‘I want to play for WBC’ What was Ohtani, the ‘two-fighting’ that Man Choi thought of before leaving the US?

January 8, 2023 0 Comments

Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh Pirates) called Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels) a “good player” who became a star on the American major league stage as a ‘two-hitter’.

Choi Ji-man left for the United States via Incheon International Airport on the 8th. Prior to his departure, he left the country with high expectations to participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

The KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) held a press conference to announce the WBC national team entry at the Baseball Hall in Dogok-dong, Seoul on the afternoon of the 4th and announced the final 30 entries for the WBC scheduled to be held in March next year. 

For the first time in his life, Choi Ji-man was named among the eight infielders along with Choi Jeong (SSG), Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom), Oh Ji-hwan (LG), Park Byung-ho (KT), Kang Baek-ho (KT), Kim Ha-seong (San Diego), and Tommy Edman (St. Louis). I got to wear the Taegeuk mark. 

Although permission from the Pittsburgh team still has to be obtained, Choi Ji-man said, “There is a hunger for the Taegeuk mark. I really want to go to the WBC and play,” he said. “I am appealing to the club.” When the club’s decision is made and Choi Ji-man’s promotion to the Korean national team is confirmed, the match between Choi Ji-man and Ohtani also needs to be noted.

In the 2022 season, Ohtani recorded 15 wins and 9 losses and an average ERA of 2.33 as a pitcher in the big leagues, and as a hitter, he had a batting average of 2.77 and 34 homers and 95 RBIs. He had two successful ‘two-hitting double-up’ seasons in a row and became a big league star.

Choi Ji-man has no hits against Ohtani. We met for the first time last season. Choi Ji-man was silent with no hits in 4 at-bats in the Los Angeles Angels expedition on May 12 last year. Three of the four at-bats were against Ohtani, the Angels starter at the time. At that time, Choi Ja-man struck out twice against Ohtani on a swing. 토토

Choi Ji-man, who said, “I was hungry because I had never worn the Taegeuk mark,” said, “I am always a player to stick with, but the Dominican Republic and the United States are the strongest teams, so I want to play with them. So is Japan. He wants to play with every team once.” He said of Ohtani, “He is a good player. He is a really fast player, so I think the biggest goal is for our players and I to adapt quickly.”

Recently, the Japanese national team also announced the first 12 key players among the players to go to the WBC, including Ohtani. At a press conference, Ohtani said, “It’s my first WBC appearance, and my goal is to win.” Regarding the Korean national team, “WBC is a tournament in which world-class players participate. Korea also has good players in every generation in pitching. I also remember the 2006 and 2009 WBC Korea-Japan matches. Korea is a team that can play well with any team.”

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