Poor grades, drinking scandal…the burden and responsibility of Ryu Joong-il-ho

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Juniors shoulder the sluggishness and mistakes of seniors. 

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) team roster at the Baseball Hall in Dogok-dong, Seoul on the 9th. At this meeting, Ryu Joong-il, the Asian Games national team coach, and Cho Gye-hyun, chairman of the Power Reinforcement Committee, attended and revealed the background of the final entry selection. 먹튀검증

The 24 people selected this time and the coaching staff of the national team will scramble with heavy hearts. The Asian Games serve as a great motivator for athletes as military service benefits are at stake when winning a gold medal. However, the recent situation surrounding the national team is not easy. 

Coincidentally, the announcement of the AG entry was made right after the drinking controversy arose during the recent World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament. Kwang-Hyun Kim (SSG Landers), Yong-Chan Lee (NC Dinos), and Cheol-Won Jeong (Doosan Bears) admitted that they visited entertainment bars once or twice during the tournament. According to KBO, contrary to the initial controversy, it was confirmed that they did not drink all night or that a waitress was present. 

However, arrows of criticism poured in just for drinking outside of the competition period. All three players were excluded from the first team entry, and on the 7th, they were punished by the KBO Reward and Punishment Committee for 40 to 80 hours of community service and a fine of 3 to 5 million won. 

Furthermore, Korean baseball has been sluggish in recent international competitions. He stayed in fourth place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and was eliminated in the first round by losing to Australia and Japan in this WBC. In particular, in the WBC, which is known as the ‘Baseball World Cup’, it has tasted the shame of being eliminated in the first round of three consecutive competitions since 2013.  

At the Asian Games, it was a problem even if we did well or not. After the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, a skit was created in which former national team coach Seon Dong-yeol was called to the National Audit Office due to controversy over player selection. With the exception of Korea, all participating countries are amateurish teams, so winning the gold medal is taken for granted. 

Accordingly, the AG national team consists of players under the age of 25 or under the age of 4 years as a pro. Out of a total of 24 players, up to three (Park Se-woong, Koo Chang-mo, and Choi Won-joon) can be selected as wild cards, regardless of their professional years. 

Previously, the KBO League was temporarily suspended during the Asian Games. When a team was formed with elite players and won the gold medal, the main players solved their military service concerns and remained active in their team. That helped keep the league popular. 

However, there is no rest period during the Hangzhou Asian Games. KBO and 10 clubs decided to send customized players for each event to international competitions hosted by amateurs and operate the regular season normally in the previously announced ‘National Team Mid- to Long-term Management Improvement Plan’. It was a measure following the sluggishness of the international competition. When the story of ‘frogs in the well’ came out right after the Tokyo Olympics no medal, it was prepared as a way to strengthen the competitiveness of the national team. In order to prevent various controversies, the maximum number of players per team was limited to three. Fans’ perspectives on the player selection process, such as morality and performance, should also be reflected. 

All of this is due to the recent sluggishness in international competitions and subsequent controversies. 

‘Ryu Joong-il-ho’ had a lot of burdens even before the full-scale start. He has to get away from various controversies outside of the game while achieving a successful generational change and convincing results. He has a ‘sense of responsibility’ and ‘obligation’ to show a different side of himself from his older brothers. 

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