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The Korean National Baseball team frustrated baseball fans during the 2023 WBC tournament

2023.04.06 01:56:56 Kate Kim
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[Photo Credit to Unsplash]

The results of the 2023 WBC (World Baseball Classic) tournament left baseball fans around Korea disappointed. 

South Korea has been eliminated in the first round of WBC  since 2013, but fans expected a better outcome in this year’s tournament. 

Team Korea consisted of strong players including Cardinals infielder Tommy Edman and Padres infielder Ha-seong Kim. 

Lee Junghoo from the KBO league was also a prospect for MLB’s next Korean rising star. 

Despite the strong roster that the team had, the results reflect the fact that the team failed to meet the expectations. 

The WBC (World Baseball Classic) is an international baseball tournament that is held once every four years; this year’s 2023 WBC was held in Japan, Taiwan, and the US where each of the pools competed. 

Pool B included five countries: Korea, Japan, Australia, China, and the Czech Republic. 

The countries fiercely competed in the Tokyo Dome in order to advance to the quarterfinals; only the top 2 countries of the pool could reach the second round. 

Korea was not off to a good start with their first game on Thursday as they lost to Australia by a close score of 7:8. 

Although they kept their hopes high, this loss meant that going to the quarterfinals has become more difficult for team Korea.

South Korea’s next game was held two days after their first game meaning that they were physically advantaged; the team needed to recover by winning the upcoming games with Japan, China, and the Czech Republic. 

Winning Japan was a major obstacle for Korea considering that most of the players on the Japanese team were famous stars in the MLB league and was a stronger team due to its longer history. 

Despite the fact that defeating Japan was difficult, fans had a higher expectation due to Korea and Japan’s tense rivalry in sports.

On Friday, March 10, South Korea was crushed by Japan and experienced a total loss. 

The game ended with a score of 13:4, with Japan leading the score; during the game, South Korea experienced a bullpen meltdown. 

Players were ashamed about their game and the fans had completely lost hope for Korea’s National Baseball Team. 

Due to their high expectations, many fans were left disappointed by the large gap of the score. 

According to the director, the team prepared with their best abilities, but was not able to reflect these efforts in the actual games. 

After Starter Kim Kwang Hyun’s four balls, the Korean team’s bullpens, or the pitchers, started to fall apart due to high pressure; they lost confidence because they were new to international games. 

This indicates that Korea failed to shift in generations; most of the key players were experienced and have been in the KBO league for a long time. 

Korea’s baseball is backtracking and many fans are lowering their expectations for the next WBC.

On the other hand, Japan’s young but rising players allowed the team to take the trophy for the 2023 WBC tournament. 

South Korea has already lost two of their four games, setting an uneasy situation for the team; the team’s fate was already determined from the loss of Australia's game. 

Although Korea won against the Czech Republic in their next game, the result was already sealed; if the Czech Republic defeated Australia, Korea might have experienced a tie-breaking situation with the two countries and have had the opportunity to go to the next round. 

For Korea’s last game against China, Korea had a cold win with the score 22:2. 

Although at this point, their elimination was confirmed,  the team played hard until the very end; even though they won, they weren’t satisfied at all. 

The director apologized on behalf of the whole team and some of the players expressed their regrets and explained their need for improvements as a team. 

The 2023 WBC is now remembered as a regretful event for Korea’s National Baseball Team.

Kate Kim / Grade 9
Gyeonggi Suwon International School