90-minute flight → 8-hour bus transfer… Lee Kang-cheol-ho’s march to hell, a rough road home

Is there a trickier trick than this? And could it have been more betrayal than this? The World Baseball Classic (WBC) Korean national team is facing all kinds of bad news even before the start of the tournament. On the 9th of next month, with less than 10 days left before the first match of the group stage against Australia, a red light came on for condition management.

On the 15th (hereafter Korean time), the WBC national team held a field training in Tucson, Arizona, USA. It was a place where KT Wiz, led by head coach Lee Kang-cheol, set up a campground, and there were many baseball fields that could be used. Also, sparring partners such as KT, NC, KIA, and LG were easily available. Most of all, it was the best training place to satisfy the front desk, on-site coaching staff, and players thanks to the mild weather.스포츠토토

However, after the call-up, it creaked from the training process and practice game. Mild weather was nowhere to be found, followed by chilly weather. Strange waves overlapped with bad weather. The weather didn’t help, sometimes even spraying snow. The KT practice game on the 23rd was postponed due to strong winds, and the match against LG on the 27th was canceled due to bad weather. The pitchers’ condition did not improve, and they ended up on their way home.

However, the biggest bad news happened the day I returned home. The national team was scheduled to return to Korea on the 1st of next month via LA from Tucson on the 28th. The plan is to travel from Tucson to LA in 3 planes and then return home in 2 planes from LA. 

By the way, coaching staff including coach Lee Kang-cheol, Kim Min-ho, Kim Min-jae, Shim Jae-hak, Koh Young-pyo, Sohn Joon-jun, Kang Baek-ho (Kiwoom Lee, Lee Sang-jun), Ko Woo-seok, Jung Woo-yeong, Kim Yun-shik, Oh Ji-hwan, Kim Hyun-soo, Park Hae-min (Lee Sang-gi), Lee Ji-young Kim Hye-seong, and Lee Jung-hoo (Lee Sang-kium) ), Kim Kwang-hyeon, Choi Jeong, Choi Ji-hoon (above SSG), Kim Won-jung (Lotte), Kwak Bin, and Jeong Cheol-won (above Doosan), the plane that 22 people were trying to board failed to take off due to a fuselage defect.

I even boarded, but a defect in the fuselage was discovered and I had to get off again, and the flight was eventually canceled. There are no more flights to LA on this day. In the end, the national team was tied up in Tucson. Instead, we decided to seek cooperation from the LG club and move to LA Airport by bus. Even this, due to the driver’s legal working hours, he has to transfer to a bus from LA. 

First of all, I had to travel 8 hours to LA, so I couldn’t board the previously booked flight to Korea. In the end, I had to find a flight to Korea again, and I will return home on Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, which take off on the morning of the 28th local time. 

A KBO official was relieved, saying, “It is fortunate that the defect was discovered before take-off,” but it cannot be denied that there were problems with the schedule and condition management of the players later.

I was able to travel comfortably from Tucson to LA in about 90 minutes by plane. However, it now takes about 8 hours by land to get to Los Angeles International Airport. It is expected to arrive only at dawn local time. And I have to take a morning flight straight away and return to Korea after a 13-14 hour flight. It is a schedule that can only build up fatigue.

Afterwards, the national team will have training and practice matches at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 2nd and 3rd, move to Japan on the 4th, and will play a practice match against the Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes in Osaka from the 5th. And after a practice game on the 7th, they will move to Tokyo Dome, the place of the final match, and play their first match against Australia. The schedule is tight.

Arizona’s betrayal, which he trusted, brought Lee Kang-cheol back to the schedule where he had to march through hell.

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