Seoul Awaits KBO Pitcher’s Unconventional Ambition Against MLB’s Machado

Seoul – The Korea Baseball Organization's (KBO) KT Wiz closer Park Yeong-hyun is setting an unconventional goal for himself as he looks forward to pitching against Major League Baseball (MLB) star Manny Machado. Park, who is poised to join the South Korean national team, anticipates this unique encounter during an exhibition game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul against the San Diego Padres.

According to Yonhap News Agency, manager Lee Kang-chul has indicated that Park Yeong-hyun will be part of the "Team Korea" roster facing the Padres on March 17. This game precedes the Padres' significant opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Seoul, marking a highlight event in the MLB calendar.

The focus, however, is on Park's unusual aspiration regarding his potential face-off with Manny Machado, a decorated MLB player known for his impressive career achievements, including six All-Star selections and notable MVP voting placements. While pitchers typically aim to showcase their skill by outmatching such prominent hitters, Park expressed a distinct perspective, humorously noting his interest in allowing a home run to Machado, whom he respects greatly.

Beyond this light-hearted comment lies Park's awareness of his current readiness for the upcoming season, which starts shortly after the exhibition. Weather disruptions during the Wiz's training camp in Okinawa have left him uncertain about his physical condition and game readiness.

Despite concerns from Wiz manager Lee about the risks of participating in high-profile exhibition games, Park remains focused on his preparation, valuing the experience over the outcome. He aims to harness this opportunity to fine-tune his performance, transitioning into his new role as the team's closer following Kim Jae-yoon's departure.

As Park navigates his dual objectives of facing an MLB luminary and gearing up for the KBO season, his approach reflects a blend of respect for the opposition and dedication to his professional growth, set against the backdrop of international baseball anticipation in Seoul.

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