Dodgers Introduce Hyun-jin Ryu

I arrived at Dodger Stadium on Monday afternoon for the formal introduction of the newest Dodger with three different ways to pronounce his name… and I left with five.

So to keep things as less confusing as possible for everyone here on, I’m going to stick with the way that it was pronounced in the Dodgers official press release. In this order and spelled correctly (I assume) it is Hyun-jin Ryu and pronounced (repeat after me) – He-YUN Jin Ree-YOO… He-YUN Jin Ree-YOO… He-YUN Jin Ree-YOO. Okay, we’ve got that handled. (By the way, even Magic Johnson messed it up once, so don’t feel too bad).

Although visibly overwhelmed by all of this, Ryu fielded questions exceptionally well (through an interpreter) and was quick to flash his captivating smile. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

Still being a relative newcomer to this whole press conference thing, I have only been to a few of them, but let me tell you, the Dodger Stadium Club was packed for this one.

As you might expect, the Korean media was well represented at Monday’s press conference. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

After being formally introduced by Earvin Johnson, Ryu fielded several questions and expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome. When asked if he was happy with his six-year/$36 million contract, he related that he hopes that he pitches well enough that the Dodgers will want to give him an even bigger contract next time. (This, of course, put a big smile on Scott Boras’ face).

Ryu said that he hopes to have an ERA that is “two-something” and hopes to eventually eclipse his countryman Chan Ho Park’s 124 victories for a Korean pitcher – lofty goals indeed.

When asked how he planned to approach major league hitters, he related that he would throw whatever his catcher calls for, adding that he plans to rely heavily on his fastball and his change-up. To this, Magic Johnson interjected “Throw strikes!” which, of course, brought the assembled crowd to laughter.

When asked why jersey number 99, Ryu related that this was his number in Korea and it brought him a lot of success. (He apparently had no idea who the last Dodger was to wear that number).

Scott Boras, Ned Colletti and Earvin “Magic” Johnson present Hyun-jin Ryu with his new Dodgers jersey and hat. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

After the press conference, Ryu mingled with the media crowd for several one-on-one interviews and then met with the most important man in the entire Dodgers organization (from a player’s standpoint, that is), Dodgers clubhouse manager Mitch Poole, whose number one job is to see to each player’s individual needs. It was very apparent that these two will get along just fine.

To be successful in anything in life, you need to get to know the right people. Hyun-jin Ryu did exactly that by meeting long-time Dodgers clubhouse manager Mitch Poole. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

Ryu plans to return home to South Korea on Tuesday afternoon, but not before a short visit to Koreatown in Los Angeles. He will meet with fans and Koreatown community leaders from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM in front of the Wilshire Park Place/Radio Korea Building located at 3700 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

Man, it’s going to be a great season for the Dodgers!

Is it Opening Day yet?


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4 Responses to “Dodgers Introduce Hyun-jin Ryu”

  1. Ron Cervenka says:

    I read a comment on another blog site where some knucklehead said that Ryu “Looks like Andruw Jones fat, Juan Uribe fat and Brad Penny fat…”.

    What a moron – Ryu isn’t fat at all. He is definitely a big boy (check out the above photo with him standing next to Magic). He is listed at 6-1 215 and perhaps he was… in Jr. High School. He’s like 6-4 maybe 240.

    Ya gotta love the ignorant – yet another example of “Sometimes the best thing to say is to say nothing at all.”

  2. MFGRREP says:

    You gotta Love what money can buy !! Sure hope this kid can compete at the MLB level because according to the contract it doesn’t look like the Dodgers can send him to the minors !!

  3. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I was pretty happy when the Dodgers won the rights to Ryu. It was a sure sign of their interest in international signings. He has been very good in Korea. He now has to get established at the MLB level. I’m thinking he will be handled very carefully.

    He can’t be demoted, which is tricky, so I expect if he has problems he will be used in relief to get straightened out.

  4. OldBrooklynFan says:

    Not only the pronounciation of his name was in doubt but here on the east coast they’re putting his name down backwards Ryu Hyun-Jin and one writer calls him Jin.
    Well that’s the least of importance anyway.

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