“Everything has to be different (if we don’t make the postseason). Actions speak louder than words.”
Catcher Kim Tae-gun, who signed a multi-year contract with the KIA Tigers, has a clear message for the team.
Drafted by the LG Twins in the third round, 17th overall, in 2008, Kim played for the NC Dinos and Samsung Lions. He has been playing for KIA since July via trade, and through 17 games, he is batting .248 (2931-for-727) with 25 home runs and 301 RBIs in 1294 professional games.
KIA, which lost Park Dong-won (LG) this offseason and was left with a gap at catcher earlier this year, continued to court Kim Tae-gun and eventually succeeded in locking him down with a 16-year, multi-year contract when he becomes a free agent at the end of this season. The contract is worth a total of 2.5 billion won over three years, including a 2 billion won salary and a 500 million won option.
“When I first came (to KIA) as a trade, I said that I thought it was my last team, so I was able to make it happen,” Kim said after signing the contract.
The contract is characterized by options. “It’s hard to reveal the details, but Kim Tae-gun will have to work really hard to get the option,” said Kia president Shim Jae-hak.
Kim said, “It’s a big amount of money. It may not be much compared to other team catchers, but it’s a lot of money for me. Depending on how I prepare and produce results from now on, I think it will be a stepping stone for me to take a step forward and grow in three years.”
Kim joined KIA via trade in the middle of this season and immediately took over the starting role. However, even for him, the adjustment was not easy.
“This year, I joined the team in July, so there were some things (like basic communication with pitchers) that I didn’t have enough of, and I think I need to work on those things,” Kim said.
So far this season, Kim is batting .254 (78-for-307) with one home run and 40 RBIs. Despite his performance, however, KIA has been unable to advance to fall baseball. Injuries to their main players were the main reason.
“It’s a shame,” Kim said. All the players played hard, but it hurt. I’ve been playing baseball for 16 years, and I think this year is the first time we’ve been in a standings race for more than 140 games.” “I want to applaud the entire team. I think it was hopeful that we were able to fight until the end, even though we were missing our main players,” he said.
Despite this, Dan had a clear message for the team. “I think (the team atmosphere) has become much more flexible than when I saw (KIA) from the outside. When I came as a trade, I told the younger players that MZ, free-flowing, etc. don’t work for me. I told them to do their own thing,” he said, adding, “I think the players who are nervous after hearing the news of my contract will be nervous and the more manly players will be closer to me.”
Kim went on to say, “You have to be able to express yourself less and control your emotions to be a professional athlete. You can’t stay on the baseball field forever. If you come to the first team, you have to act accordingly, or the manager, coach, or club will take care of it.” “If you talk too much, I think you can do things that you can’t do, so you have to point out those things,” he said.먹튀검증
“If we don’t make it (to the postseason), we have to change everything. (KIA) is the best professional sports organization in Korea. It hurts that we didn’t make it to the postseason,” he said. “If you want to change, you can’t just do interviews and talk. Actions must precede words. We have to be different,” he emphasized.
Finally, Kim Tae-gun also promised his own performance. He said, “Obviously, I have to show a different face than this year. I’ll go for the third place,” he said, adding, “I’ve realized what it takes to survive in the pros, and I’ll do a good job of preparing for it.”