Ben Clemens KBO Opening Day Chat

12:28
Ben Clemens: Hey everybody, let’s get this chat started.

12:28
Ben Clemens: I’m really looking forward to the game tonight. The matchup should be great, but as much as everything, I just want the sound of baseball to be back in my life.

12:29
Ben Clemens: Jay Jaffe had a nice little roundup of our KBO coverage today, which you can find here:

12:30
Ben Clemens: Tonight’s game features the NC Dinos against the Samsung Lions.

12:31
Ben Clemens: The Lions feature the player I most identify with Korean baseball: Seung Hwan Kim, who was an absolute beast one year with the Cardinals

12:31
Ben Clemens: And has the best nickname in baseball history, as far as I’m concerned: Final Boss

12:31
Ben Clemens: Also Stone Buddha, but that’s not quite as good.

12:31
Ben Clemens: He’s returning to the Lions this year, and he was an absolute beast with them earlier in his career.

12:31
Sung Min Kim: Hello Ben. Go Giants

12:31
Ben Clemens: I think I can admit that I’m going to be a huge Giants fan this year.

12:31
Ben Clemens: It helps that SMK and Josh Herzenberg work there now (hi!)

12:32
Ben Clemens: But also, they’re just tremendously interesting.

12:32
Ben Clemens: They signed, in my opinion, two of the three most interesting imports this year (Dixon Machado and Dan Straily)

12:32
Ben Clemens: And heck, probably three of the top five — Adrian Sampson might be awesome.

12:33
Ben Clemens: Straily has reportedly been good in spring training, and I mean, if you haven’t seen the Dixon Machado outfield catch, go watch it now:

12:34
Ben Clemens:

I swooned. I have a feeling he’s going to be my favorite player to watch this year.

Lotte’s Dixon Machado with the nice play to start the game off today
1 May 2020
12:34
Lucas Apostoleris: Hey Ben. Any players you are particularly excited to watch in KBO? And as a related question, has anybody (or anything else, really) in particular caught your eye in the CPBL games this past month?

12:35
Ben Clemens: Hey Lucas. I’m pretty curious to see Ha Seung Kim (and preemptive apologies for all the Anglicizations I’m going to botch tonight) on the Heroes.

12:35
Ben Clemens: He’s a shortstop who was absolutely incredible last year at age 25

12:36
Ben Clemens: He hit .307/.389/.491

12:36
Ben Clemens: And it wasn’t completely BABIP-fueled or anything, that came in at .328.

12:37
Ben Clemens: Walked almost as much as he struck out.

12:37
Ben Clemens: That’s a really premium bat at an up-the-middle defensive position, and he had some real pop too.

12:37
Ben Clemens: I haven’t seen him play yet, which makes me really excited to see what he looks like in action.

12:38
Ben Clemens: Incidentally, Josh introduced me to statiz.co.kr, which is an incredible site for KBO stats

12:38
Ben Clemens: I’m using Google Translate, so you occasionally get some funky translations you have to interpret, but I highly recommend it

12:38
Ben Clemens: I haven’t dug into the way they calculate WAR or anything, but if you want BB%, K%, a triple slash line, whatever

12:38
Ben Clemens: it’s the place to go

12:39
SebPark: Over/Under on number of Bat Flips we’ll see today? I have it at 1.5

12:39
Ben Clemens: That’s a pretty good line honestly.

12:39
Ben Clemens: I’d take the over, but I think it’s close.

12:40
Ben Clemens: Drew Rucinski, who’s starting for the Dinos tonight, was pretty great last year.

12:40
Ben Clemens: So that might dull the offensive fireworks a bit

12:41
Ben Clemens: I realllllly wish ESPN was carrying the Giants/Wiz game tonight, because that’s Dan Straily vs. Odrisamer Despaigne.

12:41
Ben Clemens: And I mean, yes please.

12:41
stever20: who is starting for the Lions?

12:42
Ben Clemens: Baek Jung-Hyun is starting for the Lions

12:42
Ben Clemens: He was so so last year; his 4.24 ERA was right around league average, but he had a FIP approaching 5

12:43
Ben Clemens: 12% strikeouts, 8% walks

12:43
Ben Clemens: Could be an interesting one.

12:44
Johnny: Thanks Ben. What peripheral stats do you recommend looking at when analysing the KBO?  Anything must different than MLB for you?

