Sports Chosun Reporter Kim Yeong-rok] “I hope that the fans who left will come back to the baseball field.
Taegeuk Mark, just 14 years this year. The pride of KIA Tigers Yang Hyeon-jong (35) has not changed. On the contrary, a sense of responsibility has increased.
The KIA team left for the 2023 spring camp in Tucson, USA via Incheon International Airport on the 30th.
Yang Hyeon-jong, who I met at the airport, revealed a formidable sense of responsibility amidst the excitement and composure of a player in his 17th year of debut.
The first time Yang Hyeon-jong was selected for the national team was the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. Even after that, he continued to participate in large and small international competitions, including the Asian Games, World Baseball Classic (WBC), and Premier 12. The 2023 WBC is the 6th Taegeuk mark in Yang Hyeon-jong’s career.
“The national team is a place where I feel excited every time I am selected. First of all, I feel good and honored. My mindset and sense of goal change. However, when I was young, I didn’t know anything and worked hard like the older brothers, but the more I get older, the more responsible I feel. It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t burdened. Show is the most important thing.”
Yang Hyeon-jong said, “Now there is no senior than me in the national team. I feel that I should be an example.” “But, as coach Lee Kang-cheol said, shouldn’t we take a plane to the United States (semifinals)? It’s a difficult and difficult road, but I hope our team will become one.” he emphasized.
Along with Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays) and Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG Landers), he was a left-hander who represented the national team. However, this time, he was ordered to play a somewhat unfamiliar bullpen role. As it is a tournament with a pitch limit (65 pitches per round), coach Lee Kang-cheol wants Yang Hyun-jong and Kim Gwang-hyun to play a role in supporting young starting pitchers such as Lee Eui-ri (KIA) and So Joon So-jun (KT Wiz). 안전놀이터
In the national team, he was also in charge of the pitching team. Yang Hyeon-jong laughed, saying, “In fact, young players don’t know much. The coach said, ‘Please tell me a lot of good things.’ I look forward to it in many ways.”
“I’m not going to the bullpen tomorrow, and the game is over a month away. Also, since December, I’ve heard enough stories through the media, and I’ve been preparing my body and mind. ‘I’m a starter,’ I don’t have any regrets. I don’t think there’s a single player like that.”
Yang Hyeon-jong emphasized ‘victory’ along with ‘best’. “I have a sense of purpose to show a winning game,” he raised his voice. “I want to bring fans back to the baseball field. I think it’s our homework to create a baseball boom again. We just do our best to win one game at a time. First of all, we have to go to the quarterfinals,” he said with a heavy sense of duty. .
Some of the national team players even join the WBC camp after taking care of themselves in Korea. However, Yang Hyeon-jong said, “Still, it’s good to fly with the players on our team. Gwangju is warm, so there was no big problem building up the body. The WBC stadium is right next door. Even when I’m in the national team, if possible, I try to come see my juniors after the schedule is over. “He did not hide his sense of responsibility towards his team.
How is your current condition? Yang Hyeon-jong explained, “I raised my condition faster than usual for about 10 days to 2 weeks.” This is the stage of 30~40m long toss. He was full of confidence when he said, “It is the job of a baseball player to build a body that suits the situation.”
The WBC is played with the Major League Baseball ball. It is the first American ball to be touched after returning to Korea. Yang Hyeon-jong said, “It’s definitely slippery since I’ve been touching it for a long time. But all players use this ball, and if I make an excuse for that, the fans will understand.” .
Recently, Choo Shin-soo (SSG) said in an interview with a local radio in the United States, ‘When will Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong? Pitchers like Moon Dong-joo and Ahn Woo-jin have also strongly expressed their intentions that they must change generations.
“I heard about it. I don’t put much meaning into it. I’m cautious about saying such things at an important time. I’ll save my words. However, the national team is an honor to me. Of course, I have to do my best, (because I was selected for the national team) just wants to work harder.”