“The stage I’ve always imagined” LG Ace has emphasized KS more than anyone else, Rolex is not important when it comes to winning [SS Interview]
“I don’t necessarily need to get (a Rolex). “Someone on our team just needs to receive it.”스포츠토토
My earnest wish has come true. The Korean Series (KS), which has been emphasized since the moment I first set foot on Korean soil in 2019, will take place on the stage. He was selected early on as the starting pitcher for the first game, symbolizing the team. LG Ace Casey Kelly (34) expressed his special feelings for KS.
He is the best foreign pitcher in LG’s history. He is a foreign player who has worn the LG pinstripe uniform for the longest time and has also amassed a remarkable record. He is the LG foreign pitcher with the most wins (68 wins), most innings (875.2), and most strikeouts (684). Since 2019, when Kelly wore the LG uniform, LG has been on the postseason stage every year, and Kelly has also performed superbly in the postseason.
That’s how strong his obsession with reaching the top is. Two years ago, he gave up his vacation and stayed in Korea even though his wife was about to give birth to her son in the United States. Since he was competing for rankings at the end of the regular season, he asked for understanding from his family and completed the pennant race. Last year, he even pitched as a starter after three days of rest for the first time in his baseball career. After the first game of the playoffs, he stood on the mound in the fourth game and gave his all.
And this year. I am standing on the KS stage that I have always wanted. Although they had a difficult time with ups and downs until the middle of the season, they regained their form in the second half and the team won the pennant race for the first time in 29 years. As always, Kelly is in charge of the team’s first postseason game as an ace.
On the 19th, I had an interview with Kelly, who started KS camp training at LG Champions Park in Icheon. The following is a Q&A interview with Kelly and reporters.
-Preparation for the postseason is very different from before. In the past, there wasn’t much time until the first postseason. Last year, I had some time to spare, but this year I have to start KS right away and the preparation period is also long, over 3 weeks.
I’m very glad that I have time to catch my breath. This time last year, we were preparing for the playoffs as well. This year, I will take some more rest and start training for KS now. I think the current preparation period will be good for all players.
-KS was confirmed as the starting pitcher for the first game. How will you spend until November 7th, the first round of KS?
First of all, we will train according to the schedule we had during the regular season. As much as I have rested so far, I am building up my stamina and strength step by step. We will gradually increase the intensity according to our physical condition and prepare for actual competition.
-KS has been emphasized in every interview over the past few years. Now the real KS is on stage. How do you feel when you think about starting the first game in KS?
It will be a very good experience and a very good opportunity. After coming to Korea, he said he really wanted to pitch at KS every year. That thought has not changed this year either, and the opportunity has finally come. All of our players played at a very high level during the regular season. I want to show that in KS as well. I’m sure our fans will fill the baseball stadium, and I’m really looking forward to that scene. I will be very nervous before I throw the first pitch in Game 1, but I think after I throw the first pitch, it will be the same baseball I always play.
-If you become KS MVP, you can receive a Rolex watch. Do you know that?
Know. Everyone knows that it is a really cool watch and a luxury watch. But I don’t have to get it. All we have to do is have someone on our team receive it. Doesn’t that mean that our team won the championship? The most important thing is for our team to win.
-Then, KS’ record is 4 wins, 0 losses, and a sweep win. Or, if you were to choose the KS MVP based on KS’ record of 4 wins, 1 loss, and 1 win, which would you choose? The latter is a scenario in which he pitches in both the 1st and 5th KS games and becomes the winning pitcher, becoming the KS MVP.
It’s a 4-0 sweep. A sweep is best if you can. Doesn’t the burden of appearing on the mound in Game 5 disappear? It will be really difficult, but I hope for a 4-0 sweep if possible.
-How many times have you won so far?
It happened twice. The first time was when I was in high school. The second time was during the Minor League Double A era.
-If you win for the third time, what will it mean to you?
The win itself is meaningful. You never know when you will win. It’s not like you just want it. So, if I win the upcoming KS, I think it will have a different meaning and be very special.
-The postseason starts later than before. Aren’t you worried about the cold in the first game of KS?
Honestly, the cold weather in April is always difficult and worrying. There were many difficult times in April. But October and November were okay. Probably hitters hate cold weather more than pitchers.
-As I said, I have always performed well in the postseason over the past four years. I think that might be a burden in this KS. You’ve continued to do well, but don’t you feel pressured to do well in the most important KS as well?
It is not without burden. There is pressure because my goal is to advance to KS and win. But I don’t think that burden is always a bad thing. In fact, it may work for the better. The pressure makes you more focused and releases adrenaline, which can lead to better performance. There is a burden, but I think that is also a factor that can have a positive effect on me. So I don’t think that pressure is a bad thing.
-When I was young, I probably dreamed of something like starting Game 1 of the World Series before going to sleep. Have you ever thought about coming to Korea and appearing as a starter in the first game of KS?
I tend to imagine a lot. So, ever since I was young, I often imagined myself going to a big game. The same is true in Korea. To be honest, I really imagined going out and throwing in the first game of KS against SSG last year. While imagining it, I wonder what it will be like when that moment really comes, and when that moment comes, it is fun and enjoyable. This year, of course, I still imagine starting the first game in KS.
-Then, in your imagination, where is KS’ opposing team?
I don’t know about that. All teams in the postseason are strong. It’s hard to pinpoint which team. No matter which team we face, it will never be an easy game. I will prepare that well.