‘Fill the gap’ commander asks 38-year-old veteran who betrayed…did a good job, can’t stand the ‘moment’
The referee failed to manage the game, and the 38-year-old betrayed his commander’s faith.
23rd, Sajik Stadium, Busan. The final game of the weekend series between the Lotte Giants and Kiwoom Heroes featured a whopping 84-minute rain delay and two more boring, sigh-inducing “protest” ejections.바카라
Both of these ejections had a somewhat understandable precedent. Lotte manager Larry Sutton’s uncharacteristically vehement protest was a combination of a blown lead, a straight ball on a questionable call, and anxiety over a potentially costly error. The call was so ambiguous that Lotte pitcher Shim Jae-min shook his head several times.
Sutton protested the call to the point of ejection. Initially, he took the field instead of pitching coach Kim Hyun-wook, who was about to make a pitching change. He threw the umpire’s ball to the next pitcher and protested to the umpire before heading down. He was not deterred by the umpire’s ‘first warning’ and continued to protest. Whether it was to disrupt the flow of the game or to protest a bad call, Sutton received his first ejection of the season.
Lee Yong-kyu, on the other hand, had a disappointing day. Lee was called up to the first team ahead of schedule to fill the void left by star Lee Jung-hoo, who left the team with a left ankle injury in the second game of the series the day before. Even if foreign batsman Ronnie Dawson took over the middle infield, the manager wanted him to lead the team as a pillar of the outfield and a table-setter.
Initially, the expectations were met. He led off the first inning with a single to left. He also stole second base. He didn’t score because he didn’t get a follow-up hit, but he was the epitome of a shifty hitter.
In the top of the third inning, she got one more hit. Following an exquisite bunt to advance Lee Ji-young, the leadoff batter, she sprinted to first base with her quick feet. In the process, he also stood out for his perfect run across the ‘3-foot line’, which has become an issue in recent years. Except for the last moment when he stepped on first base, Yong-kyu ran outside the line the entire time.
Lotte first baseman Han Dong-hee’s throw to first base was misinterpreted by the umpires, who ruled it a “three-foot line violation” and called Yong-kyu out. However, Lee Yong-kyu calmly requested a video review and overturned the call. Kim Hye-sung’s sacrifice fly scored Lee Ji-young and Dawson’s double scored Lee Yong-gyu. It was a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, Kim came up to bat again, this time with a single. With the bases loaded, Kim Hye-sung’s sacrifice fly scored the second run and tied the game at 4-4.
Up until this point, it was a game that showed the know-how and skill of Lee Yong-kyu, who is synonymous with shift hitters.
However, Wook-ha’s temperamental nature ruined his value again. In the top of the sixth inning, the game resumed after an 84-minute suspension due to heavy rain and grounds maintenance. Lee Yong-kyu was furious at the call of his swing on an outside forkball on a 2-1 count. The protest was more intense than expected. Head coach Hong Won-ki, assistant coaches Kim Chang-hyun and Lee Won-seok, all veterans of coaching umpiring, pushed and pulled him this way and that, but he was having none of it. They literally gave themselves over to the fury of the moment.
He could have been ejected earlier. However, umpire Kim, who joined the KBO in 2013 and is in his 11th year, hesitated because he had used the ‘ejection’ card once before and because he is a player, not a manager. In the end, the situation was resolved without an ejection.
But that wasn’t the end of it, as Lee Yong-kyu, who was eventually out on a fly ball to center field, couldn’t resist saying a few words before heading back to the dugout. The umpire immediately ordered him out, and Yong-kyu retreated to the locker room after another rampage that delayed the game. Hong’s exit from the dugout was bittersweet.