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Choi Hee-seop Demoted to Minors

Posted August. 18, 2003 22:08,   


Choi Hee-seop(14, Chicago Cubs) was finally demoted to the Minor League.

Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker notified Choi privately after the Sunday match against the LA Dodgers that he was optioned to the Chicago Cubs` triple-A affiliate in Iowa.

Baker consoled Choi, saying “Things will work out well. Come back with your mighty swing. Let`s see us each other in 2 weeks,” but the reason behind the demotion is his prolonged slump. Choi was treated as one of the best rookies and even garnered National League Rookie of the Month honors in April. However, after he suffered a severe concussion June 8 at the match against the New York Yankees in a collision with teammate Kerry Wood, he went downhill. Choi had a batting average of 0.244 with 7 homers but after returning from the injury on July 1 at the match against the Philadelphia Phillies, his performance for the coming 26 games were really sluggish with bat. avg. of .180 with one homer.

As Choi`s rival in the team, first baseman Eric Karros who was expected to share duties with Choi at first, did a wonderful job, Choi did not have chance to step his foot on the ground and, even worse, the Cubs acquired first baseman Randall Simon from the Pittsburgh Pirates, who is not only the first baseman but also bats from the left side of the plate.

Simon with the right-handed hitting

Hence, we will probably not be able to see the first Korean batter in the post season this year. In order for a player to advance to the post season, the player`s name should be on the 25-player roster until September 1. Unless some one injures, Choi is likely to stay in the Minors at least until September 2, when the entry of the Big League increases to 40. “I will take solace in playing more games. I have homework, I have to get back the swing I had in April and May,” Choi said.

Chang Jeon jeon@donga.com