Translated by Kelly Choi
The interview was scheduled on Tuesday. I left for the stadium in a hurry around 5 pm. It was a joint interview with a KBS TV program “Backpack Travels.” Sin-soo Choo arrived a little bit late to the ground, and started doing his warm-up exercises, saying “I have to practice first.”
He has recently recovered from injuries, so he looked concerning about his condition. After a short warm-up, he began his batting practice, and soon he began hitting balls farther and farther out. It seemed as if he was giving it his all, just like he is one of the best batter in the Cleveland Indians (a .292 batting average, 49 hits, and 13 home runs).
After a defense practice, he took a few minutes to sign autographs for his fans. Then, he squeezed in an interview before going to the dugout.
Earlier that day, the New York Yankees decided not to renew Chan Ho Park’s contract, making Sin-soo Choo the only Korean major league player.
While he was practicing, he did not even glance at fans asking for his autographs, but he kept them in mind and spared some time to autographs later. His dedication to the sport comes first and foremost, but he always pays attention to the other things.
That day Choo singled to center on the first pitch. In the third inning, he was hit by a pitch, making him on the knee on the ground for a while. He, however, showed he was fine to steal the second base. In the top of 9, his last at-bat, he struck out by Jonathan Papelbon. Recently, you were recovering from an injury, but you looked pretty good today. Have you fully recovered?
- I haven’t played for the last 20 days. My performance level is still where I want it to be, but I am not satisfied with the timing. I am struggling with getting it the right. Getting the right timing is the biggest issue. Tell me about Boston.
- The city has a long history and lots of baseball fans, so it’s a good city for players. But, I come here only once a year, so I’m not too familiar with the city. Four years ago, August 4th 2006, (when I said this, Choo asked me back “You mean the grand slam?”, which tells us he has a very good memory of it), you hit a grand slam to Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett. And today, August 3rd, you are meeting him again. It’s gonna be a very interesting game.
- Hitting a grand slam made me confident. Whoever the pitcher is, if you think you’ll lose, you’ll lose really. The confidence that I can beat a strong pitcher is important. (Josh Beckett is not doing so hot this season, but he used to be a star player for the Red Sox.)Your batting practice was very impressive. How do you feel today? Are you confident you can hit a home run today?
- It would be good, but I put my team first. Playing for the team brings good performance. You had a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians and it ends this year. Any chance you’ll be joining the Red Sox?
- It is hard to say, because I can’t choose where I will go. I think playing for a team of this caliber is good, wherever the team may be. You mean you’re not discounting the Red Sox?
- I still can’t say. Please say a few words for fans in Boston.
- I think Boston is a good city for players. First of all, the fans really love baseball and there are lots of fanatic fans. A lot of fans are good for players. Have you noticed that Fenway has been sold out 604 times in a row? Since July 15th of 2003, for 7 years. (He looked surprised.)
- That is amazing. I think that, in comparison to Cleveland, this city is really good for players, because there’s a big difference between having a lot of fans and not.