“I think this tournament will change the lives of our players,”

says Kawasaki, who helped Japan win the first WBC (World Baseball Classic) tournament in 2006 and the second tournament in 2009. Munenori player.

After experiencing the WBC, we asked Kawasaki, who also played in the major leagues, about the highlights of this tournament, which is packed with world star players.

This tournament is “Anyway, all the stars!”

Kawasaki player who currently belongs to the professional baseball BC League Tochigi Golden Braves.

When I asked the 41-year-old, who has won two WBC titles for Japan, about the prospects for this tournament, he excitedly said, "I'm excited."

(Kawasaki Munenori)

“In the tournament that decides who is the best baseball player in the world, superstars not only from Japan but also from all over the world, people who are really good at baseball gather, so there is nothing to see. I'm a member."

All “Captain America”!


Kawasaki's first candidate for the championship was the United States, which won last year's championship, as "a team with a lot of 'Captain America'."

Trout, who is a teammate of Shohei Otani of the Major League Baseball and Angels, has won the MVP = Most Valuable Player Award three times.

Goldschmidt was MVP last season.

Top players with a track record in the major leagues, such as Realmute, who is called the number one catcher in the baseball world, are listed.

(Munenori KAWASAKI)

“Although we tend to focus on the batting, I have the impression that the players are also strong in defense. The Cardinals' Arenado and the Phillies' Turner have strong infield defense, and I think it's no exaggeration to say that it's a defensive team.

" , The United States, which also has excellent defensive players.

And it is said that the existence of the captain, Trout, makes this star corps a perfect team.

(Kawasaki Munenori)

“The manager of the United States was a former teammate of mine, and I heard that he decided on Captain Trout first. It will be the first match against teammate Ohtani in the major leagues, but I heard that Trout tried to turn at bat during pitching practice at camp, but Ohtani refused. It's starting."

The Dominican Republic is “rough” and “festive”

Kawasaki's next name was the Dominican Republic, which is aiming to win the championship for the first time in two tournaments.

Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays, who fought Otoshi Otani for home run king.

The team includes Marlins pitcher Alcantara, who won the National League Cy Young Award last season.

Kawasaki has many young players compared to the mature United States, and is described as a team with momentum.

(Kawasaki Munenori)

“There are many players who are determined to win big contracts by playing in the WBC. What I want you to see is that the Dominican Republic players really enjoy playing baseball."Baseball is a festival." I think people who watch it will enjoy it."

Japan is on the side of the countermeasures!

In the previous tournament, each team had big players, such as Puerto Rico led by Strowman, who participated in the US national team and won the MVP, and Venezuela with Perez, who won the home run king and RBI king last year.

How should Japan compete against such a world powerhouse?

When I asked this question, Kawasaki immediately answered that "the opponent who will fight against Japan" will take countermeasures.

(Kawasaki Munenori)

“Right now, Japan is ranked No. 1 in the world, so it’s fine for Japan to play Japanese baseball. We have pitchers.”

(Kawasaki Munenori)

"When Trout asked Ohtani about the Japanese team, he said, 'There are a lot of better pitchers than me.' What should I do?'

And Kawasaki, who is wary of his rivals, Otani, Yu Darvish, Roki Sasaki, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and other pitchers. points out.

(Kawasaki Munenori)

"In the major leagues, pitchers and infielders don't have as much defensive coordination as Japan. I think it's whether or not you can make an attack that shakes up the opposing pitcher.I think it's whether or not you can play the ``Japanese baseball'' that you've been building up since you were little, going for one point and defending one."

A tournament that has the power to change lives and baseball

The final of the first WBC tournament in 2006.

In the final ninth inning, while Ichiro hit right in front of the right, Kawasaki, who was a runner on second base, made a quick return home.

That play was called "God's right hand" because of the vividness of his right hand touching the home plate through the catcher's block, and it became one of the highlights of the tournament.

Looking back, Kawasaki says that this tournament inspired him to challenge the major leagues later.

(Kawasaki Munenori)

“I felt that baseball in the United States was so much fun when I played a match against another team during practice. I am grateful to the WBC, and while I am playing at the Tokyo Dome this time, I may not feel it much, but I think I will feel many things when I go to America. I want one."

Finally, we asked Kawasaki about his predictions for the finals.

"Japan vs. Dominica. How about a card that has never been seen before?"

(Kawasaki Munenori)

"Baseball starts with the shout of 'play ball.' It means 'play with the ball.' I don't have one, so I don't focus on that, I just want them to show the best baseball games.And I want the viewers to love their favorite players to the fullest.Transform that love into power. I hope he will play."

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