Evolved from a star to a ‘leader’, Japan was excited when Ohtani became wild
Japanese baseball team Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) is reborn as a ‘leader’ from a superstar.
On the 21st (Korean time), Japan won 6-5 with a timely hit by Munetaka Murakami (Yakult Swallows) to end the 9th inning in the semifinal match against Mexico at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) held at Londipo Park in Miami, Florida, USA. On the 22nd, the U.S. headed for the long-awaited final.
From the time the national team was convened in November of last year ahead of this tournament, Japan had only one goal: to win. Including Ohtani, Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres), Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox), the first foreign player Lars Nutba (St. Louis Cardinals), domestic giant Murakami, and fastball pitcher Loki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines), the Japanese version of the ‘Dream Team’ was formed. because it’s done온라인카지노
The U.S. also attracted major leaguers from each team, but Japan was an ultra-luxurious member whose players could not be known when they would gather again. Among them, the one that received the most attention was Ohtani, the “Lee Do-ryu” who is currently raising the pitch the most in the major leagues. The mere fact that Ohtani was joining the WBC for the first time drew great attention in both the United States and Japan.
What Japan expected from Ohtani was a pitching performance, but Ohtani is becoming a leader who unites the team both on and off the field. Ohtani came out as the lead batter in the bottom of the 9th inning of the semi-finals and showed a fighting spirit by throwing off his helmet that got in the way when going around first base when Woo Joong-wol hit a double. Ohtani doesn’t usually celebrate when he hits a home run, but he also showed gestures that were on a different level than when he was on his team.
Could it be that he was stimulated by Ohtani’s roar? In Japan, which was trailing 4-5, Yoshida got on base with a walk, and Murakami, who was sluggish with 4 hits in 21 at-bats in 6 games until the previous at-bat, hit a double with 2 RBIs in the middle of the game to end the game. Embracing the silent player, Japan became a true ‘one team’ on the ground.
According to ‘Sankei Sports’, it was Ohtani who encouraged Murakami, who had not felt good at hitting since the practice game before this tournament. The above media said, “Otani tried to lighten Murakami’s burden by rubbing Murakami’s shoulders.” In an interview after the semifinal match, Ohtani praised his junior, saying, “I believed Murakami would hit,” and on social media, he posted a picture of him smiling brightly in the clubhouse with Murakami.
Ohtani’s wild horse-like sprint and gestures that excited everyone left a deep impression on both Japanese fans and those watching the game. Reporter Michael Claire, who covers the WBC, said, “When Ohtani hits a double as the lead batter, the baseball field seems to explode.”