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S a r a h ' s  D o d g e r  P l a c e

Park has not shown a competitive spirit in the Dodgers' pursuit for a playoff berth

9-19-01

Although many people consider Chan Ho Park has been the Dodgers' best pitcher this season, lately he has let the team down.

Monday after a weeklong rest because of the tragedy the Dodgers called on Chan Ho Park as a reliever. Though the assignment was to relieve Kevin Brown and get some work in before his start on Thursday, he could not keep the Dodgers in the game. Park allowed four runs and got no outs. Later after the game, it was revealed that Park strained his Achilles tendon, but Tuesday it healed miraculously.

In today's edition of the Los Angeles Times Park's agent, Scott Boras, complained that Jim Tracy used Park as a reliever for the first time since 1997. In my opinion any pitcher should be able to start or relieve whenever his team needs him to pitch. Park whined it was difficult to focus on the task when he didn't start the game. I'm sorry that he is not able to focus easily, but in this difficult race for a playoff berth every Dodger must block out distractions.

Though Chan Ho Park wants to consider himself as the Dodger ace, lately he has not performed that way at all. In August Jim Tracy, Jim Colborn, and Chad Kreuter questioned Park's competitiveness in the media. This is not Tracy's normal style, but he was frustrated with Park. Park has not answered the challenge by stepping up his performance. When the team needs a good performance in a crucial period in the season, most aces perform beyond their normal expectations, but Park has not. Most aces do anything to help their team win, but Park has not done this without complaining.

I am tired of reading about Park's problems of focusing on the game. Professional baseball requires a player be mentally tough to succeed. Park has not shown this capability. When he struggles, he always blames his lack of focus. He doesn't say that he didn't have it that day. Baseball players shouldn't use excuses for their bad performances, but Park has done that.

It is believed Chan Ho Park wants a long-term contract with a yearly salary of $20 million. His performance has not warranted this kind of contract. He has not shown the ability to win without his personal catcher, Chad Kreuter. He has a problem focusing on the task when it is a little different than normal. Though his statistics have been excellent, his mental preparation and focus are questionable. I hope the Dodgers don't re-sign him unless he lowers his demand.

© Sarah D. Morris

 

 

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