You have failed and now you must Daegu!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I finally made it to the ballpark yesterday. The game started at 2pm local time. I arrived with Su-Jin and Physics Brian just before the first pitch. We had been told that no one goes to the local games and that the only games that ever draw are when the national team plays. We found out quickly that there were no tickets available at the stadium. Apparently, since it was the first Sunday of the season, the game was free. We bumped into a "scalper" in the parking lot and bought three tickets from him for a total of $15.

We headed into the stadium and made another discovery. Every seat was full. We would have to stand for the game. Oh well, I was actually really excited just to see actual baseball actually happening.

After the fifth inning, we got hit with a little drizzle. Most of the families with small children cleared out and we were able to find three seats together and watch the rest of the game in comfort.

My impressions on Korean baseball? I like it. They play hard and fairly fundamentally sound. There were a few bonehead plays in the field. A pickoff move turned into a triple and a runner forgot to advance. The pitching was better than I thought it would be, most of the pitches were around 90-80mph, a few times dipping below on curves and changes. Daegu's Samsung Lions defeated the Doosan Bears 7-4. The Lions can rake.

The product on the field was competent, but the "stadium" needs to be torn down. Citizen Ballpark is on par with any other out of date minor league ballpark, except it has no charm whatsoever. It's a dull ballpark that is just way to small for a professional baseball team. The concessions were also lacking. Bonus points for selling soju and gimbap, stick with what you know fellas.

Koreans cheered for the entire game. At least now I can understand most of the chants. They had a male cheerleader leading the chants and lovely ladies dancing behind him. Thunderstix were everywhere. There was a lot of cheering, but there really wasn't as much excitement behind it as I've heard at White Sox games. It seemed kind of forced.

Strangest thing that happened during the game was that they stopped the game in the fifth inning for a prize drawing and comedy show. They had five guys in Power Rangers outfits run onto the field and jump around poorly for a few minutes before scurrying off. Let's just stick with baseball, please.

The best unintentional comedy moment went to the two white guys on the Samsung Lions. Both stood outside of the dugout for half the game with their arms crossed and then exchanged an awkward high five after the win. The best part? Neither guy even warmed up. I'm guessing Kris Wilson and Jamie Brown aren't enjoying Korea as much as I am.

Here's a link to the Samsung Lions English website.

Check out the shopping section. Yes, they do have a Hello Kitty in a Lions uni.


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