February 16, 2023 10:23
Korea opened its training camp for the upcoming World Baseball Classic in Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday.
Eight coaching staff including manager Lee Kang-chul and all but two of the 30-man team gathered at the camp from their respective clubs' spring training. The two are Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres and Tommy Edman of the St. Louis Cardinals, who will join the national team in March after training with their Major League teams.
"We joined the team during our clubs' spring training and traveled long distances. We are a little tired, but now that we are all here, we will get back in top shape as soon as possible and do our best to get good results," captain Kim Hyun-soo of the LG Twins said.
Manager Lee said, "Now the players have gathered, it feels real [that we have the WBC coming up]. Some of them have come a long way, so I will pay attention to their conditioning and adjust the training plan according to the weather," Lee said.
During the training camp, which ends on Feb. 27, the team will have practice games against the NC Dinos, Kia Tigers and KT Wiz, which are also training in Arizona for the new Korean Baseball Organization season.
The team will return home on March 1 and train at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul before heading to Osaka, Japan on March 4 for exhibition games against the Orix Buffaloes on March 6 and Hanshin Tigers on March 7.
The WBC tournament will be held in different venues in Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. from March 8 to 21.
Korea is grouped with Australia, China, the Czech Republic and Japan. It will face Australia on March 9, Japan on March 10, the Czech Republic on March 12 and China on March 13 at Tokyo Dome.
Four groups consisting of five countries each play in a round-robin format, with the top two from each group advancing to the quarterfinals.
Since the quadrennial tournament's inauguration in 2006, Korea's best performance so far is its second-place finish in 2009, while being eliminated in the first round in 2013 and 2017. It is aiming to reach the semifinals this time.
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