Dae-Ho Lee held a press conference at Banyantree Club ＆ Spa in Seoul, Korea on November 3. WoW! Korea posted questions and answers from the press conference.
Why do you want to go to the Majors when you have 500 million yen guaranteed next year?
It is my dream to play in the Majors. I'm in my mid-thirties, it's only going to get more difficult if I don't do this now. I spoke a lot about it with my family. They trust me and so I made the decision.
Can you play third?
For me, first and designated hitter is the easiest, but if a teams wants me there, I will prepare myself based on what the organization wants and play third.
When did you tell [Softbank] that you wanted to play in the Majors?
From the minute I went to Japan, my thoughts were always headed toward the Majors. It's only been four days since the end of the season. Just before that, all I was thinking about was winning a championship. I still [wanted to play in the Majors], but my immediate concern was what was right in front of me. I spoke to my agent two days ago and that's when I made the decision.
Why did you pick your current agent?
MVP Sports Club is a famous agency. I met an agent in August. I wasn't thinking about it at the time, but you can't just let dreams sit. I think this was good.
If you go to America, how will you prepare yourself?
My batting average dropped quite a bit while I played in Japan. Pitchers throw a lot of off-speed pitches so I tried to be a lot more patient than when I played in Korea. Major League pitchers come right at you, and I'll be a rookie I think there will be a lot I have to learn, so I want to start over from scratch.
Byeong-Ho Park is also going, will that be a problem?
Byeong-Ho Park is Korea's best hitter. I think he is a good player. I don't see anything wrong by going at the same time. I think it will be great if things go well for the both of us. There's no reason why this would be bad for us.
Is there a team you would like to play for?
I have never thought about which team I want to play for. It has only been two days since I made the decision to go to the Majors. I think I have to ask players I know, like Shin-Soo Choo and Jung-ho Kang, for advice.
What about Softbank's contract?
I can't really go into the specifics. If I stay in Japan, I do not plan on signing with a team other than Softbank.
If you make it to the Majors, you might be able to see a lot more of Shin-Soo Choo.
I think Shin-Soo, with the language barrier, really had a hard time. I wil be going after a stop in Japan, so I think I will be able to use that experience to help me. I want to try the baseball I learned in Korea in the United States.
It seems [your wife gave birth to] a second child.
I heard the baby was laughing for three days after its birth.
You haven't had time to rest.
I haven't really had a good night's rest. I have another goal, to hit well during the Premier 12. Then I can rest.
Hikoki Kokubo mentioned you as the player he worried about the most.
There are many players better than me. If you're worried about me, then something is wrong.
What are you plans now?
I will join the national team after this interview. Once I put on the uniform, I can only think about baseball. I can focus on the game because I have a good agent.
Do you have something you'd like to say to Softbank?
I was very happy. Everyone in Fukuoka loves Softbank. I appreciated the coaches and players trying to talk to me in Korean. I picked Softbank because I wanted a championship. I'm lucky because it really came true.
What do you want to accomplish in the Majors?
I'll talk about that if I can get a contract.