Posted August. 02, 2010 11:18,
New York, perhaps the most famous U.S. city and the heart of the world economy, is the symbol of the American dream for many people, including sports stars.
The Big Apple is considered a land of opportunity to baseball players who dream about playing in the majors. The city is home to the defending Major League champions New York Yankees and their cross-town rivals New York Mets.
In New York, the flow of words and people is just as fast as that of money. Pitcher Park Chan-ho, who joined the Yankees this season, failed to meet the lofty expectations of a city that demands immediate achievement.
The 37-year-old Park was designated for assignment Saturday, the trade deadline for this season. Park could choose to play for the Yankees minor league team or become a free agent and find another squad.
On the surface, Park was demoted because New York traded for veteran right-hander Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians. The real reason, however, was Parks poor performance.
As a member of the Yankees bullpen, he was out for about a month from April 17 when he suffered unexpected pain in his right thigh.
He performed poorly after returning to the mound, allowing a home run in two consecutive games. He also saw his role decline as he was put into games in which the Yankees were leading or trailing by a significant margin.
New York media, infamous for their brutal criticism and impatience, began discussion that Park was trade bait.
This was not his first failure in the Big Apple. Park joined the Mets in 2007 but was designated for assignment after just one game. He also performed poorly for the Mets farm team and was let go for lackluster performance.
New York is a city where many other Korean players have struggled. Seo Jae-weong of the Kia Tigers joined the Mets farm team in 1998. He was eventually moved up to the majors and went 22-24 between 2002 and 2005.
Seo earned a reputation as a control artist at one point but would often complain about the team, saying the Mets did not trust him.
Koo Dae-sung reportedly stood a high chance of becoming the first Korean to wear Yankee pinstripes in late 2004, but joined the Mets instead. He played in 33 games in his lone season with the Mets without a win or loss, and returned to Korea the following year.