Archive for the 'Korea' Category

McGuire Tosses No Hitter in KBO

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

It was not much of a game. Unless you wanted to watch a no hitter. The Samsung Lions eradicated the Hanwha Eagles 16-0. The highlight of the game was the no hitter thrown by Deck McGuire. He struck out 13 in the game, including striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth, finishing the game with 128 pitches.

The Eagles only had three baserunners. One reached on an error in the first but was later caught stealing. Deck walked a hitter in the fourth and hit a batter in the eighth.

The last no hitter myworld shows was by Michael Bowden in 2016. We could have missed one. It would be the 14th no hitter recorded in the KBO. At they have a list of no hitters in the KBO, but they fail to show the Bowden no-no in 2016 so it may not have been updated.

New Ball Stifling KBO Offense

Friday, April 19th, 2019

The KBO went to a newer, heavier ball and the offense has dropped. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in the KBO. What has really fallen off is the number of homeruns that are hit, especially when compared to last year. Last year the KBO hit a record 1,756 homeruns, including five players hitting more than 40 homeruns.

After the first 100 games this year there were 159 homeruns according to Yonhap News Agency. Compared to last year, after 102 games there were 244 homeruns. To address the explosive offense issue the KBO went with a new ball that is larger with less bounce to it than the one used last year and the results have been noticeable.

The league wide batting average has also dropped from .276 last year to .259 this year. This has also created a lower ERA from 4.87 to 4.06. Looking at the ERA leader board has shown some results that you never would have expected in the KBO. The top five leader board for the KBO after 23 games:

Tyler Wilson (Twins) 0.26
Cha Woo-chan (Twins) 0.75
Josh Lindblom (Bears) 1.65
Park Jin-Woo (Dinos) 2.05
Kim Won Joong (Giants) 2.05

It used to be that if you could have an ERA under 4.00 you were accomplishing something. Currently there are 17 pitchers who qualify for the league leader boards who have ERAs under 4.

Hanwha Eagles Break Scoring Record

Monday, April 8th, 2019

The Hanwha Eagles defeated the Lotte Giants 16-1. Those scores are not unusual in a KBO game. Except Hanwha scored all 16 of their runs in the third inning breaking a KBO record for most runs scored, RBIs and hits in an inning. Mercifully the game was called after 6.5 innings because of rain.

Sloppy fielding made eight of the runs unearned. Ji-Seong-Jun opened the inning with a walk and then got two more hits before the inning ended, driving in three runs. Jung Eon-Won drove in five runs in the inning with a three run homer and two run single. Jared Hoying mashed a three run homer. Only in the KBO can you have this kind of offense.

With the win the Eagles improved to 7-7 while the Giants dropped to 7-7.

Dominican Republic Still Leads in Foreign Major Leaguers

Monday, April 1st, 2019

According to a major league baseball press release there are 251 foreign players from 20 different countries or areas who appear on 25 man major league rosters, or are on restricted or disabled lists. That accounts for 28.5% of the players. The Dominican Republic again leads in the most major league players outside the 50 United States. Below is a breakdown of where all those foreign players are from;

1. Dominican Republic (102)
2. Venezuela (68)
3. Cuba (19)
4. Puerto Rico (18)
5. Mexico (8)
6. Japan (6)
7. Canada (6)
8. Curacao (5)
9. South Korea (5)
10. Colombia (4)
11. Aruba (1)
12. Australia (1)
13. Brazil (1)
14. Germany (1)
15. Lithuania (1)
16. Netherlands (1)
17. Nicaragua (1)
18. Panama (1)
19. Taiwan (1)
20. U.S. Virgin Islands (1)

Four Sellouts for Korean Opening Day

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

The KBO had five opening day matches on Saturday. Four of them were sellouts. A little over 114,000 fans attended the opening games, a record turn out for the KBO. Another 100,000 fans turned out for day two, the first time more than 100,000 fans had turned out on back to back days.

The NC Dinos played at their new stadium on Saturday before 22,112 fans. Eddie Butler rewarded them with seven innings of shutout ball. New free agent acquisition Eui-Ji Yang slugged a solo homerun while their new foreign acquisition Christian Bethancourt blasted a three run job to lead the Dinos to a 7-0 win. Jin-Hyuk No also hit a two run homerun. Lions pitcher Deck McGwire gave up all seven runs in less than four innings of work.

The Doosan Bears played in Seoul to a sell out crowd and rewarded them with a 5-4 win over the Hanwha Eagles. Kun-Woo Park hit a two run homer in the fourth but it was foreign Cuban acquisition Jose Miguel Fernandez who drove in the last three runs with an RBI single in the sixth and a two run double in the eighth that sealed the win. The Eagles loaded the bases with one out in the ninth but could score only one run on a sacrifice fly. Warwick Saupold gave up three runs for the Eagles in 5.2 innings of work while Josh Lindblom gave up two in the same number of innings despite giving up more hits (9 to 5).

