Go to contents

Heavy Bat, Heavy Mind

Posted July. 13, 2007 07:46,   


For the first time since he moved to Yomiuri, Lee Seung-yeop (31) was told on July 12 to go to a scrub team. This was due bad form this season, with his batting average sitting at just 0.254, with 15 homeruns and 42 runs in 79 games. In the past he has had to give Abe Shinoske the fourth batter place on two occasions, but this time was by far the most shocking.

Power Batting Needs to Come Back –

Japanese media outlets carried a story about Lee becoming a second stringer with some weight. Sports Hochi entitled its article, “After the Giant’s Five Losses, Manager Hara Dassnori Makes a Move! Lee Seung-yeop Farmed Out.” Lee started batting fourth against Hanshin Tigers once again on July 10, but when he recorded no base hits for two consecutive games, the manager decided to send him to a second-tier team.

Until last year, Manager Dassnori said, “Lee will always be the team’s fourth batter.” Even when he demoted Lee to bat sixth, he gave him chances to get better by saying “It pained me greatly to relegate him to bat sixth. We need Lee to reach the top.”

However, Lee did not get better and when the Japanese public criticized him, saying that he was not living up to his reputation of “Yomiuri’s fourth batter representing Japan,” the manager made his decision.

Becoming a Second Stringer will Do Him Good –

This is Lee’s third relegation to a scrub team. The first year Lee went to Japan, on May 10, 2004 he was farmed out from Lotte – his first time as a batter. A year later, he also started the season as a second stringer with the batting average of 0.050, no homeruns, 20 at bat, and one base hit.

From the beginning of this season, pain in his left shoulder prevented him from performing to his full potential. And, because of past surgery on his left knee, from which he was not fully recovered, his batting lacked the pace it once had. He tried to use a different batting style, putting both legs on the ground, but that also failed to produce results. These are the reasons why Lee’s batting average ranges between just 0.250 and 0.260.

Kim Seong-geun, SK Manager who corrected Lee’s batting posture in 2005, told Kim Ki-tae, a coach at a Yomiuri scrub team, “not to help him no matter what, even if Seung-yeop comes looking.” Kim added, “Lee probably has more difficulty dealing with the situation right now than when he was farmed out from Lotte. So he needs to relax and control his mind; only then will he regain his ‘power batting’.” This means that Lee will only emerge successfully from his slump if he wins the lonely fight against himself.