I wanted to go to the Dodgers…” Will the player who was rejected three times play a key role in Arizona’s championship?

A player who was rejected by the LA Dodgers is looking to win the World Series. The story behind outfielder Tommy Pham (35), who has emerged as a star of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is interesting. 

On the 30th (hereinafter Korean time), the US ‘LA Times’ reported the story behind Pam’s desire to come to the Dodgers. Pam, who was released as a free agent after last season, told her agent that she wanted to go to the Dodgers. He also instructed, “Call Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman twice.” He also asked Dodgers players he was close with for help in getting into the team. 

But Pam’s wish did not come true. President Friedman was contacted twice by Pam’s agent, but he declined both times. The Dodgers, who were looking for a left-handed outfielder, did not even look at right-handed outfielder Pam. In the end, Pam signed a one-year, $6 million free agent contract with the New York Mets at the end of January. Two weeks later, the Dodgers signed left-handed outfielder David Peralta for a one-year, $6.5 million contract. 

He almost made a connection with the Dodgers ahead of the trade deadline in early August. With fall baseball already far away, the Mets put Pam up for trade, and the possibility of him going to the Dodgers arose. There was testimony that the Dodgers considered Pam as one of the recruitment candidates. Key players Mookie Betts and JD Martinez also told Pam about the atmosphere of the club. 

Pam, who was secretly looking forward to going to the Dodgers, was ignored again. Before the Mets traded Pam, the Dodgers completed their reinforcement of right-handed hitters by acquiring Kike Hernández from the Boston Red Sox and Amed Rosario from the Cleveland Guardians. Pam, who had been rejected by the Dodgers three times, was traded to Arizona with a few hours left before the trade deadline. 

This trade was a godsend for both Arizona and Pam. After moving to Arizona, he has a batting average of .2441 (47 hits in 195 at-bats), 6 home runs, 32 RBIs, and an OPS of .720 in 50 games, which is lower than when he was with the Mets, but he is showing his presence in the postseason. His performance on the surface is not outstanding, with a batting average of .275 (14 hits in 51 at-bats) in 13 games, 3 home runs, 3 RBIs, and an OPS of .779, but he exploded with 4 hits, including a home run, in Game 1 of the division series against the Dodgers, and went 2-for-5 in Game 2 as well. He played an active role in hitting and led the team to a three-game sweep. 

Pam, who also made an impact in Game 2 of the World Series against the Texas Rangers with 4 hits in 4 at bats, including 2 doubles, said, “I have no bad feelings toward the Dodgers at all. I have to do better. If you think I don’t fit in with the team, that can happen. “I have no feelings toward the Dodgers,” he said.

Pam has a strong personality and is like a rugby ball that doesn’t know where it will bounce. In May of last year, during his time with the Cincinnati Reds, he was suspended for 3 games and fined for making an unexpected move by visiting opposing player Jak Pederson (San Francisco Giants) and slapping him in the face before a game due to a difference of opinion regarding the fantasy football league. In February, after an argument broke out at a restaurant, he was stabbed below the waist and suffered a tragic accident that required more than 100 stitches.

He is perceived as a difficult player to deal with, even saying publicly earlier this season that some of the Mets’ players were not playing hard enough and demanding more playing opportunities from the club’s higher-ups. It is cited as the reason why he became a Journeyman, switching between 7 teams over 10 years after his debut in 2014. It is possible that the Dodgers, who value a player’s temperament, disposition, and character as much as his or her skills, were reluctant to use Pam because of these aspects. 

Arizona couldn’t have known this either. Ahead of the trade deadline, six other clubs also showed interest in Pam, but perhaps because of these uncertainties, the price was not that high. After examining Pam more closely, Arizona discovered that he “didn’t like playing with players who didn’t work hard,” and made a trade in exchange for Jeremy Rodriguez, a 17-year-old minor league infielder from the Dominican Republic, to the Mets. 

Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said, “Our team is full of hard-working players, so I didn’t think there would be any problem with Pam coming,” adding, “Culturally, he is helping our team a lot. He is a very serious worker and baseball player who wants to be a perfectionist. He also demands that his teammates work hard and improve. He praised Pam, who wants to be the best and is making a great contribution in the clubhouse as well. 굿모닝토토

“Pam’s blue-collar mentality is spreading to other players,” Arizona rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll said. Veteran third baseman Evan Longoria also said, “Pam is as prepared and caring as any teammate I’ve ever worked with. “He is also an inspiration in that he is a veteran player who constantly thinks about how he can get better.” Pam, who gave up the last at-bat in the 9th inning of Game 2, which was the first World Series record with 5 hits in 5 at-bats, to teammate Jace Peterson, is uniting the team with extraordinary camaraderie.

Arizona, which entered the fall baseball season as the last member of the National League Wild Card, has the lowest winning percentage (.519) among the 12 teams that advanced to the postseason. However, they reached the World Series by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers (2 wins), Dodgers (3 wins), and Philadelphia Phillies (4 wins, 3 losses) in order. They are causing surprises with stronger organizational power than ever before, and Pam is at the center of it all. If Arizona wins, it will be even more heartbreaking for the Dodgers, who were eliminated early in the division series for two consecutive years.

 

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