I was desperate… Choi Ji-man, Taegeuk Mark Thirst
Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh Pirates) could not quench his thirst for the Taegeuk mark again this time. He was more desperate than anyone else, but faced opposition from his team.
On the 6th, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced that it had received news from the World Baseball Classic (WBC) Organizing Committee that Choi Ji-man could not compete in the WBC.
This is because of opposition from Pittsburgh, concerned about Choi Ji-man’s injury.
Choi Ji-man, who felt pain in his elbow for the first time in mid-May of last year, underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment in his elbow in November of last year after playing through the season with painkillers.
Choi Ji-man showed confidence that he could improve his physical condition so that there would be no problems in participating in the WBC in March, and the coaches including Lee Kang-cheol and the KBO technical committee included him in the final 30-man roster.
However, Pittsburgh, which recruited Choi Ji-man through a trade after the 2022 season, showed a cautious stance on Choi’s participation in the WBC. Choi Ji-man asked for permission from the club, but Pittsburgh only replied to wait.
In the end, Pittsburgh, concerned about Choi Ji-man’s injury, expressed his intention not to participate in the WBC, citing the history of surgery.
Choi Ji-man, who had never been selected for the adult national team, wanted the Taegeuk mark more than anyone else.
Choi Ji-man, who signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners for a contract fee of $425,000 at the end of 2009 while attending Dongsan High School, left for the United States in 2010 and lived in the minor leagues until 2015.
During his minor league run, Choi Ji-man was never called up to the national team.
Choi Ji-man finally made his big league debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 2016, and played 54 games in the major leagues that year. However, he was not enough to be selected for his national team during the 2017 WBC. At that time, Choi Ji-man was also omitted from the 50-man reserve list.
After passing through the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers, Choi Ji-man, who wore a Tampa Bay Rays uniform in June 2018, has steadily gained opportunities since then, and has been active as a full-time big leaguer since 2019.
He built a career that allowed him to join the national team, but Choi Ji-man seldom got a chance to join the national team.
He also failed to make a kite at the 2018 Jakarta/Palembang Asian Games, the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held in 2021.
The Asian Games were held during the regular season of Major League Baseball, and it was difficult for only Choi to participate. The MLB Secretariat is not allowing players on the 40-man roster to compete in the Olympics and Premier 12.
Instead, the Major League Secretariat allows major leaguers to participate in the WBC hosted by them without major restrictions.
Choi Ji-man’s expectations were also inflated. It was an opportunity to wear the Taegeuk mark if his team did not oppose it.
Choi Ji-man has shown his earnestness for the Taegeuk mark. Early last month, while he was leaving for the United States, he said, “I was hungry because I had never worn the Taegeuk mark as an adult national team member. It has been over 13 years since I played with Korean players.”
However, Choi Ji-man once again swallowed deep regret at his team’s decision.
On the afternoon of the 6th, Choi Ji-man said through Sports Vibe, a domestic management company, “All athletes, regardless of the sport, would have dreamed of running as a player representing the country with a national flag on their chest. “I don’t know how happy I was at the time,” he said.
Choi Ji-man’s regret is greater because he was undergoing rehabilitation smoothly.
He said, “I returned to the United States and was undergoing a normal rehabilitation process. Recently, there was no problem enough to proceed with live betting. , the disappointment is too great.”
If Choi continues to play in the major leagues, it is expected that it will be difficult for Choi Ji-eun to participate in the Premier 12, Olympics, and Asian Games.
It is highly likely that the opportunity to come again will be the next WBC.
The next WBC will be held in 2026. In 2026, Choi Ji-man will be 35 years old, so he cannot guarantee that he will be selected for the national team. It seems that Choi Ji-man will be able to seize the opportunity to quench his thirst for the Taegeuk mark only when he consistently maintains his skills in the major leagues. 스포츠토토