Hanwha Eagles infielder Ha Joo-seok (29), whose annual salary was drastically cut due to scandals such as drunk driving last year, is facing a more important season than ever.
According to the Hanwha team’s announcement on the 26th, Ha Joo-seok stamped for 100 million won, a decrease of 100.9 million won (50.2%) from 209 million won last year. This is the largest reduction in annual salary within the team and the largest reduction rate.
Ha Joo-seok’s annual salary cut is primarily due to poor performance. In 125 games last year, he recorded a batting average of 0.258 (115 hits in 445 bats), 5 homers, 58 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He used his quick feet and did his part in stealing, but his batting average is the lowest since 2018 (0.254). His pay cut was foreseeable.
But a bigger factor than this is drunk driving. Ha Joo-seok was caught in a drinking crackdown in Dong-gu, Daejeon in November last year, and his license was suspended with a blood alcohol level of 0.078%.
Afterwards, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) imposed a 70-game suspension disciplinary action on Ha Joo-seok in accordance with the sanctions regulation (Article 151) for drunk driving.
Afterwards, Ha Joo-seok posted a handwritten apology through his SNS, but the water had already been spilled.
It was not the first time that Ha Joo-seok caused controversy due to factors outside the game. During a game last June, he was furious with the referee’s strike decision, so he protested vehemently and threw down his helmet as he went into the dugout.
The helmet hit the dugout wall and bounced off the foreign coach’s head, almost causing serious injury. As a result, Joo-soo Ha was suspended from the KBO for 10 games and had to go down to the 2nd team and go through a period of self-reflection. 안전놀이터
After returning in the second half, he lived an exemplary life for a while and seemed to have changed, but after the season, he even exploded into drunk driving and fell into abyss.
In addition to last year’s sluggish performance, Ha Joo-seok, who was unable to play 70 out of 144 games in the new season, had no choice but to make a decision to cut his annual salary by 50%.
It is heartbreaking for Ha Joo-seok, but it is fortunate that he remains on the team even after being caught drunk driving.
Previously, the NC Dinos released outfielder Kim Ki-hwan, who was convicted of drunk driving. Prior to that, in 2021, Song Woo-hyun was released from Kiwoom Heroes for drunk driving.
Hanwha also was able to give Ha Joo-seok a mace, but gave him a chance to stand up again with a certain amount of merit as a key player who led the team as captain.
This is really the last chance for Ha Joo-seok. I handed over the captaincy that I had held for two years to my senior Jung Woo-ram, and I have to do individual training in Korea because I was excluded from the list of participants in overseas training camps, but I have to do my best regardless of hot or cold water.
Hanwha recruited infielder Oh Seon-jin (1+1 year, 400 million won) as a free agent considering the vacancy of Ha Joo-seok during the off-season. Ha Joo-seok, who can return in the second half, will inevitably compete with Oh Seon-jin as the starting pitcher.
Ha Joo-seok is in a situation where it would be burdensome in many ways, but all of them were his own. He has to be very careful and be reborn as a model student not only in his personal performance in the 2023 season, but also in life off the field.
If you don’t do that, you may not be able to get out of the swamp called Narak again.