Choo Shin-soo’s ‘real senior’ and the president of the Athletes’ Association
It was November of last year. The Korea Professional Baseball Players Association (Athletes’ Association) went through the process of appointing the next president ahead of the end of Yang Eui-ji’s (Doosan Bears) two-year term as president. The entire team voted for 20 players from the top 1 to 20 in the KBO League salary.
However, an unexpected problem occurred. The player with the most votes declined the seat. In the end, the vote was held again for the 2nd to 4th places with the most votes, and Kim Hyun-soo (LG Twins) was finally elected as the 12th president. It is an open secret in the baseball world that Choo Shin-soo (41, SSG Landers) declined the position of president of the Athletes Association at this time.
Choo Shin-soo recently appeared on a Korean radio show in Dallas, USA and emphasized the ‘role of a senior’. He mentioned An Woo-jin (Kiwoom Heroes), who was eliminated from the final entry in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), and said, “I regret my mistakes, I was punished, and I was suspended, but I can’t go to international competitions.” He raised his voice, saying, “I have to take off my feet for the sake of my juniors. No one is stepping out.”
Ahn Woo-jin is unable to play for the WBC due to a history of school violence (school violence) committed during high school. He received a ‘3-year suspension’ from the Korea Baseball Softball Association and was permanently deprived of the national team selection qualification according to the rules of the Korea Sports Council. It is possible to participate in the WBC, which is not involved in the Korea Sports Council, but the choice of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) was ‘excluded’. Choo Shin-soo saw An Woo-jin’s current situation as unreasonable. 스포츠토토
The position of the president of the Athletes Association is a ‘poisoned holy grail’. Among the players, there is a strong perception that “you have to do well to make money” and “a place where you get cursed at.” So no one is willing to step out. This is why the Athletes’ Association is forced to appoint a candidate for president with a high salary to eat mustard while crying. On April 3, 2017, Lee Ho-joon, former chairman and current LG Twins coach, resigned due to a problem related to the request for the revival of victory allowance, and then drifted for nearly two years without finding a head. However, it is also a position that must be occupied by someone to improve the treatment of low-ranking and low-paid workers.
Yang Eui-ji, who first voiced his voice after taking office as chairman, was also against the abolition of the second draft. At the time, the Athletes Association said, “The second draft is a necessary system to improve the rights and interests of low-salary and low-year players.” ‘ announced the position. The abolished 2nd draft is about to be revived this season.
At the end of defending Ahn Woo-jin, Choo Shin-soo pointed out, “If my juniors go the wrong way or exercise in the wrong place, I should try to help by making a voice that can change the system, but I only watch. That’s a pity.” The position of president of the Athletes Association is one of the places where you can change the system and voice what Shin-soo Choo said.
He spat out bitter words throughout his career in the KBO league. Dissatisfaction with the strike zone and problems with the locker room at Jamsil Baseball Stadium were openly discussed. Perhaps An Woo-jin’s problem could be an extension of that. However, he declined the post of president of the Athletes Association for various reasons. He is familiar with American culture, and it can be burdensome because he has not had much experience in the KBO league.
Considering Shin-soo Choo’s age, there is a possibility that he will retire without completing his term (two years) as the president of the Athletes Association. However, if he was a ‘real senior’ as he said, wouldn’t he have made a different choice for his juniors?