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Baseball at the Olympics


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#1 Orel Miraculous

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 10:09 AM

Play begins on on Wednesday, August 13 and continues through the gold medal game on Saturday, August 23rd.

This is the last year for Baseball and Softball in the Olympics and the IOC is sending it out with all the respect it never gave it. Get this:

The Olympic baseball tournament will institute a new tie-breaking procedure in Beijing, beginning each inning starting with the 11th with runners on first and second bases. Teams also may start the 11th at any point in their batting order under format changes announced Friday by the International Baseball Federation and adopted in time for next monthís Beijing Games. For example, a team that opts to lead off with its No. 3 hitter would begin with its No. 1 batter on second base and its No. 2 hitter on first with no outs.


There is no debating that this is an absolute mockery of the game, particularly for the Japanese and Koreans who shut down their professional leagues so that they could send their best players for this.

I have a feeling that most people on this board won't watch an inning of Olympic baseball and I don't really understand why. I understand not taking the tournament seriously, inane extra innings rules and Mike Koplove will do that to a person (that's right, Mike Koplove, USA!). But it's still baseball and there is still plenty of talent on display. Consider:

Team USA is led by Matt LaPorta and Colby Rasmus.

Cuba has sent essentially the same team that will send to the WBC in March.

The Japanese team is made up entirely of NPB pros including Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, and Koji Uehara.

Team Taiwan features Sox prospects Che Hsuan Lin and Chih Hsien Chiang. Check out Lin's ridiculous throw in a tuneup game last week. Kids got a cannon.

I for one am going to make sure that I see as much of the Taiwanese team as possible and certainly won't miss a Darvish start.

Complete Schedule Here

#2 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:23 PM

Canada - China underway, 0-0 in the 4th. I am watching on CBC website, no audio commentary.

I wouldn't have expected such a game, China out hitting Canada 3-1 so far.

Strange atmosphere, the huge outfield bleachers are pretty full, but NO ONE sitting behind the plate or in any infield seats.

Well...3 Run HR for Canada as I type...

#3 SoxScout


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:51 PM

According to the game log (grain of salt)

Che-Hsuan Lin is 1-4 RBI

Chih-Hsien Chiang is 1-4 2B

Chinese Taipei up 5-0 in the 7th against the Netherlands

#4 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:57 PM

Wheels starting to fall off for China now - overthrows, wild pitches, HBP, runs walked in...the kind of things you expect to see from a country that inherited baseball when they were awarded the Games.

That said, they're still only down 5-0 in the 5th.

#5 PedroisGod

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:59 PM

China looks absolutely horrible. Their pitching is atrocious, and their hitting looks completely overmatched by Canada's AAA pitcher Chris Begg.

#6 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:05 AM

China looks absolutely horrible. Their pitching is atrocious, and their hitting looks completely overmatched by Canada's AAA pitcher Chris Begg.

This is the China I expected to see - although I'm still not clear how it was scoreless after 3...that said, I'm semi-watching, on the small window on the computer, while doing other things too.

#7 PedroisGod

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:37 AM

Fred - where are you watching the game online?

#8 SoxScout


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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:43 AM

http://www.nbcolympi...nelcode=sportbb

#9 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:48 AM

Fred - where are you watching the game online?

CBC...

CBC - Canada v. China Baseball

This link might only work within Canada. The NBC stuff is only good in the US (although I'm sure there are work-arounds for that)

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 13 August 2008 - 12:54 AM.


#10 SoxScout


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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:57 AM

Ahhh, I see

And yep, I can't get the CBC broadcast

Edited by SoxScout, 13 August 2008 - 12:58 AM.


#11 PedroisGod

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:57 AM

Scout/Fred - thanks for the links. And as for China only having a team because they're hosting it - say what you will - Greece didn't do too badly for themselves. Didn't they only lose 1-0 to Canada? A teammate of mine actually pitched that game for Greece.

#12 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:10 AM

Scout/Fred - thanks for the links. And as for China only having a team because they're hosting it - say what you will - Greece didn't do too badly for themselves. Didn't they only lose 1-0 to Canada? A teammate of mine actually pitched that game for Greece.

