Go to Contents Go to Navigation

After battling in MLB, friends set to renew rivalry in KBO

All News 16:37 March 16, 2021

DAEGU, March 16 (Yonhap) -- What would have been an intriguing pitcher-batter duel between two former Korean major league players didn't materialize Tuesday, but that didn't stop Samsung Lions' closer Oh Seung-hwan and SSG Landers' outfielder Choo Shin-soo from trading some verbal jabs.

Choo Shin-soo of the SSG Landers (L) and Oh Seung-hwan of the Samsung Lions chat before a spring training practice game at Daegu Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on March 16, 2021. (Yonhap)

The Lions hosted the Landers in an unofficial practice game at Daegu Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Oh, who pitched for three big league clubs from 2016 to 2019, is entering his second year back with the Lions. Choo, who spent 16 major league seasons before signing with the Landers last month, is getting ready for his first Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) season.

The two 38-year-olds have been friends for years, and shared some light moments before Tuesday's game. Choo only reported to Landers' camp last Thursday and likely won't play until Saturday, at the earliest.

But when Choo does start getting into games and faces Oh down the road, he apparently wants the right-hander to give him a few pitches to hit.

"Shin-soo was joking around and telling me to take it easy on him, but I don't know what he is talking about," Oh said with a laugh. "I think he should be the one taking it easy on me."

As the closer, Oh knows that when he faces Choo, it will likely be a high-leverage situation -- with a slim lead in late innings.

Choo Shin-soo of the SSG Landers (L) and Oh Seung-hwan of the Samsung Lions chat before a spring training practice game at Daegu Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on March 16, 2021. (Yonhap)

"He's a great player, but of course, I'll try to beat him and his team every time," Oh said. "But I think it's great for SSG and KBO that a player of that stature is playing."

Choo went 2-for-2 with an RBI against Oh during their time in the majors, though on Tuesday, he didn't put much stock in it.

"I got lucky, and he made a couple of mistakes on those two hits," Choo said. "He's one of the best pitchers in Korea and I know we'll try to one up each other."

Choo said he asked Oh if the pitcher thought he could do well in the KBO, and added with a smile, "He told me to just have fun, but I don't think it really came from his heart."

Choo said he is "at about 70 percent" in terms of his game shape. As much as he's itching to get going, Choo also understands concerns from his manager, Kim Won-hyong, who has been trying to rein in Choo since the weekend.

Kim said Choo will make his KBO debut during the exhibition season, which goes from Saturday to March 30. The regular season starts on April 3.

Choo Shin-soo of the SSG Landers takes a batting practice before a spring training practice game against the Samsung Lions at Daegu Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on March 16, 2021. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

Keywords
HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!