On Monday the baseball word received the devastating news that veteran pitcher Chan Ho Park had inked a deal with Japan’s Orix Buffaloes, potentially marking the end of his 17-year career. Park, who perhaps is best known for delivering a roundhouse to Tim Belcher, as well as giving a detailed account of his diarrhea, has a career record of 124-98 and a 4.36 ERA. While pitching for seven, different organizations, Park’s best season came in 2000 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was 18-10 with a 3.27 ERA. He also recorded 207 strikeouts and issued 124 walks while making 34 starts and logging 226 innings.
Park heads a growing list of players who have signed with a Japanese organization this offseason, and he will be headed overseas with the hope of rejuvenating his career. Hell, even Bryan Bullington, the former #1 overall selection in the 2002 draft who recently signed with the Hiroshima Carp, seems to believe that he can be successful in Japan. Other notable players include former Dodgers’ prospect Joel Guzman (a player who the staff of the Sombrero had a hilarious encounter with at Spring Training in 2006), Alfredo Figaro, and Anthony Lerew. Each of these players will attempt to etch their name in the record books alongside such Japanese baseball legends as Sadaharu Oh, Ichiro Suzuki, and Matt Murton.