Park Kun-woo started as the right fielder for the seventh batter of Nanum All-Star at the “2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO All-Star Game” held at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 15th. It was the first time to stand in front of fans since the controversy over the work-eshik. He did not have a chance to end the controversy himself by ending the first half of the year while being excluded from the first-tier entry on the 3rd, but he chose to repay the support as he was selected as the “All-Star Best 12” thanks to the fan vote.
Park Kun-woo said, “Today (15th) is a place selected by fans, so I hope you enjoy it here today.” “I think it would be better to tell you then when I have a chance in the future,” he said. I didn’t want the annual festival atmosphere to subside because of myself.
Instead, Park Kun-woo borrowed the power of the festival to ask Kang for forgiveness, neither too heavy nor too light. Before the All-Star Game, he relaxed the atmosphere by making a high five with coach Kang, and when he got on base with a hit during the game, he delivered his equipment to coach Kang, who was in charge of first base, and suddenly bent down at 90 degrees. Admitting that it was a self-inflicted controversy, coach Kang, who had been struggling with him, probably did it because he wanted to laugh and shake it off.
“I think Park Kun-woo should set a good example as well as his skills. I hoped that I would not do anything that deviates from the team’s policy.”
This is an explanation added by head coach Kang, excluding Park Kun-woo from the first-tier entry on the 3rd. Park Kun-woo couldn’t avoid criticism from disappointed fans as coach Kang pointed out the most taboo walk ceremony in team sports as a problem. Fans’ disappointment doubled in 2020 when he played for the Doosan Bears, as he was canceled from the first division due to the same problem. At this rate, he was on the verge of being completely branded as a troublemaker.
It happened because the team’s expectations for Park Kun-woo were so high. Park Kun-woo agreed to a six-year, 10 billion won large FA contract with NC ahead of the 2022 season and chose to transfer. NC, which is one of the youngest teams in the league, hoped that Park Kun-woo would not only help in offense and defense, but also lead his juniors well like a veteran in the dugout. This is why coach Kang said, “We should set a good example as well as our skills.”
Coach Kang’s public expression of disappointment toward Park Kun-woo would not have been simply to humiliate him. As such, it is right to believe that Park Kun-woo is an important player in the team and that he can show a more mature attitude for the team, so he chose a way to give a strong impetus. If you don’t have expectations, you can swallow bitter words.
Park Kun-woo can’t be unaware of the head coach’s feelings. Immediately after the controversy, he visited coach Kang and had a conversation. Park Kun-woo declined to say, “It’s true to reveal what kind of conversation he had with the director,” but it made us guess that the conversation went well. From that extension, a 90-degree greeting ceremony (?) came out.
Park Kun-woo silently played in the Futures League after being notified of his move to the second division. And in the All-Star Game, he had two hits and one run in two at-bats, boasting a good batting sense. Will Park Kun-woo be able to join the first division at the start of the second half and show his good performance by empowering the team seeking to take the top leap forward again.