SSG Landers Choo Shin-soo’s ‘remarks’ brought a strong headwind.
Contrary to Choo Shin-soo’s intentions, both An Woo-jin (Kiwoom) and the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team were hurt.
Choo Shin-soo, who is living in the United States during the off-season, appeared on a Korean radio station in Dallas, Texas, and expressed his thoughts on the composition of the WBC team. Choo Shin-soo’s remarks immediately became a hot topic of discussion among fans.
Choo Shin-soo said, “In Japan, there are many new faces when international competitions are held. We have many veterans such as Kim Hyun-soo, Kim Gwang-hyun, and Yang Hyeon-jong. They are skilled enough players, but if it were me, I would have looked at the future rather than the results right away.”
Last year, Woojin Ahn recorded 15 wins, 8 losses, an average ERA of 2.11 (1st place), and 224 strikeouts (1st place) in 30 games (196 innings), rising to become the best pitcher in the KBO League. He won two gold medals and even a Golden Glove. He is a pitcher anyone would want to pick for the national team.
However, Ahn Woo-jin has a history of perpetrators of ‘school violence’. Because of this, the KBO did not select An Woo-jin for the national team. Choo Shin-soo said, “Ahn Woo-jin clearly did something wrong. He did something wrong when he was young, but now he’s remorseful, he’s been punished, he’s been suspended. However, he is unable to represent the country. It seems that forgiveness is not easy in Korea.” 스포츠토토
However, Ahn Woo-jin made an agreement with the past victims (juniors), sincerely repented and asked for forgiveness, but the past wrongs could not be completely cleaned up. It was a statement that did not understand the emotions of the majority of fans regarding school violence.
If Ahn Woo-jin is chosen, he will be engulfed in problems outside of the game, and the atmosphere of the entire national team may be dampened by public opinion. The technical committee and national team coach Lee Kang-cheol decided to ‘exclude Ahn Woo-jin’ after much thought.
Choo Shin-soo said, “There is something I want to say to many seniors. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re a senior. If there is a junior who is being treated unreasonably like this, he thinks he should take off his feet. But no one is stepping up,” he raised his voice with passion, but you shouldn’t just talk about the results.
From the beginning of last year’s season, technical committee members asked media officials for advice on Ahn Woo-jin’s selection for the national team. Some seniors made an effort without revealing it to select An Woo-jin for the national team, but it did not lead to the final result. Choo Shin-soo would have said confidently that he would help An Woo-jin, but rather made the fans’ unfavorable feeling towards An Woo-jin increase.
Choo Shin-soo’s comments criticizing the composition of the national team will have a significant impact on the national team coach Lee Kang-cheol and the national team. The final entry has already been announced, and the WBC national team camp training 20 days ahead, sparking controversy.
There are no Ahn Woo-jin and Moon Dong-ju in the national team, but there are many young players and veterans with rich experience in international competitions. It was the composition of the national team that looked at both performance and the future.
The national team is carrying a lot of pressure to avoid repeating the pain of being knocked out in the first round at the 3rd WBC in 2013 and the 4th WBC in 2017. The fateful match between Korea and Japan must also be played.
KBO is trying to restore baseball popularity with good results in the WBC to fans and the public who were disappointed with the 2021 Tokyo Olympics no medal. There are concerns that Choo Shin-soo’s remarks could have an adverse effect.