The Japanese WBC (World Baseball Classic) national team drew attention with its luxurious roster with only five major leaguers. With the addition of Shohei Ohtani (Angels) and Yu Darvish (San Diego), the team has a limited starting rotation. In the Japanese media, even the modifier ‘the strongest of all time’ is attached.
However, it seems that this luxury lineup will not have much time to work together. This is because the MLB secretariat is preventing the early selection of national players from each country.
In Japan, three out of five outfielders are major leaguers, so the blow is huge. Seiya Suzuki (Cubs), Las Nutba (St. Louis), and Masataka Yoshida (Boston) should be the starting pitchers. Since the only remaining outfielders are Kensuke Kondo and Shuto Ukyo (above Softbank), normal operation of the game may be difficult in the evaluation match that will continue from the 25th. 메이저놀이터
According to Japan’s Nikkan Sports on the 29th, coach Hideki Kuriyama reiterated his intention to work with major leaguers from the evaluation match on February 25 at the latest. On the one hand, he is also preparing for when they cannot join, but he did not hide his regret.
Director Kuriyama said, “Depending on what kind of answer (from the organizers) will come, we are preparing in various ways, such as preparations for when the joining fails. No matter what conclusion is reached at the end of the day, there are things that must be done.”
NPB (Japan Baseball Organization) is negotiating with the organizers to pay insurance money in installments in case of injury to major leaguers. However, there is no good news yet. Coach Kuriyama said, “If you want to make (WBC) a really good tournament, I think it’s important to let players do what they want to do. It’s also for the future. I have to say it. It’s not for Japan. I do,” he said, raising his voice.
Nikkan Sports added, “The value of the tournament increases only when major leaguers can participate more freely in the national team.”
It’s not as big a blow as Japan, but Korea can’t help but be affected if the major leagues are delayed. Keystone duo Kim Ha-seong (San Diego) and Tommy Edman (St. Louis) are both major leaguers. Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh) is in a situation where participation is unclear due to reasons other than the competition, such as rehabilitation after injury and salary adjustment.