“Elimination from the World Baseball Classic (WBC) was not a bad thing”

A baseball official sighed and said: In his bitter expression, the sense of crisis felt by the baseball world was revealed.

The 2023 professional baseball regular season kicks off on April 1 at five stadiums. The opening atmosphere, which should be full of hope and anticipation, is gloomy. In a situation where all kinds of bad news are pouring like a tsunami, the baseball world is at a loss for words. Fans’ disappointment and anger are sky-high. Even the reason for the existence of professional baseball has come to the point of being questioned.

Professional baseball has set an ambitious goal to make 2023 a year of revival. In the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, he advanced to the semifinals and drew a blueprint to inform the world of the potential of Korean baseball. Based on the success of the WBC, he wanted to raise interest in the KBO League, which was going downhill.

The results were disastrous. The baseball team, which had been squeamish from the preparation process, was caught by Australia, which was evaluated as a power under one move. It was a shocking defeat to Japan, which it regarded as its rival. In the end, I saw the bitter taste of being eliminated in the first round three times in a row.

Failure to manage conditions due to weather variables at the training ground and excessive travel schedules was pointed out as a problem. At the same time, criticism continued about the current state of Korean baseball, which could not keep up with the world baseball trend and stayed in the ‘frog in the well’. After the WBC tournament, voices of self-reflection poured out, saying that Korean baseball should also clear the bubble and strengthen its stability. The more this is the case, the more persuasive the opinion that we should pay more attention to and support the KBO League.

Such expectations did not last long. Deviance, a chronic disease in baseball, has risen again. On the 23rd, former Lotte Giants pitcher Seo Jun-won was charged with sexual assault against a minor. His contract was immediately terminated by his team and he was virtually kicked out of the baseball field. Before Seo Joon-won was even able to escape from the shock, another incident occurred. On the 29th, KIA general manager Jang Jeong-seok was suddenly dismissed from the club after it was revealed that he demanded back money during FA negotiations with former player Park Dong-won (now LG Twins). In the reality of Korean baseball, which has fallen to the bottom, two incidents and accidents that should never have happened came at once. From the standpoint of the 10 professional baseball teams and players who prepared hard last winter, it is inevitable that the pulse will fall.

Above all, the biggest victims are the fans who waited for the opening without letting go of affection and interest even in the worst atmosphere. Fans spend a hefty amount of money to visit baseball stadiums and purchase uniforms to support their favorite teams and players. The sense of betrayal felt by such fans is not the only one.

Fans’ disappointment is also evident in the polls. According to the results of a survey of 1,001 people aged 18 or older nationwide by Gallup Korea on the 21st and 23rd ahead of the opening of the KBO League, only 3 out of 10 (32%) of the respondents answered that they were interested in domestic professional baseball. Compared to 44% of respondents in the 2013 survey, 10 years ago, who expressed interest in professional baseball, it has decreased by 12 percentage points over the past 10 years. 토토사이트

On the other hand, the number of respondents who said they were ‘not interested’ in domestic professional baseball increased from 55% 10 years ago (‘not very interested’ 22%, ‘not interested’ 33%) to 66% this year (‘not interested’ % · ‘Not interested at all’ (37%), up 11 percentage points. In particular, it is shocking that the interest rate of those in their 20s, which was 44% in 2013, has fallen to 21%, about half this year.

In a reality that has already become insignificant and shabby, 10 professional baseball teams stand at the starting line with heavy hearts. The trust of the fans has already fallen to the ground. At least, the baseball world has to come to its senses from now on to alleviate the sense of betrayal that fans will feel.

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