Vigilant Ohtani “Korea has good players in every generation”

Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), who is about to participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) for the first time in his life, did not hide his greed for the championship.

Ohtani attended a press conference to announce Japan’s 2023 WBC national team entry held in Tokyo, Japan on the 6th. Hideki Kuriyama (62), 스포츠토토 head coach of the Japan national baseball team, first confirmed 12 players out of the 30 finalists, including Ohtani. 

Including Ohtani, big leaguers such as San Diego’s ace Darvish and Chicago Cubs’ outfielder Suzuki Seiya, as well as Japan’s proud giant Munetaka Murakami (Yakult) and top-notch pitchers such as Sawamura-san’s brilliant Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), were also named. .

Ohtani appeared at the press conference wearing a Japanese national team uniform with the number 16 on it and expressed his will to conquer the summit, saying, “This is my first WBC appearance, and my goal is to win.”

Ohtani’s only senior national team appearance since his professional debut was at the 2015 WBSC Premier 12. He started in the preliminaries and semifinals against Korea at the time, pitched 6 scoreless innings and 7 scoreless innings, respectively. However, in the semi-finals, Japan was defeated by Korea, so it was not possible to win the championship. 

The 2017 WBC was also canceled due to an injury. The motivation for winning the WBC, which came out while he was in his prime as a player, is great.

He also showed his wariness toward Korea. Ohtani said, “WBC is a tournament where world-class players participate. Korea also has good players in every generation in pitching.” “I remember the 2006 and 2009 WBC Korea-Japan matches. Korea is a team that can play well with any team. “, he emphasized.

Since the first WBC tournament in 2006, the Korea-Japan match has led the box office. 3 times in 2006 and 5 times in 2009, Korea-Japan matches were played. 

In the 2006 tournament, Korea defeated Japan 3-2 in the first round and 2-1 in the second round, but lost 0-6 in the semifinals. In 2009, they fought hard with 2 wins and 3 losses in 5 games, including a 3-5 defeat in the final.