“I have to change.”
Kim Tae-gun (34), who signed a three-year, up to 2.5 billion won contract extension with KIA. More than joy, he felt sorry for KIA’s failure to enter the postseason and felt sorry for the fans. “All the players played hard,” Kim said before the Gwangju NC game on the 16th. I want to applaud them, but I’m hopeful that they fought to the end despite the absence of the Chapomas (Choi Hyung-woo, Na Sung-beom, and Park Chan-ho).”
Kim joined the team in July. He had changed teams several times, from LG to NC, NC to Samsung, and Samsung to KIA, but he said, “It’s hard to adjust.” This is an unexpected statement from a player who is nicknamed the nuclear catcher for his affinity for the game.
For Kim, it’s all about the details. It’s not just about getting to know the players and learning their characteristics. “In July and August, I did the work I needed to do in spring training. I still have some things to work on. I still have to work on my rhythm with one pitcher, with one pitcher. Next year, we’re going to have to hit from the start. I will prepare well.”
“Let’s be tough,” Kim told the KIA pitchers right after the transfer. He asked them to believe in themselves and follow him. He also said that the KIA pitchers were too good on the mound. The theory is that a fighter who doesn’t run away, especially a first-team pitcher, should be able to control the game by throwing strikes with his fastball and changeup. He’s asking them to follow his lead.먹튀검증
“After I got traded, I told the kids, ‘MZ doesn’t work for me. You guys do your own thing. There’s no such thing in my dictionary. I don’t know how you guys play baseball, but I told them that the free-flowing style doesn’t work for me. I said, “I don’t know how you guys play baseball, but I don’t think a free-for-all approach works for me.” I asked him what he meant.
When asked what he meant, Kim Tae-goon replied, “It’s just that MZ doesn’t work for me. It’s an age of self-expression, and you have to be able to control that. I think you have to control your emotions to be a professional. It doesn’t mean you can play baseball well. When you’re in the first team, you have to act like you’re in the first team. I’m raising my kids, but I think I’m good at some things that I’m not good at. You have to point out that you’re not.”
In the end, Kim Tae-gun is asking people to trust and follow his direction rather than the free-flowing communication of the MZ generation. After playing professionally for 16 years, he thinks it’s the right direction. In fact, that’s how the KIA pitchers are gradually coming together with Kim. Since we started this in the middle of the season, there were difficulties for Kim Tae-gun as well.
That’s not to say that Kim won’t listen to the other members of the organization, or that he will only do what he wants to do. He promised to thoroughly reflect and contribute to a different KIA in 2024. “Next year, KIA will be different,” he said, “because we are the top club in Korean professional sports, and it’s every player’s heart that we didn’t make the playoffs.
In an interview, Kim said, “You can always make a difference with words. Actions must precede words. I have to be different. If you’re a starter, you should be a starter, and if you’re a backup, you should be a backup. If you’re a starter, you have to play like a starter, if you’re a backup, you have to play like a backup. You have to play to keep your job.”
He asked the members who would dispute his point to speak up directly. Kim Tae-gun said, “I’ve been playing professionally for about 16 years, and I’ve seen a lot of players who pretend to be bold behind the scenes. If you have something manly to say, you should say it in front of the team, not behind them. Every player.”
Shim Jae-hak said that ideally, Kim Tae-gun would be an unconditional starter for the next two years, and then the team would naturally start to rebuild. Rookie Lee Sang-jun was called up, and top prospect Kwon Hyuk-kyung was discharged. Han Jun-su has also grown, and there are Han Seung-taek and Joo Hyo-sang. Until then, we’ll have to wait and see what happens if KIA follows through on Kim’s words. Let’s empower Kim Tae-gun, but let’s also give him effective feedback.