Looks like Greece lost 2-0 to Canada, and amazingly 5-4 to Cuba in 2004. However, I would wager than not so many of those Greeks grew up in Greece...still, holding Cuba to a one run game - impressive.

#13 pockmeister

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 10:31 AM

Hmmm, looks like baseball's use of PEDs extends to the whole world...

http://news.bbc.co.u...all/7557721.stm

Not the greatest news when the sport is trying to clear its name up during a last Olympic appearance

#14 trekfan55


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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:48 PM

Does anyone know if Bruce Hurst is still the pitching coach for China? I think he was during the WBC.

#15 Orel Miraculous

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:17 PM

Huge game coming up at 11:30, US vs Cuba. The US rebounded well against the Netherlands. Stephan Strasburg, who is probably going to be the first pick in the draft next year, took a no-hitter into the 7th. We need to win this game against Cuba to keep any hope of a gold medal alive.

Watch it live online here.

#16 RingoOSU


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Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:21 AM

Since two of the best teams in the olympics just had their matchup decided by the stupid "put men on in the 11th" rule, I am pretty much done with olympic baseball. Good riddance, IOC. Bring on the WBC in 2009.

#17 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 15 August 2008 - 12:53 PM

Since two of the best teams in the olympics just had their matchup decided by the stupid "put men on in the 11th" rule, I am pretty much done with olympic baseball. Good riddance, IOC. Bring on the WBC in 2009.

I don't see why in the round robin portion they can't just let a tie stand. That's not all that uncommon in baseball tournaments.

Quietly emerging as a contender - South Korea, with close wins over US and Canada.

Also in what must have been an "interesting" game, spoiled by the new tie-break rule though, China BEAT Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) 5-4.

#18 reggiecleveland


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Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:41 PM

The Chinese spectators get really excited on every foul ball

#19 Tokyo Sox


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Posted 18 August 2008 - 12:21 AM

Japan just beat Canada, 1-0. The difference was Inaba's solo HR leading off the 5th. Naruse pitched 7 strong, and Fujikawa and Uehara followed suit for an inning each to complete the shutout.

Korea, looking to go 5-0, is beating up on Taiwan 8-2 in the 4th.

#20 Cuzittt


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Posted 18 August 2008 - 12:52 AM

Korea, looking to go 5-0, is beating up on Taiwan 8-2 in the 4th.


Baseball is a funny game... 8-8 after 6.

#21 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 18 August 2008 - 09:56 AM

Japan just beat Canada, 1-0. The difference was Inaba's solo HR leading off the 5th. Naruse pitched 7 strong, and Fujikawa and Uehara followed suit for an inning each to complete the shutout.

Korea, looking to go 5-0, is beating up on Taiwan 8-2 in the 4th.

Canada is just snakebit here - one run losses to US, Korea, Cuba and Japan.

And the Blue Jays just sent Scott Richmond down -- although I guess pitching isn't the problem when you're losing games 1-0.

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 18 August 2008 - 10:03 AM.


#22 BigMike


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Posted 18 August 2008 - 11:43 PM

The final nail may have been put in baseball's coffin today

http://sports.yahoo....o...p&type=lgns

Laporta ran over the China catcher in the 5th inning. A pretty routing baseball play, but the Chinese catcher got hurt. Then the next inning Nick Schierholtz absolutely crushed the catcher on another play at home. This one seemed a bit harder, but then again, that may just have been because of an inexperienced catcher.

Lefebvre who has been around the game long enough to know better came out and pissed and moaned about the collisions and got tossed. Which lead to a pretty brutal beaning of LePorta in the 7th inning.

#23 Tokyo Sox


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Posted 19 August 2008 - 12:24 AM

The final nail may have been put in baseball's coffin today

http://sports.yahoo....o...p&type=lgns

Laporta ran over the China catcher in the 5th inning. A pretty routing baseball play, but the Chinese catcher got hurt. Then the next inning Nick Schierholtz absolutely crushed the catcher on another play at home. This one seemed a bit harder, but then again, that may just have been because of an inexperienced catcher.

Lefebvre who has been around the game long enough to know better came out and pissed and moaned about the collisions and got tossed. Which lead to a pretty brutal beaning of LePorta in the 7th inning.


