Live sports. TONIGHT.
I sound like a junkie, and I give exactly zero shits about that.
Per ESPN and probably ten thousand other mayo-boy sports bloggers/enthusiasts/content-millers, there will be English-language, U.S. broadcasts of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) League beginning tonight (or tomorrow, whatever) at 12am CT.
ESPN will air six KBO games per week. Here's the schedule for this week! pic.twitter.com/QB0mb9srDZ— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) May 4, 2020
Let’s be honest: You don’t care about the details. I don’t care about the details. I am to the point where I watched the 2010 Outback Bowl between Northwestern Wildcats and Auburn Tigers yesterday, just to feel like I had an emotional stake in something again.
Here they are anyway:
Who: NC Dinos vs. Samsung Lions
When: Tuesday, May 5, 12am CT (9 hours from when this dropped, if that erases any confusion)
Where: ESPN (and ESPN’s streaming app, I’d assume)
Why should I care?
You don’t need to! Click out of this article and go back to your own existence.
Is there a Big Ten connection?
So tenuous even my cat is giving me side-eye!
Each team in the KBO is permitted a maximum of three foreign-born players. This gives us both an excellent opportunity to Remember Some Guys (RIP Old Deadspin) and to think about Big Ten baseball.
Here is a full list of the Big Ten players in the KBO:
Drew Rucinski (SP, NC Dinos)
The Ohio State Buckeyes man, who also hails from Neenah, WI, will take the rubber tonight for the NC Dinos in the nationally-televised game against the Samsung Lions. Fun!
As a Buckeye, Rucinski began as a reliever in 2008 and made his way to the starting rotation as a junior in 2010, playing a crucial role in Ohio State’s postseason run in 2009 by picking up all three of the Buckeyes’ postseason victories.
Rucinski went undrafted, signing with Cleveland in 2011 and the Los Angeles Angels in 2013 before making it up to the majors in 2014 and yo-yoing between LAA affiliates. He eventually made an ill-fated pair of appearances with my Minnesota Twins in 2017, racking up a 10.38 ERA over 4.1 innings, played a regular role (32 G, 4.33 ERA) on the hapless 2018 Miami Marlins squad, then signed with the Dinos in late 2018 and made his debut in 2019. He posted a 9-9 record with a 3.05 ERA in his inaugural season in Changwon.
Eric Jokisch (SP, Kiwoom Heroes)
A Northwestern Wildcats pitcher in the KBO! Will wonders never cease!
While he was drafted out of high school by Cleveland in 2007, the 2008 Big Ten Freshman of the Year decided to play for some mediocre Northwestern teams before being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 11th round of the 2010 draft. He made four appearances (1 start) for the hapless 2014 Cubs, posting a 1.88 ERA.
In Korea he’s managed a 13-9 record with a 3.13 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 30 starts and 181.1 innings, numbers which might matter if you follow Korean baseball—they mean nothing to me, but go ‘Cats.
Seems like you could stretch this article out more.
OK, we’ll give you ALL the foreign players (and any MLB teams they played for, because I am shameless and love that SEO money), pulled from what I’m sure is the reputable MyKBO Stats.
- Chris Flexen (SP, New York Mets ‘17-19)
- Jose Miguel Fernandez (DH, LAA ‘18)
- Raul Alcantara (SP, Oakland Athletics ‘16-’17)
- Chad Bell (SP, Detroit Tigers ‘17-18)
- Warwick Saupold (RP, Detroit Tigers ‘16-18)
- Jared Hoying (RF, Texas Rangers ‘16-17)
- Aaron Brooks (SP, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles ‘14-19)
- Chris Flexen (RP, New York Mets ‘18-19)
- Preston Tucker (RF, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds ‘15-18)
- Jake Brigham (SP, Atlanta Braves ‘15)
- Eric Jokisch (see above)
- Taylor Motter (IF, Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins ‘16-18)
- William Cuevas (SP, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers ‘16-18)
- Odrisamer Despaigne (SP, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Outlying Areas, Chicago White Sox of Not Even Much of Chicago ‘14-19)
- Mel Rojas Jr. (LF, PIT draft pick)
- Casey Kelly (SP, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants ‘12, 15-16, 18)
- Tyler Wilson (SP, Baltimore Orioles ‘15-17)
- Roberto Ramos (IF, BOS minor affiliates)
- Adrian Sampson (SP, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers ‘16, 18-19)
- Dan Straily (SP, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles ‘12-19)
- Dixon Machado (IF, Detroit Tigers ‘15-18)
- Drew Rucinski (see above)
- Mike Wright (SP, Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners ‘15-19)
- Aaron Altherr (OF, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York Mets ‘14-19)
- David Buchanan (SP, Philadelphia Phillies ‘14-15)
- Ben Lively (SP, Philadelphia Phillies, Kansas City Royals ‘17-19)
- Tyler Saladino (IF, Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers ‘15-19)
TYLER FUCKIN’ SALADINO, MAN! REMEMBER THAT GUY, THUMP?!
- Nick Kingham (SP, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays ‘18-19)
- Ricardo Pinto (SP, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay Rays ‘17, 19)
- Jamie Romak (1B, San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks ‘14-15)
That’s a huuuuuge list of guys. Remember any of them? Want to talk about Big Ten baseball or KBO? Here’s your open thread for the night’s activity. We’ll see how much we enjoy it and continue picking it up again later.
Will you watch the KBO?
This poll is closed
HELL YEAH KBO TIL I DIE
I’ll watch it until something else is on, sure.
I’ll get my fix tonight and probably not come back to it.
Nah, don’t need it.
THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS, PICK YOUR KBO TEAM
This poll is closed