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Lee Seung-yeop’s Season Concluded Successfully

Posted October. 11, 2006 06:49,   


A batting average of 0.325, 41 home runs, and 108 RBIs (stats as of October 9).

Lee Seung-yeop (30), playing for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japanese baseball league, has finished his successful season this year with the game against Chunichi held at the Tokyo Dome on October 10. Although Yomiuri is scheduled to have its final game of the season on October 15, Lee will be off for the season before the game because he will have a surgery on his left knee on October 13. Here, we try to sum up his season with a set of keywords.

Tatsunori Hara-

Had it not been for the Giants manager Tatsunori Hara, Lee couldn’t have accomplished what he had this year. Hara has been not only a supporter of Lee, but also a mentor. Backed by Hara’s full trust, Lee was able to exercise the best he could.

Thanks to Hara’s designation, Lee has been the fourth batter since the opening game of the season, being the 70th player to take the spot in the batting lineup in Yomiuri’s history. Lee has made a satisfactory response to Hara’s expectations with a solid number of home runs.

The Solitary Fighter-

This term was the one used most frequently by the Japanese press to describe Lee’s performance this season. While the team’s standing was plummeting due to successive injuries of their key players, including Hiroki Kokubo and Yoshinobu Takahashi, it was Lee who kept Yomiuri from crumbling. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the Giants fans hardly had any other fun except counting Lee’s homers.

Among the home run milestones Lee has reached this year are the game-ending homer on April 21, the one on August 1 which was his career 400th in both Korean and Japanese leagues, the one on September 7 against Hanshin which was the last team he hadn’t yet produced a home run against, and the one against Yokohama on October 4 which brought Lee the tying record to the biggest number of home runs produced in Tokyo Dome for a season, namely 22. On June 11, in the game against Lotte, he experienced an embarrassing event when he had his home run negated as the umpire called falsely that Lee’s previous runner passed by a base without stepping.

Tyrone Woods-

The injury Lee got suffered on his left knee by the end of the season was indeed a sore and a regretful one. Up until July, he was on a smooth pace and many predicted that he could hit 50 home runs. After he had the injury in August, however, the pace began to lag dramatically. On the other hand, Tyrone Woods (Chunichi, 45 home runs), who has been his home run title rival since they played together in the Korean league, put on a brilliant last spurt to seize the title. Eventually, Lee turned out to be a crownless king at the end of the season.

Major League-

Since the middle of the season, whether Lee would challenge for the Major League, which has been his lifelong dream, or stay with Yomiuri has been a question of the public’s interest. Even a specific amount of offer, one billion yen (roughly 8.5 billion won) for three years, was reported. It is the likeliest that Lee would stay for the next season due to his current injury. As for this matter, Lee recently mentioned, “Nothing has been decided yet. I will make my decision after I get the offers after the end of the season.”