Were injuries really the problem?
The Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team made another player change. The national team announced on the 22nd that it would replace pitcher Lee Ui-ri. The national team explained the reason for the replacement, saying, “Although Lee Ui-ri is recovering from an injury, we judged that it would be difficult to perform at her best during the tournament.”
However, Lee Ui-ri, who pointed out that he was ‘recovering from injury’, threw the ball from the mound a day ago. Lee Ui-ri took the mound as a starter against Hanwha in Daejeon on the 21st and pitched 1⅔ innings. Lee Ui-ri, who skipped the starting rotation on the 10th due to finger blisters, returned 10 days later. If Lee Ui-ri was ‘recovering from an injury’ as explained by the national team, there was no need for him to throw the ball that day, and KIA irresponsibly put on the mound a player whose body was not fully recovered, and who should have been on the national team about to participate in an international competition. KIA said, “There is no problem with Lee Ui-ri’s physical condition. The blisters have healed.”
In the match against Hanwha, Lee Ui-ri came off the mound early, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) with 2 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 5 outs. It wasn’t very good in terms of content. However, Lee Ui-ri’s early departure from work that day was geared toward controlling the number of pitches. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk said before Lee Ui-ri’s appearance on the mound, “We plan to have him throw only 30 to 40 pitches.” It was his first appearance after returning from injury, and his intention was not to overdo it before the upcoming national team call-up. Lee Ui-ri threw 45 balls, which was more than the limit of 40 announced by coach Kim, and headed to the bench. It certainly doesn’t look like a player whose fingers haven’t completely healed.
At the scene on this day, national baseball team coach Ryu Joong-il and Power Strengthening Committee Chairman Cho Gye-hyun watched Lee Ui-ri’s pitching. In addition to Lee Ui-ri, Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha) and Choi Won-jun (KIA), who are about to join the national team, also played in the game on this day, but the majority view was that their focus was on Lee Ui-ri’s pitching, which started after recovering from an injury.스포츠토토
How should we view Lee Ui-ri’s replacement, which came a day after the on-site inspection?
Looking back at the reason for the replacement revealed by the national team, the view that ‘it is difficult to show the best performance during the tournament’ seems to be more effective than the reason that ‘recovering from injury’. Previously, on the 21st, the national team replaced Koo Chang-mo with Kim Young-gyu (NC) and announced, “If any of the other players are judged to have decreased performance due to injuries, we will closely examine their physical condition and make additional replacements.” In conclusion, it seems that from the time of Koo Chang-mo’s replacement, the possibility of Lee Ui-ri’s replacement was left open to some extent and a final on-site inspection was conducted.
Until now, the standard has been that even if a player selected for the national team shows poor performance when international competition is imminent, ‘he or she cannot be replaced due to poor performance rather than injury.’ However, it appears that sluggish performance played a decisive role in Lee Ui-ri’s replacement. The national team itself made the choice to abandon its principles.
It is understandable that for the national team coach, who must achieve the best results, there is bound to be a lot of pressure to go with a card that one is not sure about. However, there is a question mark as to whether it is right to suddenly notify a replacement for a reason (injury) that does not fit the facts with one day left before the convocation.
For an athlete who falls from a horse just one day before embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime challenge, it is inevitable that it will remain as an irreparable wound. KIA, which has paid special attention to Lee Ui-ri’s body management with the Asian Games call-up in mind, is also disappointed.
This time, the national team decided to select three players from each team. LG (Ko Woo-seok, Moon Bo-kyung, Jeong Woo-young), NC (Kim Hyeong-jun, Kim Young-gyu, Kim Joo-won), and Samsung (Kim Seong-yoon, Kim Ji-chan, Won Tae-in) are reaching the standard. A replacement player must be selected from the remaining team. However, in the midst of a bloody last-minute ranking battle, a club that suddenly has to give up a player a day before the convocation is effectively being forced to make a ‘sacrifice’. Since the justification was lost during the replacement process, it is even more difficult to receive support.
This is Ryu Joong-il, who brought controversy upon himself even before setting sail.