Oops. At least this incident helps us answer the question up-thread about Bruce Hurst:

Chinese reliever Chen Kun and pitching coach Steven Ontiveros were tossed soon after when Chen hit LaPorta in the head to start the seventh.


trekfan55 is right that Hurst was the pitching coach for China in the 2006 WBC but that no longer seems to be the case. I don't know when or why that change was made. Lefebvre was the head coach then too.

#24 SaladParmesan

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 10:06 AM

Just caught the highlights of the China-US game on SportsCenter... now I am aware that the narrative was likely manipulated to appeal to the American in me, but this was one of the most pathetic displays I've seen on an athletic field in some time.

Chinese pitchers hit FIVE players with pitches. Five. Schierholtz, after one beaning, comes around and just demolishes the Chinese catcher. China decides it is appropriate to come back and throw a pitch that hits LaPorta in the head... inexcusable in any situation.

Yet the most unbelievable part comes in the ninth inning when China, trailing 9-0, gets a solo HR from the backup catcher, who proceeds to run around the bases with one arm in the air, and stomps on home plate. Congratulations, you avoided a shutout.

#25 Ed Hillel


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Posted 19 August 2008 - 10:26 AM

Chinese pitchers hit FIVE players with pitches. Five. Schierholtz, after one beaning, comes around and just demolishes the Chinese catcher. China decides it is appropriate to come back and throw a pitch that hits LaPorta in the head... inexcusable in any situation.


This was honestly one of the hardest collisions I have ever seen in any sport at any level. It was almost certainly the hardest collision I've seen on a baseball field that didn't involve an infielder's and outfielder's face. Schierholtz absolutely demolished the catcher, but the guy was blocking the plate. It was a clean, although unnecessary play. It was absolutely no reason to throw at LaPorta's head, though. I hope the kid's ok.

#26 BigMike


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Posted 19 August 2008 - 10:41 AM

Oops. At least this incident helps us answer the question up-thread about Bruce Hurst:

trekfan55 is right that Hurst was the pitching coach for China in the 2006 WBC but that no longer seems to be the case. I don't know when or why that change was made. Lefebvre was the head coach then too.



Hurst apparently left his job to take a job in the Red Sox organization

http://wbztv.com/spo...n.2.662052.html

Just caught the highlights of the China-US game on SportsCenter... now I am aware that the narrative was likely manipulated to appeal to the American in me, but this was one of the most pathetic displays I've seen on an athletic field in some time.


I didn';t see the Sportscenter report, but I did see the NBC report on the game, and maybe that was biased as well.

Personally I put 100% of the blame on Jim Lefebvre

The Chinese players can be excused perhaps for taking things too far, or not knowing the unwritten rules, but Lefebvre gets no pass from me. He knows the game, he knows the plays at home were baseball plays, and not dirty, and he inflamed his team.

#27 Euclis20

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:29 AM

There was nothing wrong with the first play at the plate, but with regards to the second collision, it isn't very often that the runner takes out the catcher before he has the ball. It was a shoulder-high collision, very hard. There isn't a rule against it, and I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often, but it just isn't a play you see every day.

Of course, nothing excuses the LaPorta head shot.

Video of the HBPs:

http://www.nbcolympi...nelcode=sportbb

Video of the two collisions at the plate, and the LaPorta HBP again:

http://www.nbcolympi...nelcode=sportbb

#28 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 22 August 2008 - 12:03 AM

Nice set of semi-finals; Korea v. Japan and US v. Cuba...

Korea just tied it at 2 in the 7th.

Update - Korea gets a 2 run HR in bottom of the 8th to take a 2 run lead...

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 22 August 2008 - 12:21 AM.


#29 Tokyo Sox


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Posted 22 August 2008 - 12:32 AM

Nice set of semi-finals; Korea v. Japan and US v. Cuba...

Korea just tied it at 2 in the 7th.

Update - Korea gets a 2 run HR in bottom of the 8th to take a 2 run lead...


Devastating. Seung-Yeop Lee hit it, off Iwase of Chunichi. I wonder if the Giants allow him back to ichi-gun ever again, or just don't let him play in NBP at all, a la the Korean soccer player on a Serie A team, who scored against Italy in the 2002 World Cup. I'm joking of course, but I think Lee might be the only Korean in NPB on the national team. Ouch.

