Archive for the 'Korea' Category

Bucketlist Reviewed

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Myworld is in Omaha to watch the last two games of the college world series. First we will enter into Papillion for a day game for the Storm Chasers, which will be a DHer of sorts, i.e. a finish to the second game that was suspended last night and a new game. Then we will travel down to Omaha for the first game of the finals of the College World Series. That will be a first, three games in one day.

Since this college world series was on my bucket list myworld thought we would summarize some of our bucket list accomplishments since 2011 after we first wrote of our bucket list down. At the end we will identify those adventures still on the list. These are only our baseball bucket lists. We have plenty of non-baseball adventures we would still like to capture.

October 2011 - Went to Panama to watch the last Baseball World Cup. The event is not quite as strong as the soccer World Cups. Attendance was sparse. Netherlands went on to upset Cuba for their first World Cup win. Lots of rain at the event. The third place game was not played because of rain but Canada was awarded the bronze. The gold medal game was delayed by about five hours. This would be the last World Cup before a major reorganization.

November 2011 - Visited Taichung, Taiwan for the Asian World Series. This is another event that was discontinued. Another upset as the Samsung Lions defeated the Softbank Hawks to become the first non-Japanese team to win the Asian Series.

February 2012 - Traveled to the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to see the Series del Caribe. Cuba had yet to be allowed to participate. This is another event that is struggling for survival. At the time the teams played pool play and the team with the best record was declared champion. This event was anticlimactic as the Dominican Republic won it easily. On the last day, win or lose the Dominicans had won the pool. They added Cuba later and went to a pool play and playoff format to make the finals or last day more meaningful.

September 6-11 2013- Japan trip. This was my fourth trip to Japan to watch baseball so not really bucket list material. Some of the events were. Witnessed Wladimir Balentien hit his 54th homerun on his way to a record breaking 60 for the year, smashing the record of Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass, who each had 55. Also saw a pitcher’s duel between Masahiro Tanaka and rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, won by Tanaka 3-2. Tanaka would go on to break a baseball record of 25 consecutive wins and then went on to play for the New York Yankees the next year. Ohtani is now with the Angels.

November 7, 2013 - Visited Arizona and watched the Arizona Fall League for the first time. Aaron Sanchez and Travis Shaw were two players who impressed me during that visit.

July 8th 2014 - Traveled to Dyersville Iowa to see the Field of Dreams. Also around that time went to Durham, North Carolina to see the old stadium that was used for the Durham Bulls movie. Myworld loves the Durham park and we have visited there at least three times.

November 11 2014 - Revisited Taichung, Taiwan for the 21 and under World Cup. Taiwan won it, upsetting Japan. Chun Lin Kuo pitched seven shutout innings in the 9-0 rout. Myworld was strangled in blue confetti after the win.

June 20th 2015 - These bucket lists can not be predicted. Witnessed my first no hitter, Max Scherzer doing the honors in Washington D.C.. The only previous no hitter I had seen prior to that was a seven inning minor league no hitter. I never really counted that since it was only seven innings.

June 23 2016 - Did not see a Little League World Series but I did go to Williamsport and visited the park. Went to a minor league game in Williamsport and watched Triston Mackenzie pitch for the Indians minor league team. The minor league park is located next door to the first field where the Little League World Series was played. They are still playing Little League games at that field.

July 2016 - Went to Haarlem, Netherlands to watch the Honkball tournament. It was my first experience of European baseball. The facility where they held the tournament is pretty impressive. I do believe Japan may have been the winners of that tournament, upsetting the Netherlands in the finals but I could be wrong. I did not see the finals preferring to enjoy some of the sights of Haarlem instead.

February 8 2017 - Witnessed my second Series del Caribe, this one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in the championship match. This was the first Series del Caribe that Cuba was allowed to play.

March 12, 2017 - Travelled to Miami, Florida to watch a World Baseball Classic game and it was wild. The Dominican Republic beat the United States and the crowd was probably more entertaining than the game. Also saw a couple World Baseball Classic games in Miami in 2013. Kenley Jenson was a catcher for the Netherlands.

July 7-9, 2018 - This was my first Futures game. The United States defeated the World. Talk is that they will be changing that format for this year. The homerun derby and the All Star game followed after that. The experience was awesome. The only downside is I had to leave early because the game went into extra innings and Metro was closing.

June 24 2019 - In Omaha to see the College World Series

November 2019 - Hope to return to Tokyo to watch the Premier 12

2020 and beyond.

The Olympics is on the agenda. I’ve already been to an Olympic event when they were in Los Angeles but watched the volleyball. The prices for these events seem a little steep.

World Series game is still a must see. I may have to travel for that since the Nationals and Orioles may never give me that opportunity.

Been to every ball park in Japan but Hokkaido. That is on the list. Will be going to Saint Louis after the College World Series leaving Tampa, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Arizona, Toronto and Colorado as the only major league parks I have not visited. Went to the old Seattle park and if I don’t hurry the Oakland and Tampa parks may no longer be available. Still lots of minor league parks to visit.

Hope to see a European championship tournament. On my bucket list is a visit to Italy so seeing a game there and visiting Italy would fulfill two accomplishments.

Myworld has seen games in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic so going to another country to see a game would be cool. We’ve also played softball in Australia and Sweden.

Myworld has also been to Cooperstown, but it might be cool to visit it again to see how time has changed it.

That is it for now.

World Cup 18 Groups

Friday, May 17th, 2019

The under 18 World Cup will be played in Gijang, Korea on August 30 to September 8 at the Gijang-Hyundai Dream Ballpark. The United States has won the last four under 18 championships.

Group A

Korea, Australia, Netherlands, Canada, Nicaragua and China

Group B

Japan, United States, Taiwan, Panama, South Africa and Spain

The top three teams from each group advance to the super round. The top two teams from the super round play for the championship. The absence of Cuba could be financial. They have also lost a number of their younger players to the major leagues.

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.