It’s anybody’s guess when Main League Baseball will return, however to fill the void Korea is stepping up with dwell motion courtesy of the KBO League, and you actually needs to be watching when it airs this week.
What’s the KBO?
The KBO League was foundered in 1982 with six groups, increasing to its present 10 in 2015. These 10 groups play a 144 recreation season, with a five-team playoff collection resulting in crowning a champion. Groups need to depend on home-grown expertise, with a strict restrict on every membership solely carrying three overseas gamers into the season.
Guidelines are largely the identical as U.S. baseball, nevertheless one key distinction is how the KBO League can permit video games to finish in ties. There are strict 12 inning limits on single video games (expanded to 15 innings within the playoffs) making for a extra predictable viewing expertise. You understand roughly how lengthy a KBO League recreation will take, with out the chance of it languishing lengthy into the night time — and let’s face it, that’s good contemplating video games will start at 1 am ET.
Who’re the groups?
Maybe the best factor about Korean baseball is that groups aren’t essentially primarily based on geographic location, slightly enjoying for the manufacturers that personal them. That is good for a U.S. baseball fan wading in for the primary time. Chances are you’ll not have robust opinions about Daegu vs. Gwangju, however you may personal a Samsung telephone, or drive a Kia, which provides you an innate rooting resolution.
- Doosan Bears (Seoul): Owned by brewing large InBev, they have been initially foundered by a brewery.
- Hanwha Eagles (Daejeon): Run by the large Hanwha enterprise conglomerate, the group was began by a sweet firm.
- Kia Tigers (Gwanju): The Kia motor firm.
- Kiwoom Heroes (Seoul): A transient membership, naming rights are presently owned by the Kiwoom Securities firm, however have been owned prior to now by Hyundai and Nexen Tire.
- KT Wiz (Seoul): Owned by Korea Telecom.
- LG Twins (Seoul): The LG electronics firm owns the rights to the group.
- Lotte Giants (Busan): Run by the Lotte Conglomeration, which owns sweet factories, resorts, obligation free shops and film theaters.
- NC Dinos (Changwon): Owned by the NCSoft online game studio which produced Guild Wars.
- Samsung Lions (Daegu): Owned by the Samsung electronics firm.
- SK Wyverns (Incheon): The SK Conglomerate controls petroleum, chemical and power industries in Korea.
So the selection is yours! Sweet, beer, electronics, video video games, automobiles — discover whichever model you want essentially the most and begin rooting!
Are there any gamers within the league I would know?
There isn’t a severe big-name participant within the league proper now, however listed here are the overseas gamers presently within the KBO League.
Additionally, former MVP Josh Lindblom obtained signed by the Brewers primarily based on the energy of his unimaginable 2019 season. So there’s loads of worth in watching these gamers.
Top-of-the-line components of Korean baseball on the whole is that batflips aren’t simply accepted, they’re inspired and celebrated. No unwritten guidelines about “honor” or “respect,” only a large ol’ hunk of wooden flying by the air for our pleasure and amusement.
You owe it to your self to learn Mina Kimes’ wonderful piece on Korean bat flips for ESPN the Journal.
Every other assets I ought to have?
Stats from Baseball Reference.
Betting information to the 2020 season.
And in case you’re in waaaay too deep … Korean Climate Studies.
Dwell sports activities? I’m in. How do I watch?
The 2020 KBO League will air dwell on ESPN beginning at 1 a.m. ET on Could fifth. The primary televised recreation will probably be between the NC Dinos and Samsung Lions.