Tag:Chan Ho Park
Posted on: April 29, 2011 6:52 pm

Baseball returns to Sendai

By C. Trent Rosecrans

I would have liked to get up early today and watched the big event on TV live, but I didn't. I'm sure I would have cried.

Nope, not that silly inbred wedding. No, baseball. Real live baseball in Sendai, Japan, site of the deadly earthquake and tsunami last month.

The Rakuten Eagles played their first home game on Friday, beating the Orix Buffaloes 3-1 in front of 20,613 at Kleenex Stadium.

Eagles starter Mashahiro Tanaka played Joe Namath and Mike Piazza in one -- promising a victory on Thursday and coming through on Friday. Tanaka allowed a run on six hits and in a complete-game victory over former big leaguer Chan Ho Park.

"Having all those people in the stands moved me," Tanaka said, according to Jim Allen of the Daily Yomiuri. "Pitching in this atmosphere, I felt the joy of being a ballplayer."

The Eagles started the season 8-6 and just a game out of first in the Pacific League, despite playing no games at their home stadium.

Before the game, Eagles catcher Motohiro Shima made a speech to the crowd. YakyuBaka.com's Gen translated the speech.

After the disaster, the players waited until the day we could return to Tohoku by talking about what we could do, what we should do.  Then 5 days before the start of the regular season, we all returned to Sendai.

While burning the images of the vastly changed Tohoku region into our eyes and spirits, we visited relief shelters and apologized for taking so long to return.  And when everyone greeted us with open arms and told us not to quit because they weren't going to quit, it made me cry.  That's when it became clear why we had to play [baseball].

We learned something [important] over the last month and a half.  We learned that people who have something to fight for are strong.

The people of Tohoku, let's get through this.  Now, this time right here.  We're going to beat this, no matter what.  If we can get over this now and get to the other side, I'm sure we'll be greeted by even stronger versions of ourselves and a much brighter future.  Let's show everyone how strong Tohoku is!

You can read the rest at YakyuBaka.com. It's a reminder of the best of baseball -- just like when baseball returned after Sept. 11. Baseball, and sport, have the power to bring people together after tragedy. It's good to see at least one thing -- baseball -- is back to normal in Sendai.

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Posted on: December 20, 2010 11:56 am
Edited on: December 20, 2010 12:24 pm

Chan Ho Park heads to Japan

ParkChan Ho Park could have gotten a job as middle reliever with any number of teams but has instead chosen to head to Japan.

The Korean agreed to a one-year deal with the Orix Buffaloes, and Park's 17 seasons in the majors may be coming to a close. Given he would have received minimal guaranteed dollars and likely will make a similar amount in Japan, this move actually makes sense. Park can pitch closer to home and in the country where his wife grew up and will likely do well against the lesser competition.

Park split 2010 between the Yankees and Pirates, falling flat on his face in New York and recovering as a Pirate. He finished with a 4.66 ERA over 63 2/3 innings and interestingly enough, posted his best strikeout-to-walk ratio since a four-inning stint in 1995.

UPDATE: Yep, Park got over $1 million to play for the Buffaloes as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports. Hard to imagine Park doing any better stateside.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 1, 2010 11:52 pm

Park sets record for Asian pitchers

Chan Ho Park's 124th career victory on Friday made him the winningest Asian-born pitcher in Major League history.

"It's very special," Park told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel . "It makes me think about 17 years ago when I first came here. I think about the people who brought me here and who helped me."

Park three three scoreless innings of relief for the Pirates against the Marlins on Friday, striking out six of the nine batters he faced.

Chan Ho Park The Pirates are Park's eight team in the big leagues after being singed as a free agent by the Dodgers in 1994 when he was 21.

His first eight years were spent with the Dodgers, going 80-54 with a 3.80 ERA in his first stint with the team. He earned an All-Star nod in 2001. He signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Rangers before the 2002 season.

In four seasons with the Rangers, Park underperformed, going 22-23 with a 5.79 ERA. After two years with the Padres, he signed with the Mets in 2007. There, he spent much of the season in the minor leagues, making one start for the Mets before he was designated for assignment in June. He signed a minor-league deal with the Astros, but never made it to Houston.

After re-signing with the Dodgers in 2008, Park reinvented himself as a reliever, where the shorter outings allowed him to use his mid-90s fastball more, instead of trying to conserve his energy during starts.

Last season he pitched well out of the bullpen for the Phillies and signed a one-year contract with the Yankees. After going 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA in 27 appearances for the Yankees, he was designated for assignment and claimed off waivers by the Pirates.

Another former Dodgers, Hideo Nomo, had held the record for most wins by an Asian-born pitcher. After Park's record-setting outing, teammates celebrated with a beer shower as he walked into the clubhouse.