Korea just scored again on a shitty error by GG Sato in left, ball hit to the warning track, should have been easily caught, bounced off the heel of his glove. 5-2 Korea now, I think this one is over. Damn.

#30 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 22 August 2008 - 12:47 AM

And Korea closes it out. They're pretty happy celebrating their Gold medal...

(Technically, they'd have to win tomorrow to really get that, but if I understand things correctly, beating Japan means as much to the Koreans)

And yes, that was a brutal error...and his body language while he just kind of sat there and thought for a moment about how much it sucked to be him before going and getting the ball, was pretty intense.

Edited by Fred not Lynn, 22 August 2008 - 12:50 AM.


#31 shawnrbu


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Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:36 AM

Cuba smashes the U.S. 10-2 with 6 in the 8th. I had no idea Blaine Neal is on the Olympic team. He was terrible on the 05 Sox.

#32 mclusky

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 01:12 PM

Cuba smashes the U.S. 10-2 with 6 in the 8th. I had no idea Blaine Neal is on the Olympic team. He was terrible on the 05 Sox.

Damn, Blaine Neal's wikipedia page is longer than Lefty Grove's.

#33 LateRally

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 04:10 AM

Just catching up with this thread...

Devastating. Seung-Yeop Lee hit it, off Iwase of Chunichi. I wonder if the Giants allow him back to ichi-gun ever again, or just don't let him play in NBP at all, a la the Korean soccer player on a Serie A team, who scored against Italy in the 2002 World Cup. I'm joking of course, but I think Lee might be the only Korean in NPB on the national team. Ouch.

Yeah I realize you're joking, but if there were ever a time Lee would've gotten the boot, it would've been after the WBC a couple years ago. He almost single-handedly carried the Korean team, including 2 wins over Japan. I remember there was talk of him coming to the US, but he decided to stay in Japan and had a monster year with the Giants. Lee's a stud, but it's probably too late to entertain MLB at this point in his career. He must be pushing mid-30's by now.

And Korea closes it out. They're pretty happy celebrating their Gold medal...

(Technically, they'd have to win tomorrow to really get that, but if I understand things correctly, beating Japan means as much to the Koreans)

You're probably being facetious as well, but you can be damn sure Korea came into these games gunning for gold. Sure beating Japan is always nice, but at this point it's just gravy. The real prize is the medal. The last few years Korea has become a baseball powerhouse in Asia, right there with Japan. Just look at their performance in the Asian Games, the WBC, these Olympics, etc. They shouldn't be satisfied with just beating Japan anymore.


edit: and Korea seals the deal. 3-2 over Cuba for the gold. Lee SY comes up huge again with a 2-run jack in the 1st inning. Not to mention the 21-year-old kid Ryu with 8 1/3 quality innings. Awesome. What a great run.

Edited by LateRally, 23 August 2008 - 11:59 AM.


#34 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 23 August 2008 - 12:29 PM

You're probably being facetious as well, but you can be damn sure Korea came into these games gunning for gold.

Yes, obviously a little facetious - although in light of this;

14 of their players had already secured a medal and an exemption from mandatory military service with Friday's 6-2 semifinal victory over Japan. By law, the South Korean government exempts male athletes who earn any medal in the Olympics from the approximately two years of required duty.

I am inclined to think clinching the medal was a a pretty big deal, no matter who that win was over.

#35 LateRally

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 01:26 PM

Yes, obviously a little facetious - although in light of this;

I am inclined to think clinching the medal was a a pretty big deal, no matter who that win was over.

Sure that's a nice incentive. They had the same deal for the team that reached the semis at the WBC in '06. And a lot of those players are on the Olympics squad as well.

#36 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 23 August 2008 - 02:03 PM

Sure that's a nice incentive. They had the same deal for the team that reached the semis at the WBC in '06. And a lot of those players are on the Olympics squad as well.

I guess that explains why only 14 players earned the exemption now - the rest already had it from the WBC...

#37 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:15 AM

Devastating. Seung-Yeop Lee hit it, off Iwase of Chunichi. I wonder if the Giants allow him back to ichi-gun ever again, or just don't let him play in NBP at all, a la the Korean soccer player on a Serie A team, who scored against Italy in the 2002 World Cup. I'm joking of course, but I think Lee might be the only Korean in NPB on the national team. Ouch.


