“Wouldn’t Kang Baek-ho feel more comfortable after winning the gold medal? It’s a big gain for us ahead of the postseason.”
Ahead of the end of the regular season, KT Wiz coach Lee Kang-cheol smiled broadly. That’s right, in an atmosphere of collapse at the beginning of the season when it seemed like they would be in last place, they came up step by step and created a miracle of finishing the regular season in second place. Coach Lee signed a three-year contract extension with the highest treatment as a coach before the postseason even started.
In addition, the team’s star star, Kang Baek-ho, and future mound player Park Young-hyun won gold medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games. In particular, Coach Lee attached great significance to Kang Baek-ho’s medal win. Coach Lee explained, “He played a good role as a senior in the Asian Games. He must have felt mentally at ease by winning the gold medal. This is very encouraging for us as we head into the postseason.”
Kang Baek-ho is an indispensable central hitter for KT. The regular season is important, but in short-term games, players who can hit big shots and act as problem solvers are absolutely necessary. There aren’t many hitters in the league with that ability. In KT, Kang Baek-ho is a hitter who can intimidate opponents.
However, Kang Baek-ho’s baseball life has continued to go downhill in recent years. The dugout ‘gum incident’ at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics begins. Last season, he suffered a fractured toe before the start of the season. An ordeal that came to Kang Baek-ho, who had nothing to fear. It ruined the entire 2022 season. However, he was criticized again when it was revealed that he negotiated with a high attitude until the end despite his poor performance in the winter salary negotiation. In addition, in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), where he tried to make up for various rumors, he received national attention again with the absurd scene of hitting a double, cheering to boost team morale, and then being out. During the season, after getting scolded for an insincere outfield throw, he was sent down to the second team for a long time and confessed that he suffered from panic attacks.
Winning the gold medal at the Asian Games was an opportunity to blow away all this pain. Receiving military service benefits was important to his career as a player, but it was encouraging that he achieved excellent results without any problems amid concerns about ‘what else will Baek-ho Kang do?’ Kang Baek-ho also seemed relieved after winning the gold medal. So, I was looking forward to Kang Baek-ho’s performance in this fall baseball season. There is a difference between playing baseball in a mentally comfortable state and not being mentally comfortable.메이저놀이터
But it ended in vain. With the playoffs just around the corner, he tore a muscle in his side during a practice game. I thought all that was left was for things to work out well, but both KT and the player himself were left to feel discouraged by the unexpected bad news.
In particular, it will be a headache for Coach Lee, who had high expectations for Kang Baek-ho, to have to rethink the playoff plan. From Manager Lee’s point of view, when Kang Baek-ho was missing during the regular season, it became important to keep the memory of him hitting hard and bring out the cohesion of the batting lineup as much as possible.