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Time to Start Again for Park Chan-ho

Posted August. 01, 2005 06:08,   


Park Chan-ho (32) has been traded to San Diego Padres.

Right before Park’s away game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada on July 30, the Texas Rangers announced they had traded Park to the San Diego Padres for Phil Nevin. Phil Nevin is a right-handed slugger, with a batting average of .276, 183 homers, and 667 runs batted in over his 12 year career.

Under the trade deal, Park, who joined Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994, returns to the National League West division where he started his major league career in three years and seven months after he moved to the Texas Rangers in 2002.

In recent days, Park and Nevin were white elephant-like figures on their teams. Both of them were on the trading block, but no team willingly tried to acquire them due to injuries, a slump, and huge salaries. The trade of Park and Nevin fits the above-mentioned situation between the two teams. The Texas Rangers will compensate San Diego for $7 million in return for a powerful designated hitter, while the San Diego Padres get an ace-level starting pitcher in exchange.

What Kind of Team Is the San Diego Padres?-

Since its establishment in 1969, the San Diego Padres have won league pennants twice (1984, 1998) but have never won the World Series. San Diego is where the first Catholic Church was built in the U.S., and the team was named the San Diego Padres, meaning “priests.”

Although San Diego is in first place in the National League West, after the announcement of Park’s trade, it suffered its second straight defeat, and is being chased by the Arizona Diamondbacks (51 wins and 55 losses) who trail by only one game. The San Diego Padres currently records 51 wins and 53 losses.

San Diego’s home field, Petco Park, is a pitcher-friendly stadium, with its wide outfield.

Good bye, American League-

Besides Park, other Korean pitchers, including Kim Byung-hyun, Kim Sun-woo, and Song Seung-joon, didn’t have a good time in the American League, where the designated hitter system is in place.

Park was a great pitcher with a record of 80 wins, 54 losses and a 3.80 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers but he only recorded 22 wins, 23 losses, and a 5.78 ERA for the Texas Rangers.

For his part, Park also grabbed the opportunity to show off his batting skill. Park currently has 60 runs, two homers, 15 doubles, and 23 runs batted in 350 at-bats in his career.

Park’s Padre Debut-

Park’s second National League debut will be in an away game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 8:05 a.m. on August 4.

Kim Byung-hyun also will pitch in an away game against the San Francisco Giants at 11:05 a.m. on the same day. It’s the first time this year that Park and Kim will start games on the same day.

Hwan Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com