That player was Ahn Jungwhan, who scored the golden goal against Italy and promptly got booted out of the Serie A team. Korean press also making references to that while talking about Lee's almost definite demotion to Yomiuri's minor league ("2-gun").

#38 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:28 AM

Yeah I realize you're joking, but if there were ever a time Lee would've gotten the boot, it would've been after the WBC a couple years ago. He almost single-handedly carried the Korean team, including 2 wins over Japan. I remember there was talk of him coming to the US, but he decided to stay in Japan and had a monster year with the Giants. Lee's a stud, but it's probably too late to entertain MLB at this point in his career. He must be pushing mid-30's by now.


Lee has had a number of injuries this year and is just not the same. But I agree that the most opportune time for him to come out was after WBC (led the tourney in homers), and as a Kor-American Sox fan I would have loved to see what he could have done (ala Fukudome).

Remember that Lee has the Asian record for homers in a season:

http://en.wikipedia..../Lee_Seung-Yeop

with 56 homers in the Korean league (albeit it's a decent step down from the Japanese league in terms of overall depth). But this year he was being called "Shovel-Seung" for swinging at low pitches in the dirt by the Korean press, and was pretty roundly getting crapped on by other Korean fans.

The winning pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin (like all Asian names the last name goes first) is a bit of a beast and could be a decent major leaguer methinks: was a rookie in 2006, led in ERA and K's in 2006, and K's in 2007. His nickname is "The Monster" (or "The Host" as the movie is called here):

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Ryu_Hyun-Jin

His best pitch is the circle changeup and a straight four-seamer (pretty straight though). Built like a bull and supposedly a humble guy off the field, and tenacious on the field.

#39 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:35 AM

Devastating. Seung-Yeop Lee hit it, off Iwase of Chunichi


Most curious move - Iwase was literally losing all of their games for them this tourney, and ERA hovering in two digits BEFORE the decimal point.

I think the Korean fans really took offense (besides the historical stuff) to Hosino asking "Who's Lee?" right before the game, and of course now the infamous "we'll make them forget about catching Japan for the next 30 years" comment by Ichiro before WBC.

And Dice-K apparently is hopping mad about Japan losing out to Korea twice and vows revenge at next year's WBC. As long as he wears the beloved Sox uni I'm rootin' my heart out for the guy, but as a Japanese pitcher hope Lee smacks 3 dingers off him.

#40 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:13 AM

You're probably being facetious as well, but you can be damn sure Korea came into these games gunning for gold. Sure beating Japan is always nice, but at this point it's just gravy. The real prize is the medal. The last few years Korea has become a baseball powerhouse in Asia, right there with Japan. Just look at their performance in the Asian Games, the WBC, these Olympics, etc. They shouldn't be satisfied with just beating Japan anymore.



I see where you're coming from, but Korea vs. Japan in all sports is pretty much Sox vs. Yankees plus about a couple of thousands of years of history and a little 30 year period of WWII occupation by the Japanese thrown in for good measure.

First "Korean" gold ever, if I'm not mistaken was a marathoner who had to wear a Japanese flag and uniform during the occupation. The karma runs very, very deep here.

When Sohn Kee Chung, a Korean marathon runner, won a gold medal in the 1936 Berlin Games, he was forced to run as a Japanese, with the flag of the rising sun on his chest and a Japanese-imposed name of Son Kitei. When the Korean-language newspaper Dong-A Ilbo printed a picture of Mr. Sohn with the Japanese flag erased from his chest, eight members of the staff were jailed for 40 days.

Source: From NY Times

I think I speak for pretty much all Korean sports fans when I say any Korean team (baseball, soccer, judo, table tennis, hot dog eating contest - Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas is actually of Korean descent vs. Kobayashi) would trade beating Japan over winning the gold. The fact that Japan finished with no medal after getting crushed by the US team is pretty much the real gravy.

Edited by SeoulSoxFan, 24 August 2008 - 01:14 AM.


