After being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the atmosphere of the fans who admired Choi Ji-man, who showed disappointment at not being able to participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) following the failure of salary negotiations, is cold.
On the 7th (hereinafter referred to as Korean time), the Pittsburgh local press, ‘Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’, received opinions from fans and had reporter Jason McKay respond. Here, the public opinion of Choi Ji-man was the worst.
In 15 games in April of the 2022 season, Choi Ji-man broke the best start by wielding a hard hit with 15 hits, 2 homers, 10 RBIs, 11 walks, a batting average of 0.357 OPS 1.086. However, his performance took a nosedive when elbow pain began to set in in May. Choi Ji-man stayed with a batting average of 0.193 in May, and seemed to rebound to 0.310 in June, but from July onwards it started to go down again.
Choi Ji-man, who had a ‘career low’ season last year with 83 hits, 11 homers, 52 RBIs, 36 points and a batting average of 0.233 OPS 0.729 in 113 games, changed his uniform from the Tampa Bay Rays to Pittsburgh through a trade after the season ended. Pittsburgh, which had a season without a first baseman last year, succeeded in making up for his weakness by recruiting Choi Ji-man.
Obviously, he secured first baseman, but the eyes of Pittsburgh fans toward Choi Ji-man are cold. The first reason is ‘salary’. Choi Ji-man is currently in conflict with Pittsburgh over the salary issue for the 2023 season. Choi Ji-man wanted an annual salary of 5.4 million dollars (about 6.7 billion won), but the club offered 4.65 million dollars (about 5.8 billion won) and the conflict began.
Choi Ji-man and Pittsburgh failed to reach an agreement until the deadline for salary negotiations, and a hearing on salary adjustment is ahead. Pittsburgh will gather all the players on the 21st to digest the spring camp schedule, and the ‘Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’ pointed out that “Pittsburgh and Choi Ji-man are unlikely to reach an agreement (salary) before spring camp.” This is the first reason why fans turned their backs on Choi Ji-man.
The second is a problem related to the WBC. On the 6th, KBO reported the news of Choi Ji-man’s failure to join the WBC. KBO said, “Pittsburgh expressed its intention to oppose WBC participation due to Choi Ji-man’s surgical history to the WBCI.” revealed
Choi Ji-man said in a statement after joining the WBC, “I don’t know how happy I was when I was included in the preliminary list of the WBC national team. But maybe it was because I had high expectations. I am very disappointed and frustrated by the decision to not be able to. The national team scheduled for the middle of this month. In addition to joining, I was improving my physical condition well in line with the schedule for the first round in Tokyo, so the disappointment is so great and it hurts.” This part also seems to have touched the planting of fans. 메이저사이트
According to the ‘Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’, a fan named ‘Thomas’ related to salary negotiations said, “If Choi Ji-man acts like an idiot, get him out. Pittsburgh is a young team that needs a player with a positive attitude, but a below-average player “It’s not a team you can complain about.” And why does Korea need Choi Ji-man? Is there no better first baseman than Choi Ji-man?”
Then, a fan using the nickname ‘Maz 01’ said, “It seems that Choi Ji-man is dissatisfied with not being able to compete in the WBC, but I think Pittsburgh should release him if he can. He is not a good player”, ‘ A fan named ‘Bill’ said, “I saw only Choi heat up about Pittsburgh not allowing him to participate in the WBC. I don’t think Pittsburgh was wrong. If only Choi gets hurt in a meaningless tournament, it doesn’t help the team at all.” pointed out.
In response, ‘Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’ Jake McKay told fans who wanted Choi Ji-man to be released, saying, “Even if Choi is released, he must be paid an annual salary.” You’ll want to do it. There’s no reason Pittsburgh should be blamed.”
As can be seen from the comments above, public opinion towards Choi Ji-man is cold. The ‘Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’ also expressed concern through another article, saying, “Pittsburgh and Choi Man-man did not start on good terms.”