(Park)Byeongho said he was sorry”…Why Park Byung-ho apologized to Oh Jae-il in exchange for his best friend ‘Veteran 1st baseman’

KT Wiz announced on the 28th, “We have made a one-on-one trade to send infielder Park Byung-ho to the Samsung Lions and recruit veteran infielder Oh Jae-il.”스포츠토토

Oh Jae-il played his last game in Samsung’s uniform on Friday. In the match against Kiwoom Heroes in Daegu, he played as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning and hit a one-run homer. He ended up leaving the team after finishing his last at-bat with a homer.

The trade between Oh Jae-il and Park Byung-ho was confirmed at the time when the game was taking place. Oh Jae-il heard about the trade after the game. He immediately packed his bags to prepare for joining the KT, and moved to Seoul on the morning of the 29th.

“Honestly, I don’t know right now. I found out about the trade late last night,” Oh Jae-il told reporters ahead of the game against the Doosan Bears. “I packed my bags after the game and came up this morning,” he said. “I’m done with my workout and now I’m doing interviews, but I’m not sure. I’m still out of my mind.”

This is why Park Byung-ho and Oh Jae-il were traded. Park Byung-ho, who did not receive many opportunities from KT due to ups and downs this season, requested to be released last weekend. He even reportedly talked about retirement. KT manager Lee Kang-chul dissuaded him from retirement. KT’s remaining options were persuasion to stay, trade, and public announcement of waivers.

KT wanted Park to stay, but he was adamant. In the end, he explained the situation to several clubs in order to match the trade cards on the afternoon of the 27th. Samsung then showed interest. The two teams had a conversation and decided to conduct a one-on-one trade with Oh Jae-il on the afternoon of the 28th.

Oh Jae-il and Park Byung-ho are the same age as each other, born in 1986. They also played for the Nexen Heroes (currently Kiwoom) in the 2011 season.

After the trade deal was decided, Park and Oh talked on the phone. “They are my best friends, and they talked a lot about how funny it was to be traded among friends,” Oh said. “(Park) said he was sorry. I think I am changing teams because of him.” So I said it was okay. If you go there and do well, both of you will do well. We talked about this for a long time on the phone.”

Not only Oh Jae-il but also Samsung players were surprised to hear the news of the trade deal. “We talked a lot with (former) Ja-wook, (Kang) Min-ho, and (Oh) Seung-hwan while packing. I was going to talk about it through a meeting, but I personally talked a little bit because I thought it would be too sad,” Oh said. “Players were also very surprised to hear that I was going to KT after the game, but I was able to go, and since I am a new friend, I came to ask for better cooperation.”

Now he has to play for KT. Oh Jae-il has been strong in Suwon. He had 65 hits, 12 homers, 45 RBIs, 31 runs scored, and a batting average of 0.304 OPS 0.921. “I don’t think it was bad at Suwon. I don’t know the exact record, but I think it was good,” Oh said.

As for the main competition with Moon, he said, “Rather than thinking about such things, I think it will lead to good results if I just think about doing my best to play the role given to me day by day. If good results continue, I will be able to play a lot of games,” but added, “Even if I can’t play, I will have a role to play for my juniors. If there is anything I can do to help, I will try my best to help.”

Lastly, Oh Jae-il told Samsung fans, “They have shown us so much interest and support both inside and outside the baseball stadium for the past three years. When I first visited Daegu three years ago, they welcomed me so much. It was an unforgettable three years in my baseball life. That’s why I will never forget and play baseball with gratitude,” he said. “I joined KT from today, and I will do my best to help KT win the championship.”

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