Samsung Lions slugger Oh Jae-il (37) started preparing for the next season earlier than usual. It is to avoid repeating the disappointment of finishing 7th in the regular season last year.
Oh Jae-il, who met at Akama Ball Park in Okinawa, Japan on the 13th, said, “The season ended early and I started (individual training) two weeks earlier than usual. From mid-November, he built up his body by doing weight training and yoga in parallel.”
Director Park Jin-man, who took over the temporary baton following the resignation of coach Heo Sam-young in August of last year, gave the captaincy to Oh Jae-il instead of Kim Heon-gon. Oh Jae-il, who was highly trusted by his teammates, took care of the players and improved the team atmosphere.
Jae-il Oh, who took over as captain in 2019 and 2020 in place of Jae-won Oh, who was sluggish during Doosan days, was supported by the players with his exemplary leadership, such as setting an example in front of his juniors first, which soon led to team unity and team victory.
Oh Jae-il enjoyed the honor of winning without a vote. That means that his colleagues are highly trusted. In response, Oh Jae-il laughed, saying, “I should have voted, but one or two people strongly drove the atmosphere, so I took the captaincy without voting.”
He said, “It feels good from my point of view because the players trust me a lot. There are three reliable hyungs around me who help me a lot, (Oh) Seung-hwan hyung, (Woo) Kyu-min hyung, and (Kang) Min-ho hyung, so I think I can do it comfortably.”
What is the most important part of a claim? Oh Jae-il said, “The coach most emphasizes the basic attitude that a professional player should have. I also have the same thoughts as the director. Wearing a professional uniform comes with a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from training hard towards team victory and giving your best in front of the fans.”
The Samsung infield team has become younger. With Oh Jae-il, who has rich experience and excellent first base defense ability, it will be of great help to the generational change in the infield.
In response, “It is part of team play to make anyone feel comfortable throwing. When the pitcher throws wrong, the catcher blocks it with his body, and when I throw to second base, the second baseman catches it casually. All of this is team play. It’s a team sport, so you have to have the perception that it’s team play.”
Samsung finished 7th in the regular season last year. There are not many cases of classifying it as a strong team because there is no power reinforcement factor to do after the season. 안전놀이터
Oh Jae-il said, “There are many players with good abilities in the team. Although he failed to achieve his dream of winning the Korean Series in 2021, he achieved good results. I think we definitely have our own potential. Last year, I felt a bit of a loss of momentum, but if the players come together as one again, wouldn’t our team’s potential come out? I don’t think I’m weak at all.”
“In my opinion, I have the idea that I can beat all teams. That’s the power that only our team has. The difference is how much that power is displayed on the ground. I don’t think the power is weak,” he emphasized again.
We asked about his goal for this season, which marks the third year since his transfer to Samsung. Oh Jae-il said, “My personal goal is to take good care of my body and go to as many games as possible. If that happens, grades will naturally follow.”
He continued, “As captain, I hope the players can be more energetic. I’m not the type to fight a lot, but I hope the players make noise at the baseball field. Everyone seems to be ashamed. This is also part of team play and an opportunity for the team to become one. We will have to play a bigger role this year,” he added.