“Excluding the national team Ahn Woo-jin…Forgiveness in Korea is not easy” Choo Shin-soo pours out his intentional remarks
On the 21st (Korean time), Choo Shin-soo appeared on ‘메이저사이트‘, a Korean radio station in Dallas, Texas, USA, and talked about the WBC Korean team to be held in March.
Choo Shin-soo, who said, “In the case of Japan, there are many new faces when playing international competitions.” Of course, they are players who have enough skills to go to the competition. However, if it were me, I would have looked at the future rather than the immediate results,” he said, pointing out that many young players were not included in the national team.
Choo Shin-soo said, “From my experience, there are many good young players. When you participate in international competitions such as the WBC from a young age, the feelings and mind itself change. For example, Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha) is said to be lacking in control, but he doesn’t have that much pitching ability. The same goes for Ahn Woo-jin. It is the job of Korean baseball to create opportunities for such players to compete in international competitions,” he raised his voice.
An Woo-jin had the best season last year. In 30 games (196 innings), he posted an outstanding performance with a 15-8 record and a 2.11 earned run average. He recorded 224 strikeouts, ranking second in the KBO league’s history for the most strikeouts in a single season, and at the same time won two pitcher crowns (average earned runs, strikeouts). After the season, he won the Golden Glove and was recognized as the best pitcher in the KBO League.
However, Ahn Woo-jin committed school violence while attending Whimoon High School and received a 3-year suspension from the Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA). Because of this, according to the regulations, KBSA’s participation in international competitions such as the Olympics and Asian Games was permanently disqualified.
Since the WBC is an international tournament in which the KBO, not KBSA, participates, there is no problem with Ahn Woo-jin participating in the national team according to the rules. However, the KBO did not select An Woo-jin for the national team considering his disciplinary history.
Regarding this, Choo Shin-soo said, “Ahn Woo-jin clearly did the wrong thing,” but “It’s a pity to see only what is heard and seen as a third person. In a way, he is a player who can become the next best player after Park Chan-ho. He plays baseball in Korea, but there are so many things that don’t make sense. He made mistakes as a child, but now has remorse and has been suspended. Even so, he can’t go to the national team. There are so many things to say,” he insisted, that he should have chosen Ahn Woo-jin as the national representative.
Choo Shin-soo pointed out, “Rather than protecting Ahn Woo-jin, it seems that it is not easy to forgive (Korea).” “There are things I want to say to many seniors. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re a senior. If there is a junior who is being treated unreasonably like this, he thinks he should take off his feet. But nobody steps out. If my juniors are exercising in the wrong place, I should try to change them, but I just watch them. It’s a pity,” he said, claiming that baseball seniors should have stepped up for An Woo-jin.
Korea, which is in Group B of the WBC held in Tokyo, Japan, will face Australia on March 9, Japan on the 10th, the Czech Republic on the 12th, and China on the 13th. Choo Shin-soo strongly insisted on Ahn Woo-jin’s selection for the national team, but it is also true that negative public opinion is strong for a player with a history of school violence to represent the national team. It is expected that it will be difficult for the KBO to select Ahn Woo-jin as a national representative.