After Productive Second Half, Choo Goes Home Safely Again

I guess – at least after a productive season – you can indeed go home again.

After his best season as a Ranger, Shin-Soo Choo enjoyed a peaceful trip back to South Korea this offseason. Friends. Family. Peace of mind.

In other words, nothing like last Winter.

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“The last couple of years I felt like I put everything on my shoulders and now I want to do something to pay back the Texas Rangers and my contract,” Choo said at a Rangers’ winter caravan appearance Sunday in Fort Worth. “Now I feel like I’m more free.”

After an injury-plagued 2014 in which his dismal performance helped the Rangers to 94 losses, Choo bounced back big time in 2015. In the second half of the season, he led Texas’ push to the AL West by hitting .343 and being the active table-setter for big boppers Adrian Beltre and Prince Fielder.

Choo credits manager Jeff Banister, who didn’t give up on him despite an ugly start that saw him hit under .100 the first month of the season.

“He gave me the opportunity,” Choo said. “That’s not easy to do because everybody wants to win. The first half was not really me. Not many managers would give you that opportunity.”

Banister was rewarded with a productive player that helped win a division championship. And Choo rewarded himself in November with a two-week vacation back home.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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