#41 LateRally

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:26 AM

The winning pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin (like all Asian names the last name goes first) is a bit of a beast and could be a decent major leaguer methinks: was a rookie in 2006, led in ERA and K's in 2006, and K's in 2007. His nickname is "The Monster" (or "The Host" as the movie is called here):

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Ryu_Hyun-Jin

His best pitch is the circle changeup and a straight four-seamer (pretty straight though). Built like a bull and supposedly a humble guy off the field, and tenacious on the field.

I'll admit I've never seen this guy pitch before yesterday, but for a guy built like he is, he didn't seem to have much velocity on his fastball. Not that that alone would be a deal-breaker, but I'm not sure how his stuff would translate to MLB.

I think the Korean fans really took offense (besides the historical stuff) to Hosino asking "Who's Lee?" right before the game, and of course now the infamous "we'll make them forget about catching Japan for the next 30 years" comment by Ichiro before WBC.

And Dice-K apparently is hopping mad about Japan losing out to Korea twice and vows revenge at next year's WBC. As long as he wears the beloved Sox uni I'm rootin' my heart out for the guy, but as a Japanese pitcher hope Lee smacks 3 dingers off him.

The Japanese really need to STFU with the trash-talking, especially when they repeatedly fail to back it up. Starting with that little shit Ichiro and his lapdog Matsuzaka spouting off at the WBC. And Hoshino's a piece of work too. And Dice-K can be pissed all he wants, but he goddamn better focus on the rest of this season and October, and not get preoccupied with next year. But yeah I'm with you. I would love for him to get saddled with a couple of 2 IP, 7 ER outings vs. Korea. Bonus because it'll save his arm for when he's back with the Sox.

But seriously, we are right there with Japan now as the class of Asian baseball (Taiwan is in the mix as well of course). I don't follow this nearly as much as I should, but in the last 5 years or so, by my rough count, the Korean national team is something like 6-5 head-to-head with Japan in major tournaments (Olympics, WBC, Asian Games, Asian Championships, World Cup, Intercontinental). They have lost some big games (like the semis at the WBC), but have won big as well. You trash talk at your own risk these days.

#42 LateRally

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:33 AM

I think I speak for pretty much all Korean sports fans when I say any Korean team (baseball, soccer, judo, table tennis, hot dog eating contest - Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas is actually of Korean descent vs. Kobayashi) would trade beating Japan over winning the gold. The fact that Japan finished with no medal after getting crushed by the US team is pretty much the real gravy.

Trust me I'm well aware of the history. All I'm saying is that in these particular Olympics, Korea had the rare opportunity to help knock out Japan and win the tourney. And they sure as hell did not let up after the Japan games. That wasn't going to be good enough. And I'm damn glad that's the attitude they had.

#43 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:45 AM

I'll admit I've never seen this guy pitch before yesterday, but for a guy built like he is, he didn't seem to have much velocity on his fastball. Not that that alone would be a deal-breaker, but I'm not sure how his stuff would translate to MLB.


The changeup / 4-seamer drop was decent enough to hold the Cubans in check, and the Taiwanese too. He could turn out to be a Jae Seo or Chanho (the good Dodger Chanho before serving up that dinger in the All-Star game to Ripken Jr.) but would love to see the guy try at this level.

The Japanese really need to STFU with the trash-talking, especially when they repeatedly fail to back it up. Starting with that little shit Ichiro and his lapdog Matsuzaka spouting off at the WBC. And Hoshino's a piece of work too. And Dice-K can be pissed all he wants, but he goddamn better focus on the rest of this season and October, and not get preoccupied with next year. But yeah I'm with you. I would love for him to get saddled with a couple of 2 IP, 7 ER outings vs. Korea. Bonus because it'll save his arm for when he's back with the Sox.

No shit - Ichiro is one player I'd be torn to root for as a member of the Sox. As far as Dice-K goes, wasn't too keen on seeing his comments on the Olympics either, although it was only on Korean newspapers and not on any local outlets here.

As another little gem of a moment in history of Kor-Jpn ball, Lee smacked a double off of then Japanese phenom Dice-K a couple of Olympics back, giving Korea a bronze :unsure:

But seriously, we are right there with Japan now as the class of Asian baseball (Taiwan is in the mix as well of course). I don't follow this nearly as much as I should, but in the last 5 years or so, by my rough count, the Korean national team is something like 6-5 head-to-head with Japan in major tournaments (Olympics, WBC, Asian Games, Asian Championships, World Cup, Intercontinental). They have lost some big games (like the semis at the WBC), but have won big as well. You trash talk at your own risk these days.


