Shin-Soo Choo gets day off vs. Rangers
CLEVELAND -- Shin-Soo Choo is getting a breather.
Indians manager Manny Acta rested the slumping outfielder when Cleveland hosted the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
Choo, who batted .300 in each of the last two seasons, is hitting .242 and has struck out 55 times in 207 at-bats. He has five homers and 22 RBIs after averaging 21 homers and 88 RBIs the last two seasons.
Acta believes Choo is pressing and wanted to give him a day off to clear his head.
"It's only normal," Acta said. "He's very proud and has had success here for two years. He knows how important he is to our club. At times they take it too hard."
Choo is also a national hero in his native South Korea, which Acta thinks is adding to the pressure on the right fielder.
"He's representing not only the Cleveland fans, but he feels he's representing Korea too," Acta said. "It's time for him to relax a little bit. He's going to be fine. Hopefully, we can get him back because we do need him."
Although Choo leads the American League with eight outfield assists, he has had problems running down fly balls. He lost a ball in the twilight that landed for a double Friday night.
Choo was arrested May 2 on suspicion of drunken driving after a breathalyzer test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of .201 -- more than double Ohio's legal limit of .08. Choo apologized to each of his teammates individually before Cleveland's next game.
Acta thinks the attention generated by the arrest has affected Choo.
"He's been (in the United States) for 10 years playing baseball and he's never made a mistake off the field," Acta said. "He carries a lot of weight. It's brought him some extra stuff to have to worry about. He's not making excuses, but I know it has bothered him."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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