“If you can’t do it, I’ll be blamed”…Why Korea’s top catcher was more than happy on the day of the 4.6 billion compensation player’s release.

“On my first day in the first team, senior (Yang) Ji-won told me, ‘If you don’t do well, I’ll be the one who gets blamed.”

Doosan Bears infielder Park Joon-young (26) on the day he got his foot in the door to become a compensated player success story. Doosan catcher Yang Yang-ji (36) was probably more excited than Park himself, as he was a senior and teammate who wanted to see him succeed more than anyone.

Park made his first appearance in a Doosan uniform as compensation for catcher Park Se-hyuk (33), who was released by the NC Dinos before the season. When Doosan received the list of protected players from the NC Dinos, they had already selected Jun-young Park. He was the player with the most potential, so much so that everyone at the compensation meeting wondered why he was released. It wasn’t a big deal because he was a long-hitting right-hander, which Doosan lacked.

However, I did check out Park Jun-young to see what kind of player he was. It’s not uncommon to ask for input from players or officials who were on the team when choosing a compensation player. Naturally, Doosan asked Yang Ji-soo what he thought of Park Jun-young. Yang played with Park in the NC before signing a 4+2 year, 15.2 billion won deal with Chinjung Doosan this season, making him the highest-paid free agent in history. Yang’s opinion was that he was a good player for Doosan, and the team took his opinion into consideration when selecting Park, so it’s understandable that Yang felt he was somewhat responsible for Park’s performance.

In October of last year, Park dislocated his shoulder and had to undergo a long rehabilitation. His physical condition and game sense were full of question marks, but he dutifully sweated it out at Icheon Bears Park, Doosan’s second team training ground, to prepare for his return to the first team. Under the guidance of second team manager Lee Jung-hoon and hitting coaches Lee Do-hyung and Lee Young-soo, he revamped his batting, and by the end of June, he was consistently hitting multi-hit games. In July, he batted .400 (6-for-15) with three home runs and four RBIs, and on July 7, he received his long-awaited call-up to the first team.

Much to Yang Ji Hyun’s immediate relief, Park carried his good hitting form to the first team. Coming off the bench against the Jamsil Kiwoom Heroes on the 7th, he made an immediate impact with a double for his first hit of the season, and then against the Jamsil Kiwoom on the 9th, he went 3-for-3 with a home run, one walk, and three RBIs to lead the team to their eighth straight win. It was a performance that left him one double short of the hit-for-the-cycle record.

After watching Park’s performance in the first team, Yang said, “When I was in the NC, he was a good friend, and he was going to be good, but he had to cut his season short because of an injury, so I came to Doosan with him, and I think I was more happy because he hit well. Even when we were in the NC, he asked me a lot of questions and worked hard, so I think I was more happy for him.”

Park Jun-young said, “(Yang) Ji-won and I have been talking a lot since NC. I asked her a lot when I couldn’t do something or didn’t know something, and she took care of me a lot. Even when I was called up to the first team on the first day, he said, ‘If you can’t do it, I’ll blame you.’ Even when I got my first hit, I was grateful that they liked me,” he said.

The second-team coaching staff also deserves a lot of credit for helping him rehabilitate and realize his potential in the first team. “At first, I started going to technical training and playing in games, but it didn’t work out. I worked on my hitting a lot with the second team manager and coaches. Coach Lee Jung-hoon swore a lot and yelled at me a lot (laughs). I didn’t like him very much, so he said a lot of things that made me feel like he cared about me,” he recalled.

“I felt that I wasn’t good enough, and I had a strong will to improve. At first, the way I was hitting was the opposite of what he wanted me to do. It was difficult at first, but I decided to start from scratch and it got better and better. It was easy for me to accept because he told me a lot of things to change while keeping the big picture in mind. I think I was able to get better faster because some of the things he told me worked for me. The quality of my shots improved, and the good results made me feel positive and confident,” he added.

For now, the injury has healed well. “I woke up today (Sept. 9) and felt a little bit,” Park said. It’s fine except when it’s raining,” he shrugged, “I’ve been alternating between third base and shortstop since the second team, and I’m preparing for both now that I’m in the first team. When I’m playing defense, I’m still more nervous than I am about my shoulder. When I dive, I feel a little uneasy, but it’s okay when I do it,” he said.안전놀이터

For now, he is in the process of adapting to Doosan baseball and culture. “NC was a young team,” Park said. I’m not usually shy, but Doosan has a lot of seniors, so I found myself shy. I think I was able to adapt easily because the atmosphere was good and my brothers talked to me and welcomed me, but I think it will take me a month to fully adapt. I have an MBTI of E (extroverted). I’m not an I (introvert). I’m an E, but it’s been two days,” he laughed.

Park hopes to use this year as a springboard to take off next year. “I want to play this year with no pressure,” he said, “because I’m back after a long rehabilitation, whether I’m in the first team or the second team. It’s most important that I don’t get sick. I’m going to use it as a year to fill in the gaps that I’ve been lacking. I’m not going to try to be too good, and I think it would be good to spend this year looking at next year.”

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