12:44
Steve R: Hey, Ben.  Excited for live baseball.  Been reading up on the KBO and as NY Mets/Chicago Bears fan I’m going to adopt the Doosan Bears with Chris Flexen as my team.  Seems like with fewer Ks, HRs and more BIP the game may resemble the 1980s MLB environment I grew up on.

12:44
Ben Clemens: I think this is actually a pretty good comparison.

12:44
Ben Clemens: The game has a lot more balls in play overall, particularly since the ball was de-juiced

12:45
Ben Clemens: If you like defense and baserunning, this should be fun.

12:45
Ben Clemens: That’s another reason I’m so amped for Dixon Machado

12:45
Ben Clemens: He was born in the wrong generation for the majors

12:46
Ben Clemens: Also, if you’re a Mets fan, you’re in luck. Chris Flexen, Drew Gagnon, heck maybe even Aaron Altherr

12:46
Ben Clemens: If you really count his brief stay there last year as being a Met

12:46
Ben Clemens: I also always thought Flexen would be better than he was, so I have high hopes for him here.

12:46
Guest: Who is one of the more talented players that you are keeping your eye on tonight?

12:47
Ben Clemens: I’m very focused on Altherr tonight.

12:47
Ben Clemens: He looked like he could be one of those average, sometimes spike an All Star appearance type corner outfielders in the majors.

12:48
Ben Clemens: And then bam, it was gone.

12:48
Ben Clemens: I want to know what the heck happened, and this is a fun way to find out.

12:49
Ben Clemens: Eui-Ji Yang, the Dinos catcher, can, according to eyewitness accounts, rake.

12:49
Ben Clemens: He hit an lol-worthy .354/.438/.574 last year

12:50
Ben Clemens: Like, as a catcher!

12:50
Ben Clemens: He walked more than he struck out.

12:50
Ben Clemens: I want to see what that looks like.

12:50
James: Poll who we’re rooting for?

12:50
Ben Clemens: Let’s do it!

12:50
Ben Clemens:

Who Are you rooting for?

NC Dinos (75.0% | 30 votes)
 
Samsung Lions (25.0% | 10 votes)
 

Total Votes: 40
12:51
Brian CashGod: I checked my mail five minutes ago and discovered that my FanGraphs tshirt arrived! I’m taking that as a good omen!

12:51
Ben Clemens: Love it. My wife is wearing her FG t-shirt, and I might throw my hoodie on at some point.

12:51
Jonesy Whales: Is there a gameday-like site for keeping track of games that aren’t being streamed?

12:51
Ben Clemens: If you’re interested in watching a Korean-language stream, you’re in luck, because the KBO has you covered:

12:52
12:52
Ben Clemens: MyKBO also has some GameDay-looking stuff

12:52
Ben Clemens: If that’s what you’re looking for

12:53
Ben Clemens: Oh, I forgot to mention: I think Tyler Saladino should be fun.

12:53
Ben Clemens: He’s probably a quad A guy

12:53
Ben Clemens: He always hit in Triple A and never really did in the majors

12:53
Ben Clemens: Curious to see how that translates

12:54
stever20: How closely do you think MLB is watching this in terms of possible things to tweak in terms of rules?

12:54
Ben Clemens: Eh, decently closely? I think they’re going to be looking way more for the viewership numbers

12:54
Ben Clemens: They’re already interested in almost everything the KBO does.

12:54
Ben Clemens: Controlling the offensive level effectively, keeping the games a reasonable length, universal DH

12:54
Brian CashGod: Yang with an OPS on par with 2016 Gary Sanchez, wow

12:54
Ben Clemens: Yeah like that line is just ridiculous.

12:55
Ben Clemens: That’s a 180 wRC+

12:55
Ben Clemens: If statiz’s park adjustments work

12:56
stever20: we have baseball on TV right now…..

12:56
Ben Clemens: Praise be.

12:56
Ben Clemens: I realllllly hope this doesn’t get delayed.

12:56
Waffles: Ben, Thank you so much for doing this chat!

12:56
Ben Clemens: Thank you for showing up!

12:57
Ben Clemens: Us baseball degenerates have to stick together.

12:57
Ben Clemens: It’s only 10:00 here but for people tuning in from the East Coast, thanks!

