Together for Gold” baseball team’s crisis, will ‘23.2-year-old’ Ryu Jung-il be different?

Ryu Jung-il, head coach of the South Korean national baseball team, and Cho Kye-hyun, chairman of the Power Enhancement Committee, held a press conference at the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) headquarters in Yangjae-dong, Seoul, on Monday to announce the 24-man roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Recently, the crisis in Korean baseball has continued. To be precise, it is not a crisis of the KBO, the national league, but of the national 메이저놀이터 baseball team. While the KBO is thriving, with the league’s stadiums filled to capacity, the national team has been plagued by negative issues.

The culmination was the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March. In what was supposed to be a high-profile tournament, the team lost in the first round to Australia, a team with mostly minor leaguers. After the tournament, there was a drinking scandal that resulted in fines and community service for the players involved. It was a case of disappointing the fans who had been supporting the team.

Therefore, this was the first thing that coach Ryu Jung-il said at the press conference. “I feel responsible as a baseball person for the recent events,” he apologized.

And the roster announced was a lineup that looked to the future. Cho Gye-hyun, chairman of the KBO’s Power Enhancement Committee, announced that the roster would be composed of players aged 25 or younger, with the exception of the Power Enhancement Committee members and the wild card.

In reality, the roster was very young, with an average age of 23.2. It is the youngest since the 1998 Asian Games at 22.33. It is also the youngest of the six national teams in the last 24 years.

Jung Woo-young, Park Young-hyun, Won Tae-in, Na Kyun-an, Park Se-woong, Kwak Bin, Moon Dong-joo, Lee Yi-ri, Choi Ji-min, Koo Chang-mo, Kim Dong-heon, Noh Shi-hwan, Kim Hye-sung, Moon Bo-kyung, Kang Baek-ho, Kim Joo-won, Kim Ji-chan, Choi Ji-hoon, and Jang Hyun-seok are among the 19 non-military players. This is also the highest number since the 1998 Games.

“We had weekly meetings for three months to settle on the roster,” said Cho Gye-hyun, chairman of the Power Enhancement Committee, but there were also questions. Injured players, the selection of underperforming players, left-handed batters, and the lack of bullpen personnel were among the questions asked, and Ryu Jung-il had his own answers.

Since the September tournament will take place during the KBO, the coaching staff was composed of pitching coach Choi Il-un, battery coach Kim Dong-soo, hitting coach Jang Jong-hoon, operations coach Ryu Ji-hyun, and defense coach Lee Jong-yeol, who are not active in the KBO except for bullpen/conditioning coach Kim Hyun-wook.

The die is now cast. Ryu Jung-il-ho is tasked with turning around the national team’s fortunes. Could this team be different, and the voyage has begun.

Team roster for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games

Right-handed pitchers: Ko Woo-seok (LG), Chung Woo-young (LG), Park Young-hyun (KT), Won Tae-in (Samsung), Na Kyun-an (Lotte), Park Se-woong (Lotte), Kwak Bin (Doosan), Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha), Jang Hyun-seok (Masan Yongmago)

Left-handed pitchers: Lee Yi-ri (KIA), Choi Ji-min (KIA), Koo Chang-mo (NC)

Catchers: Kim Dong-heon (Kiwoom), Kim Hyung-joon (NC)

Infielders: Park Sung-seong (SSG), Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom), Moon Bo-kyung (LG), Kang Baek-ho (KT), Kim Joo-won (NC), Kim Ji-chan (Samsung), Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha)

Outfielders: Choi Ji-hoon (SSG), Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), Choi Won-jun (commerce → returned to KIA after being discharged on June 12)

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