“Any player who deviates from the ‘one’ team will be punished relentlessly.”
NC Dinos head coach Kang Myung-hwa’s inaugural message was not lost on high-priced free agents. Exactly eight months after his inauguration ceremony on November 3 last year, Kang used the word “one team” again to issue a strong warning. “I don’t want you to do anything that deviates from the one team,” he said, and sent the veteran hitter, who has a career 3-for-3 record, down to the second team.
NC removed Park from the first team roster on the third day of the move. Since it wasn’t an injury, speculation ensued, and there was talk of 꽁머니 a protest or a call-up. In response, head coach Kang Myung-hyun met with reporters before the Gochuk Kiwoom Heroes game on the 4th and said, “I hope you don’t read too much into it,” but indirectly said that it was due to the player’s request for a substitution, saying, “It’s true that Park Gun-woo has been complaining of discomfort all over his body.”
This was a violation of the “principle” that Kang Shin-hoong, the head coach of the team, is committed to. Kang has always emphasized the need for principle in player substitutions. He said that even if a veteran is performing well, there will be problems if he is favored and the principles are applied differently to other players. The coach’s “principles” don’t necessarily lead to the original team, but consistency is the key to maintaining the original team.
However, Park made a request that broke this rule, so the coach pulled out the knife. It’s hard to imagine him making such a drastic decision after just one or two instances. We can also speculate that the substitution request was not a one-off. “As a senior, I think you should have the necessary virtues as well as skills,” Kang said, adding, “When I became a coach, I always emphasized that I didn’t want (players) to act outside of the original team, and I was very disappointed in him (in that regard).”
Kang Shin-ho also emphasized the importance of the original team when talking about Park’s return. “It’s not for me to decide whether Park Gun-woo will return in 10 days or not. I will make a decision after hearing the reports from the second team coaches and what the players think.” It was a bit of a statement to ask the players for their opinions, but it also showed the team’s willingness to make a decision together as a team.
The decision was cold. However, the coach did not forget to express his faith and affection for the players. This is because Park is a veteran outfielder who received six years and 10 billion won in free agency, a career 3-for-3 hitter, and a player who should be with the team in the future. “Park Gun-woo is a player who represents Korea. There are many young players who look up to him and dream of becoming a player,” he said, adding, “I hope he has time to think about himself in the second team and comes back more mature.”