AG does not work, but APBC does? Controversy over Lee Ui-ri’s selection… The fundamental problem is courtesy and respect towards players and shamelessness.
The player himself says it’s okay, but the Asian Games are not allowed, but the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) is? KIA Tigers pitcher Lee Eui-ri, who was controversial about being replaced at the Hangzhou Asian Games, eventually joined the APBC national team. While public opinion regarding Lee Ui-ri’s selection is controversial, the fundamental issue is courtesy and respect for players.
On October 24, the KBO officially announced the final and preliminary roster of the national team for the APBC 2023 competition, which will be held at Tokyo Dome in Japan from November 16 to 19. The APBC tournament is a national competition in which players under the age of 24 or within three years of joining the team participate. Including Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia are participating.
Coach Ryu Joong-il, who led the Hangzhou Asian Games gold medal, was also appointed as APBC head coach in consideration of national team continuity.
One of the factors that received the most attention regarding the final entry of the APBC national team was whether or not Lee Ui-ri was selected. Lee Ui-ri, who was selected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2023 WBC national team, had to go through the shocking controversy over replacement of the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games. The personal injury suffered by the player, which he could not express outwardly when the replacement was announced, was also significant.
The day before the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games was called up, Lee Ui-ri switched places with outfielder Yoon Dong-hee in the entry list. The ostensible reason for the replacement was a finger blister injury. Coach Ryu Joong-il said at a press conference on the day of the Asian Games national team call-up on September 23, “We judged that it would be difficult for Lee Ui-ri, who suffered a finger blister injury, to be unable to throw more than 80 pitches.”스포츠토토
However, Lee Eui-ri immediately took the starting mound for his team in the regular season (7 innings, 77 pitches, no runs against NC on September 27th) without any problems, proving that there were no aftereffects from his finger blisters. Lee Ui-ri showed better pitching results with an ERA of 2.25 and 20 strikeouts in three appearances in October.
Lee was in a mood to end this season with his team being eliminated from the postseason. However, Lee Ui-ri, who was included in the APBC national team preliminary entry, still had a chance of being selected as the final entry for the national team. Even though Lee Ui-ri experienced controversy over the replacement of the Asian Games national team, he said, “I will be ready to participate at any time if the national team calls me in the future.”
In the end, the KBO Strengthening Committee, which replaced Lee Ui-ri in the Hangzhou Asian Games national team entry, re-selected Lee Ui-ri to the APBC national team.
One baseball official said, “I heard that the KBO Strengthening Committee gave high marks to Lee Ui-ri’s pitching at the end of the regular season. “I understand that there is a consensus on the selection of Lee Ui-ri because there are not enough resources to select a left-hander in this preliminary entry for the national team,” he said.
The controversy over Lee Ui-ri’s replacement just one day before the Asian Games convocation date seems to be spreading into the controversy over Lee Ui-ri’s selection for the APBC national team. In fact, there is no problem at all with Lee Ui-ri joining the APBC national team. The national team is a dream stage for players and a place where they have to give their all. The previous Asian Games replacement controversy cannot be used as a justification for refusing to select a player or club.
However, the fundamental issue is courtesy and respect towards the players. During the controversy over the replacement of the Asian Games national team, Lee Ui-ri did not directly receive a detailed explanation on the background of the replacement from coach Ryu Joong-il or the KBO Strengthening Committee. The replacement notification sent through the club was the end. This is an action that shows no consideration for the feelings of the players they hand-picked.
Whether due to injury or poor performance, a sincere attitude was needed to further discuss or seek understanding with the player about the reason for the replacement a day before the call-up date. However, Manager Ryu Joong-il’s ultimately inconsistent ’80-pitch pitch theory’ only created a deeper scratch in the player’s mind. Although the Asian Games gold medal is a clear achievement, the controversy over entry replacement is also a point that clearly deserves criticism.
Many in the baseball world reacted to the selection of APBC’s Lee Ui-ri by saying, ‘If I had shame, I would select him.’ However, coach Ryu Joong-il and the KBO Power Strengthening Committee once again chose Lee Ui-ri, who could not confirm whether he suffered a finger blister right before the call-up during his actual appearance on the mound. It seems unlikely that coach Ryu Joong-il delivered a separate message to Lee Ui-ri before announcing the national team roster. What will Coach Ryu Joong-il say when he meets Lee Ui-ri on this national team? Will we be able to see the ‘shamelessness’ that often appears in the political world, even if it is too late?