The lack of baseball has left a lot of time for reflection here in South Korea. I’m not talking about corona virus. I’m not an expert in that field — of course, if you have any questions about that, I can share an experience in Korea!
Here, I’m going to talk about baseball.
There is a professional baseball league in Korea. They call it the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization). Former MLB players and ex-Rays also play there. This year, Taylor Motter and Rene Pinto will play in Korea.
The KBO is a little different from the MLB, and because of that, sometimes strange situations occur. To have a little fun in the spring without baseball, I’ll share a few today.
1. Look out!
Everyone watching baseball was surprised by this one, but the most surprised person was the Umpire!
The catcher was unhappy with the umpire’s call and intentionally avoided the pitch as a punishment for the umpire. Of course, He failed to hit the umpire with a ball, but the catcher was disciplined for it.
The catcher’s behavior is not right. But we’ve seen a lot of ridiculous calls. Will this kind of behavior happen in the Major League someday? Should we have robot umpire before that?
I’m relieved that A.J. Pierzynski retired before seeing this clip.
2. Too heavy a use of the defensive shift!
Here the manager ordered the pitcher an IBB with two men on.
The manager, however, was worried that the pitcher might throw a wild pitch, so the manager ordered the third baseman to cover the back of the catcher.
This does not happen in the current system of automatic IBB. Besides, this is a clear violation of the rules.
During the in-play situation, all fielders must be in the area of play. Eventually, the third baseman returned to his defensive position, and luckily a wild throw didn’t happen.
There is quite a lot of talk in the Major League about limiting shifts. It would be quite a long story to write about it. Here, I can just predict that one day, the defense position and rule debate will be very far worse in the Major Leagues.
Nevertheless, whenever I see a wide foul area at Oakland home field, I imagine putting a fielder there.
3. Players having too much fun during games!
In fact, I enjoy watching players joke on the base during a game. But in this instance there was a problem.
The runner who was chatting with his former teammate was picked-off!
The runner was heavily criticized by all. As far as I know, unnecessary conversations during a game are prohibited; however this regulation is not strictly applied.
I believe that someday a similar situation will happen in the Major Leagues. For example, whenever I see fielders tagging and pushing a runner playfully, I worry about what happens when runner is pushed off and a tag-out call comes out.
4. Hitters celebrating too early!
I’m sure you’ve heard about the Korean bat flip. This next clip could be used for that, but the story I want to tell is something else.
Last year, the KBO reduced the baseball’s power through a design change, so a ball that hitters thought would be a home run was now caught at the warning track a bit more often.
The change came because the KBO believed fans dislike the many runs and longer game playing times. But, despite of the reduced runs, number of attendance didn’t increase. Why is that? Is it all that different from Manfred’s approach? I don’t know the answer.
And since I can’t share just one example, here’s another!
And for good measure, I would like to introduce one more of my favorite videos.
This situation comes from the very important South Korea-Japan international match. Just looking at a South Korean batter’s bat flip, it would look like a thrilling grand slam late in the game I also jumped out of my seat, confident that it would be a home run. but the Japanese center fielder caught him. Perhaps this is also due to different official balls.
For your information, that Japanese CF is Shogo Akiyama who signed with the Reds recently.
It may take a long time without baseball. Baseball is likely to open first in Korea, which has probably experienced the virus situation before. Until then, if there is another interesting situation like these that comes to mind, I’ll be sure to share it!
I wish everyone good health.