A ride down an O.co Coliseum elevator early Thursday morning with a few of members of the Korean media revealed that they might have gotten more out of Shin-Soo Choo in their native language than a couple of Texas Rangers beat writers did following the Rangers’ 5-4 loss.
Choo’s misguided throw in the eighth inning help fuel Oakland’s comeback from a 4-2 deficit. It was one of many mistakes that the Rangers made en route to a messy loss, and Choo said, quite colorfully, that the notion that the loss was on him was out of line.
“[Forget] that,” he said.
Choo said that manager Jeff Banister had asked him if he was aware of the game situation, when a throw to the cutoff man was the prudent play. Choo airmailed shortstop Elvis Andrus as Josh Reddick took third base on a Ben Zobrist single, and Reddick scored as third baseman Joey Gallo’s throw to second base to get Zobrist went into right field.
One Korean reporter asked if it is unusual in the major leagues for a manager to confront and criticize a player in front of his teammates. A tweet Thursday morning said that the big news in Korea is that Choo was criticized in the dugout by Banister and was embarrassed in front of his teammates.
There is no view into the visitor’s dugout from the press box here, and the local TV broadcast didn’t show an Choo-Banister dugout conversations after the play.
My take is that Choo was upset with any assertion, from the manager or the media, that his throw did in the Rangers. An attempt was made to explain to Choo that the reporters weren’t accusing him of a mistake but were seeking clarification if the throw sailed on him or if he was throwing to third to get Reddick.
He didn’t exactly clarify that saying, “If I throw him out, nobody says anything,” and, “Skip told me, ‘What do you think about this situation?’ I know the situation, but you can’t make it all the time.”
But if he was offended by the notion that he didn’t know the situation, my guess is he was trying to hit the cutoff man and the throw got away.
When he closed with an invitation to get a glove and go play, which he had used earlier in his venting in a different context, I wasn’t sure if he was talking to the media or the manager. Either way, he was steamed that his mistake became such an issue, apparently in the dugout in front of his teammates.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760