The Taegeuk mark’s dream was thwarted. Choi Ji-man (32), who failed to join the World Baseball Classic (WBC) Korean baseball team, is focusing on preparing for the season at the Pittsburgh Pirates.
KBO announced the replacement of the WBC national team player on the 6th. Instead of infielder Choi Ji-hoon, outfielder Choi Ji-hoon (SSG) joined as a substitute. Initially, only Choi was included in the final 30-man entry, but his joining was unsuccessful due to opposition from his team, Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh expressed its intention to oppose participation in the WBC Organizing Committee, WBCI, citing Choi Ji-man’s surgical history. Choi Ji-man underwent surgery to remove bone fragments in his right elbow in November of last year. The WBCI held an injury review committee to discuss whether or not to allow Choi Ji-man to participate in the WBC, and finally decided not to allow it.
During last year’s season, Choi Ji-man received a call from KBO President Heo Gu-yeon and expressed his positive attitude regarding participating in the WBC. Choi Ji-man, who has never worn the Taegeuk mark, has always hoped to join the national team. The WBC hosted by the Major League Secretariat was a good opportunity.
However, the problem was the elbow pain that started in May of last year. He underwent surgery in November after the season, and is on a three-month rehab course. After his rehabilitation, he can meet the WBC opening schedule in March, but the Pittsburgh club was concerned about a recurrence of the injury.
Through a statement, Choi Ji-man said, “All athletes must have dreamed of running as a representative of the country with a national flag on their chest. You don’t know how happy I was when I was included in the national team roster this time. However, as much as he had high expectations, he was very disappointed and frustrated by the decision not to make it.”
Pittsburgh, which acquired Choi Ji-man in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in November last year, envisions him as the starting first baseman. He should lead the center line while sharing the first base and designated hitter spots with Carlos Santana. The reason I stopped participating in the WBC was because I thought it was an important power.
The dream of the Taegeuk mark has failed, but it is Choi, but personally, I do not see it as a bad thing. It is a more important season than ever for Choi Ji-man, who gets FA qualification after this season. He can increase his value as a free agent by fully focusing on the season. Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia), CJ Cron (Colorado), and Brandon Belt (Toronto) are reserve free agent first basemen, and depending on 먹튀검증player/team options, Josh Bell (Cleveland), Max Muncy (LA Dodgers), Trey Mancini (Chicago Cubs) can also come out. As free agent first baseman resources are relatively abundant, Choi Ji-man must go to the market with a clear report card.
Choo Shin-soo (SSG) is one of the Korean players who failed to participate in the WBC ahead of the free agency. Choo Shin-soo, who was included in the first entry for the 3rd WBC Korean national team in 2013, announced that he would not participate due to training to adapt to his team. In the Cincinnati Reds, a team newly changed by trade, he changed his position to center fielder and played as the full-time number one hitter. The situation is different from Choo Shin-soo, who voluntarily refused to participate in the WBC, but Choi Ji-man also focuses on preparing for the season in a new team. It has become a situation where you can go all-in for the FA jackpot.