The 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) ended with Japan’s victory, but the back story still remains.
Even if the situation that the Korean national team was eliminated in the first round of the finals is left behind, it is necessary to evaluate the overall situation of the tournament. Accordingly, this paper would like to ask oneself about the status of the WBC by asking three questions.
Q) Can the WBC have a status comparable to the Football World Cup? ‘Maybe yes’
WBC started in 2006 with the motto of globalization of baseball. 스포츠토토Excluding the period of suspension due to Corona 19, only five competitions have been held so far. In other words, it still needs more time to establish itself as a global sporting event. It was the same with the soccer world cup. In particular, England, the head of soccer, felt skeptical about hosting the World Cup itself when it began. In the beginning of the WBC, there were many cases where major players were skeptical about the participation itself. However, as the tournament progressed, major leaguers receiving high salaries showed an active participation in the WBC, allowing them to have a different status than before. In particular, in this process, I also discovered the hope that baseball could take root in Europe, where I thought soccer was the trend. It is also a good thing that Italy reached the quarterfinals of the WBC for the first time in history, and the possibility of international competitions being held centered in Regensburg, Germany.
Q) Has the authority of the WBC risen? ‘No’
However, the answer to the question of whether the WBC has been fair and whether its authority has risen is inevitable. The WBC, which was implemented under the leadership of the Major League Secretariat, repeated its mistakes in the first inning and undermined the authority of the host nation, the United States. In particular, the semi-finals should have been played against Japan vs. the United States and Cuba vs. Mexico, as originally matched, but the process was subtly bypassed and changed to the match against the United States vs. Cuba and Japan vs. Mexico. As a result, the match between the United States and Japan, which they wanted so much, progressed to the final. It recorded the highest box office income, but it was clear that it was an action that undermined the legitimacy of the tournament.
In addition, 30 major league clubs still refused to allow major players to participate in the tournament in the name of player protection. In other words, the ‘Not In My Back Yard’ phenomenon has accelerated. It is the same act as preventing key players from participating in the World Cup because of concerns about injury to their team. In football, this is unimaginable. There is still a long way to go for the rise of competition authority.
Q) Can Korea advance to the quarterfinals at the next WBC? ‘No’
Now the 2023 WBC is over. Korea had to finish the tournament in 3rd place in the first round of the finals. I can’t help but think of the WBC, which will be held three years from now, apart from the tournament that has ended. Fortunately, Korea won against the Czech Republic/China, and did not suffer the humiliation of slipping into the preliminary round. However, to the question of whether it would be possible to reach the quarterfinals at the next WBC, he resolutely answered ‘no’ and ‘no’.
Why? It is because it is greedy to overcome the humiliation suffered internationally in one or two years after losing to Australia, which was initially considered to be one step below, and only winning a no medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The difference in baseball level has already widened considerably with Japan, and it will take at least three years to overcome it. why 3 years? At least, it takes at least three years to establish a training process that emphasizes the basics again from high school players until they are fully settled during the graduation season. You have to have the mindset of starting all over again.
If he goes to the international stage again without such determination, there will be no change, and there is a high possibility that he will be hit by another unexpected country in the next WBC. Korean baseball currently needs to look at itself calmly.