiple major league scouts who have been watching the games on the ground, are not to be taken lightly. One scout told MHN Sports, “Compared to Taiwan, the Korean team looked completely disorganized. On the other hand, there was a very strong sense that the Chinese Taipei players were thinking about baseball as their whole life. The problem is that this cannot be improved in a short period of time. It’s very concerning,” he said, sending a warning message to the team.
They’re still young, so they have the right to fail. In the worst case scenario, they’ll be lucky to get anything back home after failing to qualify for the Super Round. The question is how to improve this situation. Perhaps it’s time for the head of baseball and the head of professional baseball to put their heads together.
Otherwise, there will be a crisis in high school baseball as well as professional baseball 메이저놀이터.