“Too many errors.”
Liu Zhong-il, head coach of the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, made a name for himself as a “master shortstop” during his playing days, winning the Golden Glove for shortstop twice (1987 and 1991) in his 1095-game career.
Before a scrimmage against the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commerce Baseball Team) at the Gocheok SkyDome on April 26, Liu called out two shortstops who were practicing their defense near the second base line.
Park Sung-seong (25-SSG Landers) and Kim Joo-won (21-NC Dinos). Both are starting shortstops for their respective teams.
Ryu asked them, “How many errors do you have?” Park had 19 errors and Kim had 29. “That’s too many,” Ryu said.
Ryu said, “That’s my position (shortstop). So I see everything that’s wrong. It’s my specialty, so I coached him.”
The team was called up on the 23rd of this month, so it wasn’t a long time, but Liu was able to get to know the players’ strengths and weaknesses. “When I watched them play defense, they were quick to catch the ball before throwing it. They can’t throw accurately because they don’t have enough strength in their legs,” Liu said, adding, “All of them have made a lot of mistakes this year.”
Coach Ryu said, “The reason (for the high number of throwing mistakes) is that you catch it wrong. You have to catch it on your favorite edge so you can throw it at once. For example, Park Jin-man (Samsung) used to catch the ball very relaxed and steady when he was playing. It was different from what players do now. I would like to see 19 or 29 on this good ground,” he pointed out.
Ryu also revealed his “catching know-how. “It depends on the player, but most of them put their index finger out of the glove. I really didn’t like sticking it out. Even if it hurts, you have to put it inside the leather of the glove. You have to feel it (the index finger), and if it’s outside the leather, you can’t feel it.” Liu continued, “Players don’t like to be sick. I grabbed it while it was hurting. You have to catch it with your fingertips, and when you realize, ‘Oh, it’s good,’ you throw it at once.”
Liu’s know-how also has an injury prevention effect. “Shortstops, second basemen, etc. have to tag their opponents when they slide, and it saves their fingers,” Liu said.
Although he was a little disappointed with the way things were going, he didn’t want to force the players to do it. “I can’t ask them to change their habits overnight because they’ve been doing it since they were learning. However, when I was coaching at Samsung, I told them to keep it in their fingers, but now they can do it without it,” he said, adding that he would leave it up to the players to decide.
Under Ryu’s guidance, the players showed exceptional defensive focus in practice. There were no major errors, just a lot of body blows. Park Sung-ah made a sensational catch in the fourth inning to get an out. Kim Joo-won also showed a smooth performance, linking up with a killing play. 레고토토 Together with Lee Jae-hyun, the two players will continue the lineage of shortstops in Korean baseball that stretches back to Kim Jae-bak, Ryu Jung-il, Lee Jong-beom, Ryu Ji-hyun, Park Jin-man, Oh Ji-hwan, and Kim Ha-seong. The one-point lesson from the legendary shortstop was.