The final list of the national baseball team for the Tokyo Olympics next month has been announced.
Amid mixed joys and losses by team and player, the Hanwha Eagles lamented after hearing the news of the roster announcement.
This is because infielder Jeong Eun-won and pitcher Kang Jae-min, who are at the center of the two-tat 'generation change', were eliminated.
Kim Kyung-moon, head coach of the national baseball team, announced the final roster of the national team today (16th) at the KBO Baseball Hall in Dogok-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
Manager Kim Kyung-moon, who took the lead in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and led the gold medal, said, "As a defending champion, we will do our best to achieve our goal."
The final entry consisted of 10 pitchers and 14 fielders. The fielders consisted of two catchers, eight infielders, and four outfielders. For each team, LG, Kiwoom, and Samsung produced four national teams, and three players from KT and Doosan wore the Taegeuk mark. NC has two names, and KIA, Lotte, SSG, and Hanwha send one person each to the Tokyo Olympics.
The Hanwha team, who checked the roster, could not hide their disappointment internally.
This is because infielder Jung Eun-won and bullpen pitcher Kang Jae-min, who have been performing at the top of the league this season, have been eliminated. In Hanwha, Kim Min-woo, who is playing an active part as a native ace this season, is the only one on the national team.
Eun-Won Jung and Jae-Min Kang's performances this season are comparable to the national team. Jung Eun-won played in all 58 games until yesterday, batting 2.9 pp. 5 ri, 62 hits, 3 home runs, 17 RBIs, 36 points, 10 stolen bases, and 49 walks. He has a 0.858 OPS with an on-base percentage of 0.429 and a slugging percentage of 0.429.
He earned the most walks in the league and finished fifth in the on-base percentage category.
Kang Jae-min is recognized as the best bullpen pitcher in the league over Hanwha this season. Appearing in 26 games in the season, he has 2 wins, 3 saves, 7 holds, an ERA of 0.55 and 30 strikeouts.
Of the 185 pitchers in the league who pitched at least five innings, no pitcher has a lower ERA than Kang Jae-min.
Eun-Won Jung and Jae-Min Kang are essential forces of Hanwha, which is undergoing a generation change under the supervision of Subero. However, since they are both in their early 20s, the problem of military service still remains. Hanwha hoped that the two athletes, who are doing great this season, would receive benefits from military service at the Tokyo Olympics. However, Jung Eun-won was defeated in competition with Kim Hye-seong (Kiwoom) for a back-up infield position. Instead of Kang Jae-min, sidearms Won-jun Choi (Doosan), Young-pyo Ko (KT), and Hyun-hee Han (Kiwoom) were selected. Manager Kim Kyung-moon said, "I saw Kang Jae-min throwing very well yesterday. This tournament is a schedule that can play up to 8 games. It would be nice if the pitchers threw a little longer innings, but I don't think he throws it like in 2008. Cut it short. I'm thinking of running the game while blocking," he said, explaining the reason for the selection focused on mound management strategy.
Subero also expressed deep regret at the news of Kang Jae-min's elimination.
Regarding Kang Jae-min's elimination, coach Subero said, "I didn't know there was another league other than the KBO League. I don't know where a better relief pitcher is hiding." "Going to the Olympics must have been very important to Kang. "I thought it was an important opportunity, but it's a pity. The player himself seems to be very disappointed, but the decision is the coaching staff's responsibility. It should be respected. Kang Jae-min is the best middle pitcher in the league."
Hanwha hopes that the two players will not be affected by the disappointment of being eliminated from the national team. A Hanwha official said, "The players themselves and the club were looking forward to it. However, we received a disappointing result. I am worried that the players will be affected by their disappointment. There is still this season left, and there is the Asian Games next year. I hope he will continue to show his good side.”
(Photo = Yonhap News)