Ace of Ace - Chapter 20
Chapter 20 – Spring camp in winter 02
Gun Choi became stiff hearing the words of the ex-Major leaguer .
‘I didn’t expect to get this qualified an instructor . Did Gordon assess me as good?’
Eric looked around, and asked Gun Choi, “Where's Bank?”
He knew Bank, a custodian, because he played 7 seasons .
“He’s in the office . ”
Eric furrowed his brows .
“At office? He's lucky . ”
He headed to the office with a big stride .
It looked like he had something to tell Bank .
After a while, shouting was heard . Bank quickly came out .
He moved around and grabbed gear for practice .
A fence with webbing in it, a helmet, a bat, and box for the balls .
Gun Choi was astounded at Bank's attitude .
‘Huh, I’ve never seen that before . He's always been calm . ’
Eric grumbled at Bank, and returned his attention back to Gun Choi .
“Are you aiming for the Major leagues?”
Gun Choi replied confidently, with his chin up . “My goal is not a simple debut . I want to be a star in the Major leagues . ”
Eric tilted his head .
“I’m sure it's possible . ”
Gun Choi was a still novice who hadn't even entered into the 40 rosters to Eric .
A novice wanted to be a star . Eric smiled .
But Eric talked to him, instead of laughing .
“If you survive training with me, you can be an Allstar in the Major leagues . Can you do that?”
Gun Choi thought that Eric’s training would be easier than that of the system .
“Any way I can improve my skills, I’ll do . ”
Eric listened to him silently .
“Every player has said that but, gave up within a week . ”
Bank set up the gear while Gun Choi and Eric talked .
Bank installed a fence, brought balls to the mound, and flattened the ground with tools .
Gun Choi became tense as he saw the scene .
‘Too many balls . Surely I don’t need to pitch thousands of balls, do I? If so, there'll be a problem with my elbow . I got injured before . ’
As the setting up was done, Eric ask Gun Choi to pitch a ball .
Gun Choi asked cautiously, as he saw lots of balls, “How many do I need to pitch today?”
Eric answered curtly, “5 fastballs . ”
There were hundreds of balls in the box . But Gun Choi only had 5 balls to pitch .
“What? Only 5?”
Eric furrowed his brow and answered, “It's useless to pitch a lot, because your pitching form isn't set up . ”
He answered, and pointed at the mound .
“Go and pitch . ”
Gun Choi nodded his head, and took the mound .
5 fastballs . No need to overwork .
He just needed to pitch as calm as usual .
Gun Choi pitched as he did during live pitching, without full power .
The ball flew into the air and hit the net .
It was a fresh pitch .
‘Not bad . It’s better than live pitching with movement and velocity . ’
The ball speed was 93 mph, but Eric’s opinion wasn’t good .
“Not good, not bad . ”
Gun Choi pitched the 2nd ball with more power because of to Eric’s comment .
‘Not good, not bad? He isn't satisfied with my pitching, is he?’
This time, the ball made a big wave on the webbing, and fell down .
It was the best ball during Gun Choi’s recent pitches .
But Eric shook his head like he didn’t need to see any more .
“Stop it . ”
Gun Choi clicked his tongue inwardly .
‘What do you want me to do? I’m not a pitcher who can throw a ball at 98 mph like you . ’
Eric was a closer who pitched fast balls at the speed of light .
He often shocked people with a 99 mph ball .
Gun Choi thought Eric wanted a faster fastball .
Eric spoke, as he walked to the mound .
“I heard your position is at bullpen . ”
Gun Choi nodded and said, “Yes, for this year . ”
Eric raised the end of the word like he heard an unpleasant story .
“I’ll be selected as a starting member next year . ”
Eric snorted at Gun Choi's words .
“You can’t enter the Major leagues with that mindset . In the Major leagues, you can’t survive if you don’t do your best at any position . ”
Gun Choi thought that he already knew that .
But Eric asked him for more than that .
He thought that Gun Choi needed to be a real bullpen pitcher .
“Listen . Your pitch is not for a bullpen pitcher . ”
Eric pointed out that Gun Choi threw a ball with same form as when he was a starting pitcher .
Gun Choi was in difficult situation .
He'd thrown the ball with the same form for his whole life but his form needed to be changed .
Eric talked as like he was on a high horse .
“Bullpen pitchers throw a ball for only one inning . In other words, you need to pitch with full power as you attack a hitter . ”
Gun Choi’s previous pitch was soft and smooth . The pitching itself was good . But Eric shook his head .
“Your pitching is for playing several innings . So you that's how you arranged your physical ability . In other words, you showed me a pitch of a starting pitcher .
Eric told Gun Choi that he needed to fix the problem with how he unconsciously arranged his physical ability .
Bullpen pitchers didn’t need to pitch for long innings .
‘Am I saving my physical ability unconsciously? It became my habit due to being a starting pitcher over 10 years . If so, it should be fixed . ’
Gun Choi asked to Eric .
“Do you mean I need to pitch little more explosively?”
“Not a little more . You should be an exploding ball . This is the ball of a bullpen ace . ”
Eric pointed out that Gun Choi should change his pitch propensity prior to changing his form .
Gun Choi agreed with that .
He decided that he would be a perfect bullpen pitcher .
Eric shouted to Gun Choi as he saw his expression .
“You will be born again as a bullpen pitcher in a month . Can you do that?”
Gun Choi shouted in response to the Major leagues All Star .