Go to contents

Shaky Mind, Shaky Batting of Mah Hye-young

Posted June. 12, 2003 21:38,   


Samsung Lee Seung-yup is compared to a sports car, while slugger Mah Hye-young is to a cannon. That is why he is nicknamed Cannon Wagon. But the cannon wagon got stuck on the road. Manager Kim Eung-ryong breathes out a big sigh, saying, "Something wrong happened to him."

The batting lineup consisting of Lee and Mah was the best of the best among eight teams. In Game 6 of the Korean Series, the two hit the same number of home runs. But Mah has been losing steam these days. Coincidentally, his fizzling-out started when Lee began to fire home run after home run.

Up to May 27th, Lee punched 17 home runs and Mah 14. From the next day against Doosan, Lee began to fire out home runs. For example, he hit 15 home runs in 12 games including the two home runs made against Doosan on May 28th.

On the other hand, Mah has added just two home runs thereafter. For ten games from May 30th against Moonhak SK to June 8th against Hanhwa, he was one for 30, the worst record he has ever made. Wednesday, his hit led to a triple play, killing runners on first and second, along with himself. He was originally fourth in the lineup. Now he is reduced to seventh.

Experts believe that Mah`s slump has been triggered in considerable part by his rivalry with Lee.

Before Lee left for the Untied States early this year, Mah reportedly decided to lead the season in the home run race.

"Mah`s slump has something to do with Lee`s uprising," says Samsung batting coach Park Heung-sik. He continues, "He began to swing big and ruined his balance. The turbulence seems to have stemmed from within himself." Mah first got the "batting MVP" title in 1999 with Lotte. But his record did not earn much attention from the media. Lee set a new season home run record in the same year.

That is why he wants to have a bout with Lee. Without getting rid of the mental burden he has, however, Mah might end up getting deeper and deeper into the slump.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com