I was surprised by the news that Cashman had signed Chan Ho Park. Sure, he pitched well against the Yankees in the World Series, but I just never figured – OK, I guess this is about the old axiom: you can never have enough arms. Now we have another one. Is Park up there in pitcher years? Yeah, but at least he’s not 40. Has he been with a lot of teams? You bet (Dodgers twice, as well as the Rangers, Padres, Mets, Astros and Phillies), but that’s not as many as LaTroy Hawkins. Will he turn out to be this year’s Brett Tomko – a guy who’s here today and gone tomorrow? Maybe, but Tomko actually pitched pretty well. So many questions…..
So here are some answers – five things I learned about Park that I didn’t know only eight hours ago. Ready?
1) He was the first South Korean to play in the majors.
2) He’s the only pitcher in baseball history to allow two grand slams in the same inning to the same player (Fernando Tatis of the Cardinals in 1999).
3) He gave up record-breaking home runs #71 and 72 to Barry Bonds in 2001.
4) He sued a former Dodger teammate, Chad Kreuter, for not repaying a loan of $460,000.
5) He’s married to the daughter of Japan’s 76th richest man. (No wonder Kreuter came to him for a loan.)
Will he bump Mitre or Gaudin or even Aceves out of the long man role in the bullpen? Or will one of them get traded? I have no idea, but if I were the Yankees I wouldn’t let Alfredo fall by the wayside.
Two grand slams in the same inning to the same guy? Did anybody give any thought to taking Park out in that game or maybe walking Tatis? Sheesh.