“I want to do it, win, and do well in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).”
Veteran infielder Choi Jeong (36, SSG Landers), who will step on the WBC stage for the third time, gave this answer when asked how he felt about being selected for the national team.
Choi Jeong-eun was named in the final 30-man roster for the 2023 WBC national team announced earlier this month. This is the third time he has participated in the WBC, following the 2nd tournament in 2009 and the 3rd tournament in 2013.
In a recent phone call with Newsis, Choi Jeong-eun was asked if he expected to be selected for the WBC national team, “To be honest, I was half-and-half. While other infielders can play multiple positions, I only play as a third baseman. So I thought other players might be selected.” said.
He continued, “I am so grateful that I was chosen. It is always an honor to represent Korea,” he said. “I feel excitement and tension at the same time, and various emotions cross.”
The 2009 WBC was the first international competition in which Choi was selected for the senior national team. Since then, Choi Jeong-eun has won the Taegeuk mark at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, 2013 WBC, and 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12.
In this WBC national team, Choi Jung-eun and Park Byung-ho are the eldest after catcher Lee Ji-young (Kiwoom Heroes). In terms of joining the pros, Choi Jeong and Park Byung-ho were in 2005, faster than Lee Ji-young in 2008.
Choi Jeong-eun, who has to play the role of a veteran leading his juniors, feels a greater responsibility than in previous international competitions.
Choi Jeong-eun said, “I was thrilled and happy to wear the national team uniform at the 2009 WBC. I just thought that I should have fun playing baseball with my seniors.” It left unforgettable memories.”
“I’m not as happy now,” said Choi Jeong-eun. said.
Even before the Korean series last year, Choi Jeong-eun said something similar. At the time, Choi Jeong-eun said, “When I was young, I was excited and free of charge, but now I have high expectations, so it’s a burden. I feel more responsible and more greedy.”
In response to the question, “Is it a similar feeling to when I was ahead of the Korean series?”
The thought that wearing the Taegeuk mark might be the last thing further fuels Choi Jeong’s motivation.
Choi Jeong-eun emphasized, “Actually, I thought that the 2019 Premier 12 would be the last competition for the national team. However, I got a good opportunity again. I don’t know if this opportunity will come again. That’s why I have a stronger desire to do well.”
Choi Jeong is the only ‘professional third baseman’ in the WBC national team.
Accordingly, national team coach Lee Kang-cheol is also considering appointing Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) as the third baseman.
Choi Jeong-eun confessed, “It would be a lie if the fact that I was the only third baseman wasn’t a burden. It means I have to do well so that I can play every game.”
He said, “If (Heo) Kyung-min went with me, I think it would have been my will,” but expressed a firm will, saying, “But now that it’s like this, I’ll do well. I’ll do my best.” 메이저사이트
Choi Jeong-eun, who will keep the infield with major leaguers such as Kim Ha-seong, Tommy Edman (St. Louis Cardinals), and Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh Pirates), said, “It won’t be long, but if I can learn something from my juniors, I will learn quickly and show a good appearance.” He said, “All of them are good defensive players, so they have a strong heart.”
As coach Lee said, Choi Jeong-do is considering going to the US as his primary goal.
Choi Jung-eun said, “First of all, my first goal is to go to the US (where the semi-finals and finals are held). Once I go to the US, I will work harder to win the championship by burning more fighting spirit.”
The countries participating in the WBC finals are putting together the strongest power. Japan, Korea’s “rival” to meet in the first round, also included major leaguers such as Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), Yu Darvish (San Diego), Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), and Japanese-American Lars Nuthba (St. Louis) in the national team.
Choi Jeong-eun said, “Baseball is a sport with many variables and surprises.” There is no guarantee that you will win unconditionally even if your objective power is strong. You have to open the lid to know,” he said, burning his will to win.