LG Twins v Nexen Heroes, Tuesday 31st August 2010, 6.30pm

 

After turning up for a non-existent baseball game the previous Sunday, I carefully checked the fixtures for tonight’s match with a couple of different sources. Although, with Doosan Bears and LG Twins sharing the same stadium you would be very unlucky to get to Jamsil and find that there wasn’t a game taking place. 

Mind you, when I arrived at about seven o’clock at the Sports Complex subway station I was beginning to wonder if it was a case of deja-vu. The game had supposedly started half an hour earlier but I was  a little concerned to find the station deserted. I’ve often turned up whilst the game is in progress and there is usually a steady stream of latecomers. When a match lasts for about four hours, it’s not so important to be there for the start. Fortunately when I got to the top of the subway exit steps I could see the old biddies with the stalls selling beer, gimbap, seaweed and various forms of octopus and squid.  Jen was a bit late and so I got myself a can of beer and went to sort the tickets. I sometimes think the entire Korean economy is kept afloat by four-foot tall grannies with tight curly perms and one of them offered me a couple of outfield tickets for four thousand won apiece. An evening at a sporting event doesn’t come much cheaper than that, but with rain in the air I had to turn her down and I got two for the main stand from the ticket office at twice the price, still good value though at the equivalent of four quid a pop. 

We got inside at 7.25pm and the game wasn’t yet halfway through the second innings. We’d missed a few runs as the score was three each, but there were still another seven and a half innings to go. Plenty of time to relax with a few drinks as the moths fluttered about in the dusk. 

Whilst it might not have been deja-vu in terms of arriving at an empty stadium, it certainly was deja-vu in terms of the teams playing. I’d been here nine days previously to watch LG take on Nexen and it was the those two teams again this evening. That’s one of the drawbacks of an eight team league. I think the regular season fixtures were scheduled to have been finished by now and these games are the ones that had been due to take place earlier in the season but had been cancelled for one reason or another. 

Home fans.

It was quite handy in one way, as I could remember some of the players. The young lad who was the starting pitcher for LG Twins last time was still in the team, although Nexen had a different bloke opening for them. It’s quite strange now that I’ve got a bit of knowledge about whats going on, I’m watching the games differently to the way I did at the start of the season when I just drank my beer and waited for the ball to be hit into the crowd. It helps that Jen knows what she’s talking about, well, with baseball anyway, and she was able to talk me through the batting average statistic this time. It’s a bit like a batting average in cricket really, the higher the better and most seemed to be around the 0.2 to 0.3 area. 

As a beginner I do sometimes wonder if I’m focusing on completely the wrong aspects of the game though. I can remember when I started taking my son Tom to the Boro games as a small kid. He would always ask me on the way to the match who I thought would take the kick off to start the game. Not which team, but which player. Whilst I would try to point out to him that this was of little consequence, he never seemed too impressed that I either had no idea or invariably got it wrong. It tended to make him doubt the validity of anything else that I told him for the rest of the day. 

There was a very low crowd for the game, possibly explaining why the subway was so quiet. LG Twins had a couple of thousand fans but Nexen must have had little more than the players Mams and Dads as there couldn’t have been more than fifty of them in total, despite them being a Seoul based team. Nexen are currently second bottom of the league with no chance of making the play-offs, whilst I think sixth placed LG might still have a slim chance of finishing in the fifth place that prolongs their season. 

Away fans

As the empty beer cans accumulated  I concentrated less on the stats and more on the oddities. The players only have two minutes between innings so I was curious to see how rushed the catcher would be, particularly on those occasions where he was on one of the bases when his team’s batting innings ended. The answer isn’t very rushed at all. They tend to stroll back to the dugout as if they have all day and then slowly put on the protective shin, chest and head guards whilst the reserve catcher gets to go onto the grass and help the pitcher with his warm up. 

We nearly got hit by a ball at one point despite being in the upper tier. It bounced a couple of rows in front of us and made the small kid who got it very happy. Almost as happy as the grown man who had vaulted a fence a few moments earlier after the previous mis-hit into the crowd and beat the kids to the ball, which he then very carefully put into his briefcase. 

 

There wasn’t a lot more scoring with LG drawing level in the fifth innings in bizarre circumstances as the Nexen pitcher managed to send one down that went over the head of the catcher, allowing a player to get home from third as the ball was retrieved. It was still five apiece when in the seventh innings LG took the young kid off and brought in their relief pitcher. He didnt last long though as he was replaced at the start of the ninth, by which time the Twins had taken a 6-5 lead. The third pitcher lasted even less time than the second as with just the one batter out in the ninth he was replaced by the fourth Twins pitcher of the innings. The new lad managed to get the last two Heroes players out meaning that the Twins didn’t need to take their final innings. 

I’m looking forward to the playoffs where hopefully we’ll be back to full houses, players who don’t have their minds on their holidays and coaches who aren’t tempted to give every pitcher on the books a bit of game time.

2 Responses to “LG Twins v Nexen Heroes, Tuesday 31st August 2010, 6.30pm”

  1. Cogstar Says:

    ok stop this nonsense Baseball is shite and even your blogs are dull with baseball. and you know I can read any rubbish. did you get away with the ‘at least about baseball’ line? good effort anyway.

    can we watch snail racing when I turn up?

  2. Craig Says:

    I like baseball and ‘dull’ is the new ‘not dull’. At least I made it to the game this time. I reckon I’ll get away with that comment as I suspect very few people read that far down.

    Its the close season for the snails. We might be able to go and watch them training though.

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