Korean team has no regrets about defeatSAN DIEGO, California ― The Korean national baseball team is out of the World Baseball Classic, but its players were proud of their achievements following the team’s semifinal loss to Japan on Saturday (Sunday, Korean time). The JoongAng Ilbo spoke to a few stars of the squad after the game.
(First baseman, Yomiuri Giants)
Q. What does this tournament mean to you?
A.We did all we could. We are happy with the semifinal berth, and I think it’s significant that no one will take Korean baseball lightly from now on.
You played Japan three times in the tournament.
Even though we lost today, we still beat them twice. Korea is no longer the second fiddle in the Asian baseball hierarchy, and we’re no longer the middle-of-the-road team on the global stage.
You’ve been under the spotlight of the U.S. media during the tournament.
I can’t pay attention to the media. I’ve just got to work hard until I make it to the major league.
(Pitcher, San Diego Padres)
Q.It was an unfortunate ending to the tournament for the team.
A. It’s a shame we lost to Japan, but we still finished with 6-1 record. No one else won six games. Our hard work paid off, and it’s more gratifying that we did this as a team.
You pitched both as a starter and a closer.
[Pitching coach] Sun Dong-yol is someone I looked up to as a kid, and he was a huge influence on me. I also have tremendous respect our manager Kim In-sik. Pitching for them, I was prepared to do anything they would ask me to do.
How do you feel going back to the Padres?
This tournament was a huge confidence boost for me. Hopefully this is a good omen to start the season, and I hope to end the year on the same, positive note.
by Sung Baik-you