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``Who Will Take the Fourth Place? The Samsung-Hyundai Mind``

``Who Will Take the Fourth Place? The Samsung-Hyundai Mind``

Posted September. 15, 2001 08:21,   


``Whom shall we choose as partner.``

Every year, the top ranking teams have traditionally chosen their post-season partners during the month of September. This year is not an exception.

The ones with the say are the first-ranked Samsung and the second-ranked Hyundai. Samsung, who has in reality already secured for itself the first place in the penant race for the first time in fourteen years since 1987, clearly says no to Kia and Hanhwa.

Although Kia is the home team of the elephant coach Kim Eung-Ryong, Samsung has had its brush with Kia. After having made it through to the finals in the Korean Series on six occasions, it ended up finishing second on three occasions due to its defeat by Kia. Should Kia make it through to the Korean Series from the semi-playoff, Samsung cannot be unmindful of its jinx.

Samsung actually attained three victories and one loss in its series game with Kia earlier this week by means of picking out and rotating the following best players: Lim Chang-Yong; Bae Young-Soo; Lee Yong-Hoon; Noh Jang-Jin. On the other hand, the first game forerunner Park Dong-Hee only achieved two victories while suffering one loss in the match against Sun-Kyung.

The reason why Samsung is avoiding Hanhwa stems from the uncomfortable feeling since the field training in Arizona a year ago. Samsung, who was defeated in every practice game during the training time, became more bitter with Hanhwa due to frequent bean ball complaints and Galbeth`s employment visa issue. It was probably because of such background that Samsung made an all-out effort to attain victory over the two teams, thirteen wins and six losses with Kia, and thirteen wins and three losses with Hanhwa.

In contrast, Hyundai who has to play from the playoff is busy coming up with a strategy to pick out the team that will enervate the third-ranked Doosan in the semi-playoff.

The `fox` coach Kim Jae-Park appears to have chosen LG as the possible fourth candidate. Although Doosan is a team with mighty batting power, it always engages in a close combat when it meets its `Seoul rival` LG. This year Hyundai with a record of eight wins, two draws, and nine losses, failed to achieve a fifty per cent victory against LG only.

As to who will claim the fourth place, the team ability clearly is important. However, the surrounding situation, which will be much influenced by the two mighty teams Samsung and Hyundai, will undoubtedly function as a major factor.

Zang Hwan-Soo zangpabo@donga.com