(Translated, via SK media outlet Naver sports.)
St. Louis Cardinals closer, Oh Seung-hwan, 34, expressed interest representing the South Korean team in next year’s World Baseball Classic, via report.
However, due to his illegal overseas gambling incident in Macau last year, in which both him and previous Samsung Lions closer, and former Major leaguer Lim Chang-yong was indicted by the SCDP (Seoul Central District Prosecutors) a 7 million Won fine back in January of this year, and also a half a season ban in the KBO if the two of them were to return… The national team/league, and the KBO’s player association are still in talks whether to include Oh in the roster, or not.
Ahn Ji-man, also a top reliever of the KBO playing for the Samsung Lions team was once an option they considered before, but, due to him currently under investigation, on suspisions of helping a friend opening a gambling website… Things are looking rather dim.
When asked about this upcoming WBC tournament, here’s what Oh stated in an interview below.
“It’s not within my grasp, I would like to participate… I really do, but this is something for them [national team/players association] to decide.”
Oh Seung-hwan appeared with the team in the opening of the first World Baseball Classic in 2006, and the second edition in 2009, and has won both bronze and silver medals, respectively, in those years. The South Korean team will play their first game in the newly opened Gocheok Skydome in 2017 (Nexen Heroes home stadium, opened this early year).
The South Korean national team are in desperate need of a closer, if they want to win securing a spot in the top standings, they’ll need their best players to accomplish that.
In Oh Seung-hwan’s first ever in the big leagues with the Cardinals this season, so far, he has posted a record of 2-2 with an ERA of 2.06 in 56 games (56.2 innings pitched), and has established himself as one of the best relievers in the National league today.