Chae Eun-seong (33) of Hanwha Eagles had a strange feeling when he saw LG win the Korean Series title for the first time in 29 years. It is hard to describe how he feels as he won the championship as soon as he left the team he had worked with for 14 years until last year.헤라카지노
“It was great as a friend to see Ji-hwan, Joo-hyun, and Choi Dong-hwan, who were in the same team as LG. They were the ones who stood there for the longest time. It was even cooler because Ji-hwan got the MVP in a beautiful way. Coaches and front desk staff who had been with LG for a long time had to congratulate him.” Chae Eun-seong said, “I really congratulate you on winning the title and it was nice to not be there. I also talked about it over the phone with Yoo Kang-nam and Lee Hyung-jong who left LG together, and it felt weird. There is no way to express it other than saying it’s weird.” Everyone must have felt restless.
Having buried the LG Twins in his memory, Chae now dreams of winning the title for Hanwha. Having received the first 9 billion won (9 million U.S. dollars) in special treatment for six years when he moved to Hanwha from LG last winter, Chae recorded a batting average of 263 in 137 games (137 hits in 521 at bats) with 23 homers and 84 RBIs in the first season of his transfer. He tied for third in homers and 10th in RBIs, spearheading the central batting line of Hanwha along with Noh Si-hwan.
“It would be a lie if I didn’t have any pressure as it was my first year of transfer,” Chae Eun-seong, who was evaluated as an “exemplary student in the FA,” said. “I have high expectations for myself. There were some good things, but I am embarrassed to say that I am a success. I am even more disappointed. More than anything else, I failed to manage my injury. Everyone was in pain, but I couldn’t handle the situation properly when it was bad.”
Chae, who had shown good pace with a batting average of 299 (78 hits in 261 at-bats) and 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 67 games through June, saw his pace deteriorate with a batting average of 227 (59 hits in 260 at-bats) and 13 homers and 40 RBIs in 70 games since July, however. Although his home runs increased, his overall batting productivity declined in the second half of this season. He had pain in his right hamstring since July, but could not afford to rest properly due to the team’s weak power. The pain worsened day by day, and it was difficult for him to display 100 percent of his performance in offense and defense.
“Since I came to the team after receiving good treatment, I think I should play as much as possible. I can’t just go out when the game is good and not when the game is bad. Not all players are in their best condition throughout the season. It’s only an excuse that I couldn’t play because I was sick,” Chae said. “I will take good care of my body next year so that I can have a season free from injury.”
In the new season, he also assumed an important role as a captain. Hanwha coach Choi Won-ho appointed Chae Eun-sung as next year’s captain early on, and made a request himself after the closing camp. Although it is his second year since he moved to a different team, he was highly appreciated for his leadership that he showed this year. He taught and communicated many things to inexperienced young players. “I learned not only about weightlifting routines but also about baseball from Chae,” Noh said. “He bought me so much food that I think he must have spent tens of millions of won.”
Chae Eun-seong, who said, “It’s not to that extent,” said, “My juniors told me so well. I just let them know what I felt and felt sorry for when I was that age,” adding, “This is the first time I’ve been a captain since I was a high school student. I don’t know because I haven’t been a captain in a professional league yet, but our team has a lot of young players. I’ll be bitter when I look really bad, but I think I need to create an atmosphere where I can play baseball as comfortably as possible.”
Taking a close look at LG’s victory, Chae has become more determined to win the Hanwha Eagles. “Hanwha is capable of winning the title. If she gains experience from fall baseball like her younger friends, I think the day will come when she will win,” Chae said. “To be honest, I don’t think that’s right now. I have to strengthen myself step by step from the bottom. I also improved from LG by gaining experience from the bottom. Next year, the semifinals are a realistic goal. Words show that even if you can win a championship, you need to know where you are. A fanciful dream seems too far away. It is difficult to advance like that without experience. I hope to advance to the semifinals next year in stages.”
Chae Eun-sung thinks that the possibility of the semifinals is not impossible even if viewed realistically. “I think we can make it to the semifinals. We have strengthened our power, and young players are continuing to grow. Next year, we have to show our fans real results. We can’t just grow until forever. This period is really important. All the players will prepare in their respective positions and make an effort to advance to the semifinals next year.”