The Japanese national team, led by coach Hideki Kuriyama, has announced the 12 national team players for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). Major pitchers who will lead the mound, such as Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), Yu Darvish (San Diego), Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), and Loki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte), and signature beasts such as Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs) and Munetaka Murakami (Yakult) done. The rest of the players will be announced at a later date.
Ohtani said in an interview with the local media in Japan, “It’s my first time at the WBC because I couldn’t participate in the last tournament,” and “I’ll do my best to win.” He did not hide his desire to stand at the top in his first competition, saying, “Since I started baseball, I have no goal other than first place.” Ohtani explained the background of his decision to participate in the tournament, “I am only thinking about winning. I have no other considerations. I was happy to say that I am one of the essentials to win.”
Regarding Samurai Japan’s strengths, he said, “The pitching staff is good.”
Japan boasts a powerful pitching staff. Along with the Dominican Republic of the United States, it is a strong team that is considered a favorite for the championship.
The first enemy to overcome is Korea, which has always been difficult at international competitions. Objective power is superior to Korea, but international competitions are quite different. ‘We have to win the match between Korea and Japan even at rock-paper-scissors’
Ohtani also showed vigilance.
When asked about his impression of Korea, he said, “I got the impression that there are many great players in Asia and all over the world. I think there are many great players of all generations, hitters and pitchers. It is a country with the best players who can compete on stage.”
Korea has active major leaguer Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres), Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals), Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh Pirates). There are also Major League stars Kim Gwang-hyeon (SSG) Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA) Kim Hyeon-soo (LG) and Park Byeong-ho (KT). Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom), who declared a major league challenge after this season and is gathering a lot of attention in the local area, is also enduring. Woo-Young Jung, Woo-Seok Ko (above LG), who is dreaming of a major league challenge, and Chang-Mo Koo (NC), who is emerging as the best left-hander in the league, are also on the alert.
The overall player pool is inferior to Japan, but Korea is a formidable team if only elites are gathered. The atmosphere of the Korea-Japan game, which has many variables, can change according to the atmosphere of the day. This is why Ohtani is wary of the Korean War.
Japan is in Group B with Korea, Australia, Czech Republic and China. Korea and Japan must overcome each other to top the group.
Korea and Japan will play a 안전놀이터 Korea-Japan match on the 9th. Korea and Japan play their first match against Australia and China on the 8th, respectively, and the next day, they will play a match that cannot be conceded.