“Tired?” Park Geon-woo’s questionable second-team berth draws searing criticism from Kim Tae-hyung in 2021
In the 2021 season, the Doosan Bears were challenging for their seventh consecutive Korean Series title. On June 21, Doosan was 32-31 and in sixth place in the standings when manager Kim Tae-hyung abruptly demoted the 31-year-old Park Geon-woo to the second team.
Park was hitting .333 with two home runs, 32 RBIs, 33 runs scored, six doubles, and an OPS of 0.835. He was an integral part of the lineup. He wasn’t even sick, but he was removed from the roster.
Kim explained why. “Park Gun-woo was tired and wanted to rest, so I told him to go to the second team and get some rest.” “Baseball is a team sport, so if the atmosphere is wrong with one player, you have to make a decision. That’s the role of a manager, and that’s what we need right now.”
His next statement carried more weight. “The starters shouldn’t think and say that they should be playing. If the main players say they’re tired, how will that make sense to the backups who can’t play?” he criticized.
Head coach Kim Tae-hyung and Park Geon-woo chatting during the Dusan match. 스포츠토토
It was unusual for a coach to openly criticize a player. It was interpreted to mean that Park Gun-woo didn’t want to play because he was tired, or that he asked to be taken off during the game. In other words, the coach punished him for not doing his best as a starter for the team.
Two years later, something similar happened in the NC. Park signed a six-year, 100 million won contract to wear the NC jersey starting in 2022, but on the third day, manager Kang Myung-ho expunged him from the roster.
In 69 games, he was batting .258 (73-for-255) with seven home runs, 41 RBIs, and an OPS of .816. Just like in 2021, he was removed from the first team roster despite having no specific injuries. Furthermore, the team slumped to a 2-8 record in 10 games.
The team was also without starter Park Gun-woo. Before the game against Kiwoom on April 4, coach Kang Shin-ho said, “I know everyone is wondering, but I hope they don’t read too much into it. It’s true that Park Gun-woo complained of discomfort here and there during last week’s game,” he said.
“However, as a senior, I think there are other qualities that he should have in addition to his skills. As I said when I became the head coach, I have a direction that I don’t want him to do anything that deviates from the original team. I was very disappointed with Park Gun-woo in that regard.”
His words were almost identical to those of Kim Tae-hyung in 2021. At 33 years old, it’s easy to see why Park was left off the roster.