The Lotte Giants played to a sellout crowd but could not provide their fans a victory, losing to the newly named Kiwoom Heroes 7-4. Byung-Ho Park proved the difference with his four runs driven in, two of them on a single in the fifth and one each on a solo blast in the third and RBI single in the eighth. Brooks Raley was ineffective for the Giants allowing five runs in four innings. Jake Brigham was just as ineffective for the Heroes giving up four runs, three earned in five innings.

The Kia Tigers bats were silent playing before their sellout crowd, shutout by Tyler Wilson and the LG Twins 2-0. Wilson went seven and gave up just three hits.

The only game that was not a sellout was at SK Wyverns, the defending champs, who got past the newest Korean team the KT Wiz 7-4. Jamie Romak and Dong-Min Han each walloped two run homers to prove the difference. The Romak clout in the seventh inning broke a 4-4 tie.

Korean Opening Day Starters are Foreign

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Korean pitching is improving in the KBO. In 2017 all ten opening day starters were foreign pitchers. Last year nine opening day starters were foreign pitchers. This year that number has whittled down to eight.

Kim Kwang-Hyun, who was posted to the major leagues a couple years ago but never signed, will start for the defending champion SK Wyverns. KBO 2017 MVP Yang Hyeon-jong will start for the Kia Tigers. After those two the other eight teams will rely on foreign pitchers to start on opening day. Below are the opening day starters for the other teams.

KT Wiz - William Cuevas
LG Twins - Tyler Wilson
NC Dinos - Eddie Butler
Samsung Lions - Deck McGuire
Doosan Bears - Josh Lindblom
Hanwha Eagles - Warwick Saupold
Lotte Giants - Brooks Raley
Nexen Heroes - Jake Brigham

KBO clubs are limited to carry just two foreign pitchers on their roster. They can carry three foreign players on their roster but the third is a position player. No KBO club carries two position players and one pitcher to fill their three foreign player limit.

Teams Announced for 12 and Under World Cup

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) 12 and under World Cup will be played in Tainan City from July 26 to August 4. Tainan City will be hosting the 12 and under until 2027, holding the next five events. They will be the Williamsburg of the WBSC. Fiji is the one interesting new player in this tournament. Taiwan won this event in 2011, the first year it was played, but the United States did not participate in that tournament. The last three events the United States has won the championship. Below are the groupings for the tournament.

Group A

Taiwan, Japan, Czech Republic, South Africa, Cuba and Fiji

Group B

United States, Mexico, Korea, Australia, Venezuela and Italy

That Did Not Last Long

Friday, February 1st, 2019

The first female general manager in baseball has been replaced. She lasted on the job for two weeks. The Kiwoom Heroes have hired Kim Chi-Hyun to replace Im Eun-Ju. Kim had been hired to be head of strategies, international affairs and player development. The Heroes will look into placing Im in a new position with the club.

When it was first announced Im was hired as the GM for the Kiwoom Heroes a newspaper reported on past misconducts by her in her previous executive position. While she was a football executive it was alleged she hired a friend and a nephew for positions with the club, even though they clearly were not qualified for the job. It was also alleged Im was a meddling executive who was always talking to the head coaches about strategy. Im has denied the claims.

Im did make the statement that she did feel out of her depth in her first baseball job and felt the change might be best. So it is possible the change would have been made despite these allegations. So the hiring of the first female GM in baseball will have to wait.

Professional Baseball Hires First Female General Manager

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

The Kiwoom (ex-Nexon) Heroes hired the first female general manager for professional baseball. She is Im Eun-Ju and she is not a stranger to being a first. She was also the first South Korean woman to become a FIFA referee. Her title is also that of team president. Myworld knows that no female has ever become general manager in the major leagues. We are pretty certain that Japan and Taiwan have not ever placed a female as general manager in their professional leagues, so we will call her a first.

While she will oversee baseball operations, Park Joon-Sang, a male, will oversee marketing and business operations. He will also carry the title of President. The Kiwoom Heroes have overtaken the franchise previously operated by the Nexen Heroes, who had financial and legal difficulties and decided to abandon their KBO team.

Im is an athlete having also played soccer for the women’s national soccer team. Her qualifications for the general manager position were learned after her playing days were over when she took over the administration of the men’s soccer program. She was the CEO and GM for two different soccer clubs from 2013 to 2018. She has very little baseball experience so there may be a bit of a learning curve as she goes about her duties.

Kudos to the KBO and the Kiwoom Heroes for their forward thinking.

Korea to Call Games Because of Fine Dust

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

The KBO will now call games not just because of rain but because of pollution. The calculation gets very complex, way beyond myworld’s level of understanding but if “the level of particles 2.5 to 10 micrometers in diameter (PM-10) is expected to exceed 300 micrograms per cubic meter (㎍/㎥) for more than two hours. For ultra fine dust, or particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, (PM-2.5), the warning is put in place when the level is expected to remain over 150㎍/㎥ for longer than two hours”. Myworld will leave it to the experts to make that call.

The call to cancel the game will be made one hour before the first pitch. It is not clear what happens if the dust particles reach that level while the game is in play. Fine dust issues caused the cancellation of three games that were supposed to be played on April 6, 2018.