Thursday, 13th June 2024

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“Submarine pitcher” Park Jong-hoon (32, SSG Landers) has only blamed himself for the past two years.

Park Jong-hoon, who met at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 3rd, said, “I’m trying so hard. I have to do more. I have to do more.” He said, “I couldn’t even say ‘I’m working hard’ because I didn’t get the results. I was so angry with myself, and I was embarrassed and sorry to the fans, so I came into the ballpark covering my face.”

Park Jong-hoon said, “When I was doing well, I weighed in the early to mid 80kg range. I weighed more than 100kg while building up my muscles, but I lost 14kg during the off-season training,” adding, “I thought it was time for flexibility rather than strength. I am working on a puzzle.”

In order to revive Park Jong-hoon, his family members also came out ‘professional’. He said, “My mother-in-law said, ‘When I had a good result, my weight was this much’. I also decided that I needed to lose weight,” and added, “My diet has completely changed. I only eat raw in the evening. As my eating habits changed, I lost weight quickly.”

Submarine pitcher Park Jong-hoon signed a five-year contract for a total of 6.5 billion won (5.6 billion won per year, 900 million won per year) in December 2021. SSG called Park Jong-hoon a solid starting pitcher resource, to the extent that he signed a multi-year contract with Park Jong-hoon, who underwent elbow ligament surgery in June 2021, before qualifying as a free agent.

In fact, Park Jong-hoon served as the starting pitcher for the SSG, filling the required innings for four seasons between 2017 and 2020. He had 47 wins and 37 losses with a 4.25 ERA over four years. During this period, Yang Hyeon-jong (60 wins) of the KIA Tigers was the only pitcher who accumulated more wins than Park Jong-hoon.

Park Jong-hoon also pitched well in 2021 with a 4-2 record with a 2.82 ERA before undergoing surgery. However, after the surgery, Park was sluggish with a 3-5 record with a 6.00 ERA in 2022 and a 6.19 ERA in 2023. 온라인경마

The SSG excluded Park Jong-hoon from the 35-member protection squad for the second draft in November last year. The result reflected disappointment within the team. “I was shocked to learn that I was not on the protection squad for the first time,” Park said calmly. “But soon I decided that even if I had formed the protection squad, I would not have made it into the 35-member squad.”

In the second draft, no other team named Park Jong-hoon. “If I went to another team, I would have felt really depressed. I want to rebound from the SSG.” Park’s goal in the 2024 season is not to skip the rotation as a starter.

“Over the past two years, I have been absent from the starting rotation frequently. When I saw myself being excluded from the rotation ahead of a match against a certain team, I was angry at myself,” Park Jong-hoon said. “When I have enough time to play against all teams depending on my playing schedule, wouldn’t it be possible to say that I have regained my trust? Now that I have hit rock bottom, I really need to rebound.”

If he succeeds in rebounding from the 2024 season as Park Jong-hoon wished, Dallas could be a lucky place for Park. Park Jong-hoon will depart for the U.S. on Thursday and train at Choo’s home in Dallas, Texas.

“I have personally trained at Choo’s house before. Like a successful big leaguer, Choo has everything he can do at home. He can not only play catch, but also do weight training and Pilates,” he said. “When will I be able to train at Choo’s house again? Thankfully, Choo invited me and we decided to train together.”

Last year, Park Jong-hoon trained tirelessly on Mondays, which are “a baseball player’s day off.” However, he couldn’t even say, “I’m working hard,” because of his poor scorecard.

In January 2024, Park cautiously said, “I trained really hard in the offseason. I will think about it, and trust the amount of time I spent training.” Thanks to the pride of training harder than anyone else, Park Jong-hoon, who had been depressed for the past two years, was brought back to life.

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