12:57
Ben Clemens: I’d watch baseball at any hour of the day

12:57
Ben Clemens: But it’s literally my job

12:57
Guest: Ben, try kbofancystats.com. They do use BR WAR but at least you have familiarity with how that’s calculated. It also has Elo ratings for each team. And guess what? All English!

12:57
Ben Clemens: Ooh a second one!

12:58
Ben Clemens: Hey this looks quite nice.

12:58
Ben Clemens: Yeah, you can see that they rated Baek Jung-Hyun a bit more highly than statiz did.

12:59
Ben Clemens: Unsurprisingly, it’s because of his FIP/ERA differential.

12:59
stever20: what would be more 2020 than a rain out tonight?

12:59
Ben Clemens: Yeah, seriously.

12:59
Waffles: I somehow hope the streams between Karl and Ed get slightly unsync’d just for goofs for an inning lol.

1:00
Ben Clemens: I really like how jammed in those books on Eduardo’s shelf look

1:00
Ben Clemens: What is going on there?? Some of the books are at crazy angles even

1:00
David: Thought you might like that one. There are a ton of ones like the one you mentioned (statiz.co.kr). I am Korean and I even laugh at the translations. But it is very very in-depth. Probably even more so than MLB!

1:00
Ben Clemens: Yeah I’ve been tolerating Google Translate because the stats are so in-depth, like you said

1:01
Ben Clemens: It just feels like FG almost exactly

1:01
Ben Clemens: WHich I mean as an extreme compliment; I spent years and years as a baseball fan using FG before working here

1:01
Gallo Dongs: how does the best team have no pitcher with above 2.5 war last season? is pitching really that bad in the kbo?

1:02
Ben Clemens: Uh, no, I don’t see that.

1:03
Ben Clemens: For example, Hyeon-Jong Yang (again, sorry!) on the Tigers was preposterous last year

1:03
Ben Clemens: 22.3% strikeout rate, 4.3% walk rate, FIP in the 2’s

1:03
Ben Clemens: ERA in the low 2’s even.

1:04
Ben Clemens: Given the lower true outcomes rate in Korea, FIPS are naturally going to be more compressed

1:05
Ben Clemens: But translate those numbers to the majors and they’d look about the same. If you have a K-BB% approaching 20 and don’t give up dingers, that’s just elite in any run-scoring environment.

1:05
Kyle Schwerin: I need to find a streaming link for the Eagles so I can watch my dude Warwick Saupold.

1:05
Ben Clemens: Check out that mykbo link again

1:05
Ben Clemens: Let me find it really quickly:

1:05
1:06
Ben Clemens: There’s an FAQ there for streaming all the games.

1:07
Ben Clemens: Sung Min wrote that, and it walks you through how to stream everything, complete with a quick character guide and everything.

1:07
David: Ben, I think he’s talking about the Doosan Bears (2019 KBO champs). Without Lindblom who’s coming back to US (and on the kbofancy metric of WAR), he is right. They have no current players that posted a 2.5 +WAR from last year.

1:07
Ben Clemens: Ohhhhhhh

1:07
Ben Clemens: I see

1:07
Ben Clemens: Yeah, sorry about that, totally misunderstood you.

1:07
Ben Clemens: Yeah, Lindblom is a big loss for the Bears

1:07
Ben Clemens: He’s going to be a good pitcher in the majors, so like…. that’ll do.

1:08
Kyle Schwerin: As a Tigers fan, I have to be an Eagles fan with Saupold and Chad Bell. But then there’s Dixon Machado out there, too on the Giants…hmm…

Thank you very much for the link, Ben!

1:08
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’s actually really hard to know who to root for!

1:09
Ben Clemens: When I was writing up the blurbs for all the foreign-born players I changed allegiances about five times.

1:09
Gallo Dongs: bullpens look really weird, lots of below average pitchers. kinda like older times where getting to the bullpen seems to be a good thing!

1:09
Ben Clemens: Yeah one thing that I’ve been told to keep an eye on is foul balls

1:10
Ben Clemens: And pitch counts generally

1:10
Pete: I just opened the app – seems to need a VPN to work. It gave me “not available in your country” message when I tried to watch the SK game.

1:10
Ben Clemens: 🙁

1:10
Ben Clemens: Basically if you get to the bullpen here, it’s more valuable, it seems

1:11
Clayton Kershaw: I allowed my first grand slam to Aaron Altherr!

