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Korean-Japanese Superstars and Dogs Are Popular

"It's better than Otani's dog."

Shohei Ohtani's dog was a hot topic, and Lee Jung-hoo's dog is also popular among San Francisco fans.

Korean and Japanese superstars will play a big match in the National League West next year. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Shohei Ohtani with an unprecedented 10-year, 700 million-dollar FA contract. The San Francisco Giants, who missed Ohtani, signed Lee Jung-hoo with a six-year, 113 million-dollar contract.

Local media and fans who welcomed Lee Jung-hoo's joining San Francisco even found Lee Jung-hoo's dog on social media. "This is a very important update. This is Khao," he said, introducing photos of Lee Jung-hoo and his dog. "Let's hold MLB's dog competition during All Star Week," he posted a humorous post.

One fan commented, "Way better than Ohtani's dog." Lee Jung-hoo also appeared on the cover of a pet magazine with his dog Kao last year.

Ohtani also recently received a lot of attention for his dog. In November, Ohtani won the American League MVP award and Ohtani's dog was first shown to the public during a video interview with MLB Network. Many fans were interested in Ohtani's cute figure crawling on his knee during the interview.

Since then, it has raised questions about what the dog's name is, and when the dog's breed became known as a Dutch Kuiker mix, the popularity of the dog temporarily soared.

When Ohtani had a press conference to join the Dodgers on the 15th, there was even a question about his dog. "The dog's name is 'decopping'. In the U.S., it is difficult to pronounce, so I introduce it as 'decoy'," Ohtani said with a smile. In Japanese, 'decopping' refers to a 'finger flick' that hits an opponent's forehead while bouncing his index finger or middle finger. When the dog's name decopping was revealed at the press conference, it immediately topped the real-time trend search word for X formerly Twitter in Japan.

John Hayman, a New York Post, said on the 13th Korea Standard Time, "San Francisco agreed to a six-year, $113 million contract with Lee Jung-hoo. There is an opt-out clause four years later." After Lee Jung-hoo's medical test, the San Francisco club officially announced on its official website on the 15th, "San Francisco signed a six-year contract with outfielder Lee Jung-hoo," adding, "We agreed to a $113 million, six-year contract that includes opt-out after the 2027 season with Lee Jung-hoo."

Lee Jung-hoo set the record for the best Korean contract ever to enter the Major League through posting. In 2013, Ryu Hyun-jin signed a six-year, 36 million-dollar contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which was the previous record. Lee Jung-hoo exceeded the size of his contract when Kang Jung-ho, a senior player at Kiwoom, joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015 with 11 million dollars for 4+1 years, Park Byung-ho with the Minnesota Twins in 2016 with 12 million dollars for 4+1 years, and Kim Ha-sung with the San Diego Padres in 2021. Choo Shin-soo is the second-largest Korean player in terms of total contracts after signing a 130 million-dollar seven-year contract with the Texas Rangers after the 2013 season ends. In addition, it is the highest amount of money given to an Asian fielder who has ever entered the Major League through posting.

If you look at the details of Lee Jung-hoo's six-year contract, the signing bonus down payment is $5 million and he will receive $7 million in annual salary for the 2024 season in his first year. He will receive $16 million in annual salary for the 2025 season and $22 million in the 2026 and 2027 seasons, respectively. After the 2027 season, Lee Jung-hoo has the right to execute an opt-out. If Lee Jung-hoo performs well in San Francisco for four years, he can run an opt-out and become an FA again and negotiate with all teams. If Lee Jung-hoo does not declare an opt-out, he will remain in San Francisco and receive $20.5 million in annual salary for the 2028 and 2029 seasons, respectively.


Lee Jung-hoo also has a special provision for donating a portion of his annual salary to charity. "Lee Jung-hoo will donate $60,000 in 2024, $80,000 in 2025, $110,000 in 2026 and 2027, and $102,500 in 2028 and 2029 to the San Francisco Giants Community Fund," San Francisco said. If you play six years without opting out, the total amount will be $565,000.

Lee Jung-hoo held a ceremony to join the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco, California on Tuesday. San Francisco Giants President Farhan Zaidi and Lee Jung-hoo's agent Scott Boras attended the press conference. Lee Jung-hoo's father, former LG coach Lee Jong-beom, and mother Jeong Yeon-hee were together in the front row.

Lee Jung-hoo, who attended the joining ceremony wearing a black suit and a San Francisco-colored orange tie, humorously said to local reporters, "Handsome?" after wearing a San Francisco uniform with No. 51 on it and a hat.

Lee introduced himself in English that he had prepared in advance. "Hello, Giants. My name is Lee Jung-hoo. I am the grandson of the wind from Korea. I am especially grateful to the family of owner of San Francisco Johnson, CEO Larry Bear, CEO of Zaidi, and agent Scott Boras. I am also grateful to my mother and father. My dream has been to play in the Major League since I was young, and I always liked the Bay Area. I came here to win. I will do my best for my teammates and fans. Let's go Giants," he said to local reporters afterwards, expressing his thoughts and determination to join the team.

Ohtani held a ceremony to join the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on the 15th. The joining ceremony was attended by team owner Mark Walter, CEO Stan Carsten, baseball team president Andrew Friedman, general manager Brandon Gomez and manager Dave Roberts. Ohtani's agent Nez Valero and Ohtani's interpreter Itpay Mizuhara attended the joining ceremony with Ohtani.

Ohtani, who signed a 10-year, 700 million-dollar contract, the highest in the world's professional sports history, signed a dipper annual salary deferment contract, which will be paid only 2 million dollars annually and 680 million dollars after the 10-year contract ends. Ohtani wanted dipper first, considering that his high salary would make it difficult for the club to build a good record. It was a proposal to satisfy Ohtani's desire to win the championship without burdening luxury tax and payroll.

Ohtani, who made his first public appearance wearing a blue Dodgers uniform, said, "Thank you to the Dodgers, Mark Walter, Stan Kasten, Friedman, Brandon Gomez, and Dave Roberts," adding, "Thank you to the Angels for giving me my first chance as a major leaguer. Thank you for your unforgettable memories."

Ohtani said, "I've talked to so many people before signing the contract. I'm also grateful to the team members. I'm truly happy to be part of the Dodgers, which has a clear goal and vision to win and has a rich history of the team. I want to contribute greatly."

"The night before the announcement, I decided to go with the Dodgers. It was a very tough decision, but the Dodgers was my choice. I didn't choose it just for one reason. Many of them were great, but there was only one team that could say yes. I thought the most important thing now was to get to the winning team. The fact that the owner of the Dodgers didn't consider the past 10 years a success touched my heart. I am aiming to win the championship and I want to be a player who is crucial to winning the championship," he said.

While playing for the Angels for six seasons, Ohtani recorded a batting average of 274 hits, 171 homers, 437 RBIs, and 428 runs batted in OPS.922 in 716 games. As a pitcher, he recorded 38-19 losses with a 3.01 ERA, 608 strikeouts and 1.08 WHIP in 86 games 481 ⅔ innings. He won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2018, and was unanimously awarded the American League MVP in both 2021 and 2023. He recorded 10 wins, 5 losses with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 23 games as a pitcher this year, and a batting average of 344 with 151 hits, 44 homers, 95 RBIs and 1.066 with a base OPS.
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Sunday, December 17, 2023
 
 
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