(Xportsnews Incheon, Korea) SSG Landers head coach Kim Won-hyung has shared his thoughts on the officiating controversy that occurred the previous day.
SSG failed to extend its winning streak in its final regular-season game against the LG Twins of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on April 21 at SSG Landers Field in Incheon, losing 1-2.
But more than the outcome of the game, it was what happened in the bottom of the eighth inning, when LG took a 2-0 lead. After SSG retired the first three batters in a row to load the bases, Park Sung-ho stepped up to the plate. Park pulled a four-pitch fastball from LG’s Baek Seung-hyun, and the ball deflected off the body of first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong.
At this point, Woo raised his arms in a foul motion, and shortly afterward, the four umpires gathered and reached a consensus. “At the request of LG, we requested a video review of whether it was fair or foul,” the statement said. To recap, the referees called a fair after a four-judge consensus, and immediately afterward, the LG bench wanted a video review.
According to the rules, the video review should have been completed within three minutes, but five minutes later, there was still no result. It came down to whether or not the ball went past first baseman Kim Min-sung’s mitt. If the ball touched the mitt, it was fair, otherwise it was a foul.
Eventually, after an 11-minute wait, the video review center’s call was reversed, safe. The umpire, who took the microphone once again to help the crowd understand, said, “The three minutes doesn’t matter because it’s a bases-loaded situation. It’s fair (foul and fair), and it’s in play because the ball hit the umpire,” and “Han Yoo-seom, the runner on first base, was on the base without running, so Han Yoo-seom is out and the runner on third base is home. The play will be played on second and third base.” Guillermo Heredia, the third baseman, was allowed to score, but Han Yoo-seom, the first baseman, was ruled out.
SSG coach Kim Won-hyung, who was in the dugout, ran onto the field and appealed to the umpires. Both Han and Kim argued that the first base umpire had already called a foul with his arms open. The first baseman looked at the first base umpire and didn’t make his play.
Despite the umpires clearing up the situation, Kim and Head Coach Cho Won-woo continued to protest for 10 minutes after the result was announced, and Kim, who was not satisfied with the decision, was ejected for appealing the video review. Even after Kim’s ejection, Coach Cho continued to appeal to the referees, but the result remained unchanged.
Through SSG, the KBO explained the reason for the out, saying, “The pitch was called fair because it went past the first baseman’s mitt, and it was in play when the umpire called it,” and “The video review center determined that even if the umpire had called it fair, Han would not have been able to get to second base, so the umpire called him out.” The KBO’s position was that Han should have run to second base.
The game, which was suspended at 9:01 p.m. for video review, resumed 22 minutes later at 9:23 p.m. after twists and turns. With the chaotic eighth inning behind them, the players continued to play, and SSG ended the inning with just one run as Oh Tae-gon hit a grounder to second base with runners on second and third. Baek Seung-hyun, who pitched multiple innings, closed out the game with a scoreless ninth. The final matchup of the season ended with a 2-1 victory for LG. 온라인카지노
Even after the game, the controversy didn’t die down. Fans were still talking about it the next morning, and those who were there posted photos and videos to share what happened.
SSG owner Jung Yong-jin, who had voiced his displeasure on Instagram on the night of the 21st, visited the Baseball Hall in Dogok-dong, Seoul, on the 22nd and met with KBO Commissioner Heo Gu-yeon, who spoke with him for about 30 minutes. The KBO imposed a suspension on umpire Woo Hyo-dong for the remainder of the season.
More frustrated than anyone else were the players and coaching staff who watched closely. After going through the situation for 20 minutes, Kim Won-hyung said, “I just told the umpires that it was a bad call. I knew that talking to the umpires on the field wouldn’t change it, but I asked them to read it again. They said it’s not allowed under the rules, and I said it because I was frustrated,” he recalled.
“I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it looked like a foul when the first baseman raised his arm, and then it’s balls and balls, and you can check the video review to see if it’s fair or not, but the situation continued, and we were talking about a ridiculous call,” he said, adding, “I didn’t understand the idea of making a call based on the assumption of the next play.” He was frustrated and asked umpire Woo Hyo-dong to discipline the umpire.
Kim also pointed out the KBO’s decision to discipline umpire Woo Hyo-dong, saying, “Everyone who watched baseball knows that there were problems in the review center. But I think it’s wrong to pass all the responsibility to the first base umpire on the field,” he said, “It happened in a moment, and I think it’s just a matter of reading whether it’s fair or foul, but I don’t understand why they do that. It’s a bit unfair to judge something that didn’t happen anyway. It’s a clear fault of the Reading Center, and I think they should be disciplined.”
“We may not be able to react on the field in the moment, but the opponent didn’t make a play anyway,” said Kim Won-hyung. But I interpreted it in a different way. “There’s nothing to say about the loss, but the players were focused throughout the game to create a single chance. Even though we lost, the players who were concentrating throughout the game collapsed at that moment and lost their grip…” He was speechless for a while. It was a frustrating Thursday night for both SSG and coach Kim Won-hyung.