1:11
Ben Clemens: That’s quite the stat there

1:11
Ben Clemens: Odds that Kershaw is watching this game are certainly higher than 0%

1:12
Ben Clemens: I know he has kids and all, but he seems to like baseball well enough and major leaguers are really big baseball fans overall

1:12
Ben Clemens: Like look at Mookie

1:12
stever20: like the tweet from Mookie Betts….

1:12
Ben Clemens: He’s just the best.

1:12
Ben Clemens: I find myself liking the Dodgers more just b/c Mookie plays for them

1:12
Ben Clemens: That’s silly, he didn’t have any say in it, but he’s just awesome

1:12
Waffles: Is the pitching similar to NPB with a lot of off-speed and big pitch arsenals?

1:13
Ben Clemens: Velo’s a little lower but it’s not, as far as I can tell, exactly like that. Some of the spin and velo numbers I’ve seen would look right at home in the majors

1:14
Ben Clemens: If someone has a better idea I’d be happy to be corrected, but yeah, I think of it as a midpoint between the NPB and MLB in terms of style

1:14
Gallo Dongs: pretty sure naver needs a vpn bc of the espn deal.

1:14
Ben Clemens: Ohhhh uh yeah that makes sense

1:14
Ben Clemens: 🙁

1:14
Ben Clemens: Fair enough, though.

1:14
Guest: Hello! Is fangraphs going to run metrics on kbo?

1:14
Ben Clemens: I am actually not sure. I know we’re going to have projections up tomorrow, but I haven’t talked to David about that yet.

1:15
Ben Clemens: Maybe a question for Meg tomorrow?

1:15
David: Yes, pitching velo is slightly lower than MLB on average but more off-speed pitches

1:15
Ben Clemens: Thanks!

1:15
Pete: All the games!

1:16
Ben Clemens: My man

1:16
David: Warwick Saupold……very quietly put up some amazing statistics in the 2nd half of last season. 68 IP, 1.85 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 6.09 K/9, 6-2 W-L for a last place team

1:16
Ben Clemens: Yeah, I used to only know Warwick Saupold as the most ridiculous name in the majors

1:16
Ben Clemens: But in previewing this year I learned that he’s actually pretty solid

1:16
Rob: Eric Thames’ voice is very different from what I expected

1:16
Ben Clemens: Haha yeah I was thinking that as well

1:16
Ben Clemens: The beard makes me think he’ll have a suuuuuuper low voice

1:18
stever20: Man, Thames is going to fit in so perfectly with the Nats.

1:18
Ben Clemens: I’m enjoying his interview setup.

1:18
Ben Clemens: Nice cabinet situation going on

1:18
Ben Clemens: I wonder what Kiley would think

1:18
Ben Clemens: I don’t think he’d approve.

1:19
Ben Clemens: If I was going to do an interview in my kitchen, I would 100% straighten out my dish towel first

1:19
Kyle Schwerin: FYI, looks like the KBO is streaming all their games on Twitch here: https://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Korean%20Baseball%20League

1:19
David: Player to watch (for MLB): Lee Jung-hoo, father was a KBO MVP. 22 years old. Plays for Kiwoom (who has best offense in KBO). .336/.386/.456 with an .842 OPS in 2019. Won Rookie of the Year in 2017 in the KBO.

1:21
Ben Clemens: Another guy with more walks than strikeouts last year.

1:21
Ben Clemens: Someone’s 80s comparison is apt here as well; there are farrrrrrr more players here with more walks than striekouts than there are in the majors

1:21
David: 21 years old (American age). 22 years old (Korean age). 1 minor detail. On Korean sites, everyone is listed a year older than they really are.

1:22
Ben Clemens: Oh this is interesting

1:22
Ben Clemens: Worth noting, and I definitely would have gotten that wrong

1:22
Ben Clemens: The lag in broadcasting is kind of amusing

1:22
Ben Clemens: Thames, Ravech, and Eduardo have clearly not rehearsed this

1:23
Rob: How would they rehearse this?

1:23
Ben Clemens: Oh just how to work out who talks when

1:23
Ben Clemens: Not the exact questions, just the order of talking

1:23
Rob: This is making me an Eric Thames fan, to be honest.

1:23
Ben Clemens: Yeah he’s fun! I really enjoyed the moment when he was destroying baseball right after joining the Brewers

1:24
Ben Clemens: Travis Sawchik had some really cool interviews with him

1:24
Ben Clemens: The one that springs to mind for me is that he wore a hole in his carpet just swinging his bat in his living room.

