China manager Treanor feels confident ahead of Japan clash at WBC

TOKYO, March 8– China manager Dean Treanor said here on Wednesday that as the underdog of the World Baseball Classic, China should not be written off before their opener against host Japan. We like the challenge at the WBC, not only from Japan but also from South Korea, Australia and the Czech Republic. ” I am anxious for China to play Japan and other teams.

TOKYO, March 8 (Xinhua) — China manager Dean Treanor said here on Wednesday that as the underdog of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), China should not be written off before their opener against host Japan.

“In no way ever, would I ever say that Team China is not ready to take on anybody,” the 75-year-old American said. “We are ready to play. We have been playing very well. We like the challenge at the WBC, not only from Japan but also from South Korea, Australia and the Czech Republic.”

Japan, led by MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani, has been a baseball powerhouse since the early 1990s and won gold at home when the sport returned to the Olympic Games after being dropped from the Olympic program at the 2012 and 2016 Games.

“This team has practiced and played for two and half months,” Dean said. “They deserve to be here. I am anxious for China to play Japan and other teams. We believe we can win. I believe in this team. I would never ever hold up the white flag and say we have no chance against anybody. I stand by my team, and I stand by my players.”

Treanor said that China will grow as a baseball country despite that playing baseball has not been a tradition in the world’s most populous nation.

“We are trying to grow a culture, and I think the players have embraced it. They have embraced me and I’ve said this before, and you know, people look at me like I’m crazy but this team has made me feel Chinese, and I believe I’m Chinese right now, being part of team China.”

China has competed in every WBC since the inaugural tournament in 2006 but they managed only two wins in 12 matches. They scored just a single run when the WBC was held in 2017. Enditem