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Chan-ho Starts the Revival Pitching, “Power Is Being Added to My Ball”

Chan-ho Starts the Revival Pitching, “Power Is Being Added to My Ball”

Posted February. 14, 2003 22:36,   


It was the 14th in Surprise, Arizona, USA, where the Texas Rangers started the spring camp. Park Chan-ho (30) participated on the practice seriously and enthusiastically through out the practice. He threw balls in dynamic pitching motion with his unique yelling, and there came out nimble sound at the mitt of a Minor League hopeful Gerald Rayerd, who caught Park, Chan-Ho`s ball.

Total number of pitches for that day was 38. He did half-pitching for 7 while the catcher was standing, and pitched 31 in full power. Except few curve balls, it was confident pitching with mainly fastballs.

The expression on Park Chan-ho`s face after the first team practice was very bright. He made the audience laugh with frequent jokes during the interview. The following is the direct interview with Park, Chan-Ho, who appeared with well-groomed face after taking shower and got shaved.

―Is your injury completely recovered?

“The sequela of back injury in 2001 seemed to affect my pitching until the last season. I`m still being careful, but I think I`m at 80~90% level. I am enjoying to play these days.”

―To recovering the fastball is the key…

“I have confident to throw more strikes. Since the pain on the left foot when I pitch is gone, I think it will be different this year. Instead of speed, more power seems to happen on the ball. Since I continuously done weight training, my muscular strength got better. During today`s pitching, balls hit where I wanted to hit. I have confidence in my ball control and I see the ‘target’ better.”

―What is the difference between the spring camp in Florida and in Arizona?

“I had a bond to Arizona when I was in the Minor League AAA (Albuquerque Dukes) in 95. I have a good memory that I had played here and moved up to the Major League the next year. I feel comfortable that restaurants and environments are familiar.”

―What do you think about the possibility of Kim Byung-hyun`s being a starter?

“We had a dinner together in Arizona and talked about many things in Byung-hyun`s house. I learned a lot at Byung-hyun`s house. He seemed to decorate the house well and live nicely. He prepared really well and grew up very much. When I was in slump last year, he comforted me over the phone and helped me a lot. I believe that he will do well.”

―You are facing 100 wins this season… (89 wins 62 losses until last year)

“To have 100 wins is important, but one win right now is more important. I hope that one will be the season opener…. I think if I achieve 100 wins and 200 wins, better things will come. Of course, the day I got the 100th win will be a monumental day.”

―Could you say a word to your fans?

“I had a bad slump last year. I need to do well from now on, and I will do my best.”

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com