Choi Ji-man (32) will not be able to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) due to opposition from his new team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead of Choi Ji-man, SSG Landers outfielder Choi Ji-hoon (26) was selected.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced on the 6th, “Choi Ji-hoon has been banned from participating in the WBC due to opposition from his team.” Originally, the KBO Technical Committee included Choi Ji-man, a first baseman who plays in the American Professional Baseball Major League (MLB), on the list of 30 players.
However, Pittsburgh, citing Choi Ji-man’s surgery history, conveyed his intention to oppose participation to the WBC Organizing Committee. Choi Ji-man suffered right elbow pain from mid-May of last year, and had bone fragment removal surgery in Korea in November of last year. The organizing committee held an injury review committee and delivered the Pittsburgh club’s intention to the KBO on the 5th.
Pittsburgh, which was concerned about the loss of power that it would have to endure if Choi Ji-man, who was recruited through a trade in the winter transfer market, was injured in the WBC, caused the national team to lose one player.
In response, KBO said, “We have prepared for a difficult situation in which only Choi will join,” and “we selected Choi Ji-hoon through review.” The national team plans to submit the final entry including Choi Ji-hoon to the WBC Organizing Committee on the 8th.
The WBC is a tournament supervised by스포츠토토 the MLB Secretariat, and big leaguers can freely participate in the tournament according to their own intentions and the decision of the national team. However, MLB clubs can exercise the right to refuse participation in relation to their players with a history of injury or surgery. The Pittsburgh club put the brakes on Choi Ji-man’s participation in the WBC, which was on the operating table three months ago, and the KBO accepted it.
In fact, Choi Ji-man said, “It was a simple surgery. In the new season, I can run without problems with a healthy body,” he said. “I am appealing to my team that I want to compete in the WBC.” However, the Pittsburgh team decided that Choi needed time to get in touch with the new coaching staff and teammates, and it seems that they made a plan to put in spring camp as well as exhibition games.
The relationship between Choi Ji-man and the club also seems to have influenced his absence from the WBC. Choi Ji-man recently applied for an annual salary adjustment after failing to reach an annual salary agreement with Pittsburgh.
Lee Kang-cheol, head coach of the baseball team, recently said before leaving for the spring camp, “I have Choi Ji-man’s absence in mind.” .
Regarding the selection of outfielder Choi Ji-hoon to fill the vacant position of first baseman Choi Ji-man, Cho Bum-hyeon, chairman of the KBO Technical Committee, explained, “The decision was made in consideration of the recovery speed of existing first baseman Park Byeong-ho (kt wiz) and the need for utility resources in preparation for a game.” . Chairman Cho said, “Before I received a call that Choi Ji-man could not participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), I had been thinking about various plans.” Others were also nominated, but outfielder Choi Ji-hoon was selected after consulting with the coaching staff, including national team coach Lee Kang-cheol.” He also added, “Choi Ji-hoon is a player with excellent defense and counter-running abilities,” adding, “In the short-term international competition, I decided that a player with good operational skills was more needed than first baseman resources.”
Choi Ji-hoon said through the club that day, “I didn’t expect it at all. I still don’t feel it,” he said. “I will play with a sense of responsibility because I was selected as much as I was selected for an honorable position.” “From the time I was selected on the 50-person interest list last year, senior Choi Jung said, ‘You can go. I wish we could go together. He continued to say, “I went together and had a good experience, and then baseball will improve a lot.” I may not be able to play as a starter, but I will do my best in my role so that the national team can achieve good results.”
Choi Ji-hoon also said, “I built up my body well during the off-season. Even from tomorrow, I will gradually increase my pace and prepare according to the game schedule,” he said. “The national team is a very heavy position. It also comes with responsibility. As it is a position where the best baseball player in the country competes, I will do my best to focus on winning.”