"[John Russell] told me he'll give me the lineup card," Park said. "I've got the ball. Everything I used, even my socks and underwear, I'm going to keep. It's all very special."

I'd love to see how he's going to display that underwear in his house -- do you frame it? Or just put it in a drawer? If you frame it -- do you have it out, or under the pants in their natural environment?

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 19, 2010 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2010 4:16 pm

Trade deadline buyer: New York Yankees

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Every transaction talk, be it trades or free agents, seems to start with the Yankees and this time is no different.

Brian Cashman Record: 58-33, three games ahead of the Rays and 6 1/2 in front of the Red Sox.
GM: Brian Cashman
Expectations: Anything short of another World Series title is failure, plain and simple.
Payroll status: Not that it matters, the Yankees had an opening day payroll of more than $213 million and already have more than $144 million on the books for 2011.

What they need

Starting pitcher: With Andy Pettitte on the disabled list and A.J. Burnett's recent hissy fit, the Yankees suddenly look to need at least one starter. Until now, the opening day rotation of CC Sabathia, Pettitte, Burnett, Javier Vazquez and Phil Hughes had started all but two of their games. That could be matched this week alone. The team may also be wary of letting Hughes' innings add up through a pennant race and the playoffs. Sergio Mitre is scheduled to start in Pettitte's place, but until now, he's been more successful as a reliever than a starter.

Bullpen help: Starting pitching isn't the only pitching concern the Yankees have as Joba Chamberlain's days as the bridge to Mariano Rivera may be numbered, and it's not as if Chan Ho Park is going to step up and replace him.

Damaso Marte was placed on the disabled list this weekend with Boone Logan called up as the team's only left-handed reliever.

Big bat: Marcus Thames has been better than expected as the Yankees designated hitter, hitting .287/.396/.437 with three homers and 13 RBI in 87 at-bats, but he's hardly a difference-maker. This spot -- especially if Jorge Posada is healthy enough not to need a DH safety net -- could be upgraded, especially if that upgrade could be a spot starter in the outfield.

Bench help: After the regulars, the Yankees feature the likes of Ramiro Pena and Colin Curtis. The team could certainly upgrade its depth in both the infield and the outfield.

Who may fit

Ted Lilly Starting pitcher: Cliff Lee would have been a great fit, but he's gone. Lee was the marquee name available and there's a decided step down after the newest Texas Ranger. Other starters out there are Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, Brett Myers, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren and maybe even someone like Brian Bannister.

Reliever: There are stop-gap attempts like David Aardsma and Leo Nunez, or the Yankees could go for the kill with someone like Royals closer Joakim Soria. Soria is under club control until 2014, so it would take more than just cash, but also top-flight prospects to get the Royals closer and team him with Rivera to make a formidable back of the bullpen.

Other, less expensive, fits could be either of the Blue Jays pair of relievers, Scott Downs or Jason Frasor.

Bat: Again, going for the kill would be Adam Dunn. Dunn in new Yankee Stadium would be a marriage made in heaven. Dunn doesn't want to DH and he doesn't really have any other value, but he would flourish both in the American League and in pinstripes. Still, the Yankees may not want to give up too much for a player they can just buy in the offseason.

If the Yankees can find a top-end starter, they could send Vazquez to Philadelphia for Jayson Werth. David DeJesus would upgrade the outfield, as well.

Bench help:
Wes Helms and Ty Wigginton are corner possibilities and Wigginton can play second, as well. Xavier Nady and Austin Kearns are possible outfield bats that may not be big, but could work for the Yankees.

Trade chips

Jesus Montero Catching prospect Jesus Montero was reportedly only available for Lee, however the almighty dollar is always available. Any team looking to clear cash off the bottom line will talk to the Yankees, who could send middling prospects loaded up with money sacks to any team that's interested. And there are always teams interested in that kind of prospect.

Right-hander Zach McAllister is 7-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A. He doesn't have dominant stuff, but has good control and projects as a back of the rotation-type pitcher.

Right-hander Ivan Nova, 23, has better stats than McAllister (7-2, 3.21, 78 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings) and has an impressive fastball. Nova has impressive talent, but has also struggled with consistency as a pro. This season is his best yet, and there's a question as to whether he's reached his ceiling. Still, he's got enough talent to be intriguing to other teams.

Mark Melancon has long been bantered about as the replacement for Rivera when Mo decides to turn his sights to Cooperstown, but Melancon has yet to live up to that hype. He could be one of those players that need a change in scenery to live up to his potential, and there's enough potential for other teams to take a chance on him.

Other possibilities include SS Eduardo Nunez and 2B David Adams, who was one of the other guys mentioned in the Lee trade.

Predictions: The Yankees will add a reliever and a starter -- possibly Lilly and the lefty Downs. Other than that, the team may think it doesn't have to do too much to keep ahead of the Rays and Red Sox.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com