“If you have seen the future, it is true that many players do not go to the national team.”
SSG Landers veteran hitter Choo Shin-soo (41) recently appeared on Korean radio DKNET in Dallas, Texas, USA, raising his voice, “How long are Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong?” blamed
Choo Shin-soo’s biggest complaint was the slow generational change. He said, “In Japan, there are so many new faces when international competitions are held.” “If it were me, I would have seen the future. It is true that many players would not go if they had looked at the future rather than the current results. There should have been more players to be selected,” he said, pointing to the selection of players by the KBO Technical Committee.
At the same time, “How long are Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG) and Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA)? In Japan, there is an article saying that there is another Kim Gwang-hyun. From my own experience (in the KBO League), there are an enormous number of talented players. “Why can’t such players do it?” “When I participate in international competitions when I am young, the emotions and mindset I feel change tremendously. These players have things to do in Korean baseball in the future.”
The gist of Shin-soo Choo’s remarks is the future. The core of the argument is that he was blinded by the immediate performance and selected the players without looking at the future at all. According to his logic, all players in their mid-30s, including Kim Gwang-hyeon, Yang Hyeon-jong, Kim Hyeon-soo (LG), Lee Ji-young (Kiwoom), Yang Eui-ji (Doosan), and Park Byung-ho (KT), should have given up on the selection for the WBC national team. It is a principle for the national team to select the most talented players at the time of selection regardless of age, but they were not allowed to wear the Taegeuk mark just because they were veterans. Because they have to give up their seats to young players.
If so, did Choo Shin-soo put importance on the future in his team, SSG? Choo Shin-soo was sluggish last year when he received the second highest annual salary of 2.7 billion won in the league. Compared to the 2021 season, which was his first season in Korea, all figures such as batting average, hits, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, and OPS have decreased. 안전놀이터
Looking at his annual salary alone, it may seem that his batting average, which was in the mid-30s, has fallen to the early stages. However, for 2.7 billion batters, 30% is a dream batting average. Still, in the 2021 season, the oldest 20 homers-20 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .409 covered the poor batting average of 26/25, but last year, he only played 112 games due to injury, and the batting average further dropped to 25/29. It was a performance that did not fit the title of hitter’s salary king at all. As Choo Shin-soo said, it was a record that made it okay to think about the future and give up space to juniors.
However, Choo Shin-soo decided to extend his active duty in December of last year. The SSG club announced, “Considering the salary cap system that will be applied from the 2023 season, Choo Shin-soo has agreed with the club to reduce the annual salary (2.7 billion won) that he has maintained since the first year of joining the club and junior players for the club.” amounting to 1.7 billion won. A 41-year-old player with a batting average in the mid-20% range was not enough to occupy a spot in the entry, and he even received a high salary.
Even before appearing on a radio broadcast, Choo Shin-soo’s active duty extension was applauded. Even though his grades were poor, his clubhouse leadership, various social contribution activities, and good influence in improving the away locker room facilities were highly evaluated. Choo Shin-soo was the mental support of the Landers team and the KBO League. Unlike the days of Major League Texas, it was rare to see articles on the ‘eating and running’ controversy in the KBO League.
However, due to Choo Shin-soo’s careless remarks, SSG also became a club that did not see the future. This is because he entrusted a spot in the first team entry like a needle hole to a 41-year-old player undergoing an aging curve.
SSG did not simply offer an extension contract based on performance on the ground. Complex factors such as leadership and influence worked. The national team is like that too. Clubhouse leaders are essential for large-scale international competitions such as the WBC, and the veteran players mentioned by Choo Shin-soo still possess top-level skills in the KBO League. This is why Choo Shin-soo’s remarks are pointed out as absurd.
Let’s take a look at Shin-soo Choo’s classmates born in 1982. Lee Dae-ho, the heart of Lotte, retired last year to make room for his juniors, despite his outstanding performance in 142 games, 23 homers and 101 RBIs. And Samsung Oh Seung-hwan entrusted the club with the annual salary for the 2023 season in the sense of Baek Ui-jong-gun for the team’s rebound. On the other hand, Choo Shin-soo, who received an annual salary of 2.7 billion won, had a batting average of 2.5 9 ri in the 2022 season.