Japanese team sends Chan Ho Park to minors, tells him to “stop fooling around”

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There wasn’t much of a free agent market for Chan Ho Park despite his sold performance down the stretch for the Pirates, so the 38-year-old veteran of 17 MLB seasons headed to Japan and signed with the Orix Buffaloes.

And apparently it isn’t going very well.

Alastair Himmer of Reuters reports that Park was demoted to the minor leagues “after being told to ‘stop fooling around’ and get serious.”

Park had a 4.29 ERA in seven starts, but drew heavy criticism from pitching coach Osamu Fukuma after giving up six runs in his most recent outing. MLB teams learned that Park was much more effective as a reliever, so perhaps Orix will give him a second chance out of the bullpen.