Pretty amazing that Korean has no dome stadiums, no grass infields for most high school and college programs, and about a third the history of Japanese baseball (76 years vs 28 or something like that) and it's really right there and more, especially at the top level. Where Korean league can't compete are the resources (TV rights? what TV rights?), any real minor league system, and the overall depth. The top 15 Korean players may now be stronger overall than the Japanese counterparts.

I also remember that the Korean team went 6-0 during prelims in WBC, and beat Japan TWICE, yet the horrific bracketing and tie-breaking system had them facing the Japanese team for the third time in the semis, where they got spanked 6-0.

One thing I noticed during this year's run was that the Korean team was much more solid in the fundamentals - which supposedly is the foundation of Japanese baseball. I saw dropped fly balls, miscommunications, etc. for the Japanese team, pretty uncharacteristic of them (arigato - Sato-san!).

#44 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:47 AM

Trust me I'm well aware of the history. All I'm saying is that in these particular Olympics, Korea had the rare opportunity to help knock out Japan and win the tourney. And they sure as hell did not let up after the Japan games. That wasn't going to be good enough. And I'm damn glad that's the attitude they had.



True date LR. The fact that they saved Ryu for the finals say a lot. 9-0 run through the tournament is pretty unbelievable - best showing ever by the entire Korean Olympic squad, ahead of the Japanese both in gold and total medal counts :unsure:

#45 Orel Miraculous

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 01:10 AM

The Japanese really need to STFU with the trash-talking, especially when they repeatedly fail to back it up.


Maybe you're just talking about their recent history against Korea, but for the record the Japanese are the current world champs, so its not like they can't walk the walk.

#46 LateRally

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 01:39 PM

Maybe you're just talking about their recent history against Korea, but for the record the Japanese are the current world champs, so its not like they can't walk the walk.

Yeah I was speaking more to the trash talking directed at Korea. No idea if that's their MO on the broader international scene. But with respect to Korea, they sure as hell have not walked the walk.

The comment about "current world champs" brings up an interesting question. Are you referencing the WBC title to make this statement? If so could one argue that the Olympic gold puts Korea on top now? The concept of a "world champion" for baseball is pretty nebulous, unlike soccer, for example. Hell you could say the Sox are the "current world champs."

#47 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:13 PM

Yeah I was speaking more to the trash talking directed at Korea. No idea if that's their MO on the broader international scene. But with respect to Korea, they sure as hell have not walked the walk.

The comment about "current world champs" brings up an interesting question. Are you referencing the WBC title to make this statement? If so could one argue that the Olympic gold puts Korea on top now? The concept of a "world champion" for baseball is pretty nebulous, unlike soccer, for example. Hell you could say the Sox are the "current world champs."



I think there was a lot of trash talking by the Japanese team against Korea and Taiwan, the two Asian rivals. I can't ever recall a Japanese player talking smack to the US team, nor the Cubans.

The current world champs, of course, are the Sox. Current WBC champs are the Japanese, and the current Olympic champs are the Koreans. The WBC and the Olympic squads get the equivalent of IBF titles, Sox get the unofficial "Ring" magazine's Champ status.

#48 Tokyo Sox


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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:55 PM

Oh & Nomura discuss Team Japan's failures: Oh & Nomura on 'Hoshino Japan'

Oh also commented on the overall team strengths of Korea, Cuba, and USA.

Oh: They didnít swing at any balls. Great plate discipline. Once again, we saw how important great batting eyes are. (Comment: says the man who has NPB leading 2390 career walks and an astounding .446 career OBP. At Beijing Japan only walked 24 times, other teams were Canada 15, Cuba 37, Korea 30, Taiwan 30, and USA 34.)

Nomura: Kids these days are weak. They have the gall take 10 days off by fouling pitches off themselves. I didnít want to lose my job, so I even played with broken bones.

Oh: Well, we are 1st and 2nd in all time games played so we were tough, but there are players who give in easily to pain.

Nomura: You are a man of integrity. I lack integrity. That there shows up in our difference of 200 homeruns.