1:24
Ben Clemens: Watching old videos of Bonds

1:24
Brian CashGod: ^ this is one of the better interviews I’ve seen in a while

1:25
Ben Clemens: He’s having a great time

1:25
Ben Clemens: It is really cool to see players outside of the ‘both teams played hard’ paradigm

1:25
Ben Clemens: I love that he loves telling these stories

1:26
Mike: Yeah, Thames is like this at all times too. Never gets old (Brewers fan here) Will be missed.

1:26
Ben Clemens: My wife’s family are all huge Brewers fans

1:26
Ben Clemens: (they’re from Wisconsin)

1:26
Ben Clemens: And my mother-in-law was QUITE angry that they let Thames leave

1:27
Ben Clemens: She watches the postgame show more or less every game, though, and he was apparently a great interview there as well

1:27
Rob: Ben when will your next OOTP stream be?  I really enjoyed the last one.

1:27
Ben Clemens: Tomorrow! Same time, noon ET, and this one should run around 1-1.5 hours

1:28
Ben Clemens: I have very little idea what we’ll talk about

1:28
Ben Clemens: The team is still stuck in neutral, though Lorenzo Cain had a huge 4 times on base day and got his wRC+ up to 14.

1:28
Ben Clemens: But I had an awesome time doing it and learned some stuff about OOTP, so why not run it back?

1:28
Ben Clemens: Beer update: grabbing a pale ale from Cellarmaker.

1:29
Ben Clemens: My coffee is now done

1:29
Steve R: Any idea of reliable site to order KBO team hats from?  Checked quick and wasn’t able to find anything in US.  Thought New Era may have had something.

1:29
Ben Clemens: I am not sure, but if anyone here knows, let us know! I’d be in as well

1:29
Ben Clemens: Though what I really want is a Julio Franco soju bottle if those exist

1:29
Kyle Schwerin: Mel Rojas Jr. just dropped a fly ball in left field to let in a run in another game.

1:29
Ben Clemens: Oof 🙁

1:30
Ben Clemens: Gives you some with the bat, takes some away with the glove

1:30
Ben Clemens: If you guys aren’t familiar, Mel Rojas Jr. is the highest-paid foreign player in the KBO and he absolutely rakes

1:30
David: Very difficult to get KBO merchandise especially now as they don’t ship overseas.

1:30
Ben Clemens: David quickly approaching chat MVP status

1:30
Ben Clemens: That’s sad but understandable at the moment

1:31
Ben Clemens: Hard to get anything shipped

1:31
Samuel G: This is honestly delightful, and that’s coming from someone who never watches pre/post game shows

1:31
Ben Clemens: Yeah it’s also amazing that he’s keeping up the enthusiasm

1:32
Ben Clemens: He’s just legit happy to be talking to people and loves mentioning it, which is so coo

1:32
Ben Clemens: cool

1:32
Brian CashGod: I don’t think I’ve seen someone as happy as Marcus Thames right now in over two months

1:32
Ben Clemens: I know you meant Eric, but let’s remember Marcus Thames.

1:32
Ben Clemens: I’m surprised that he wasn’t better for his career

1:33
Ben Clemens: 2.7 career WAR, though he lasted a long time

1:33
David: Just trying to help the community. I’ve missed baseball but I used to grow up watching the KBO. It’s a different game than MLB. More old school baseball. Contact hitting, moving baserunners.

1:33
David: I hope everyone can get used to that and not miss the 3-outcome baseball that seems to be prevalent in MLB

1:33
Ben Clemens: I don’t like homers

1:33
Ben Clemens: So

1:33
Ben Clemens: This is perfect!

1:33
Ben Clemens: I do like strikeouts, to be honest

1:33
Ben Clemens: But I’ll take fewer strikeouts for more balls in play

1:33
Brian CashGod: oh whoops that’s the Yankees fan + 1:30 AM coming through

1:34
Ben Clemens: If you stick it out, you’ll see plenty of dumb commentary from me too

1:34
Ben Clemens: Marcus was a ‘tems’, right?

1:34
Ben Clemens: not a thay-mes?

1:34
stever20: webgem!

1:34
Zak: a double in the gap. weeping

1:34
Ben Clemens: That was a heck of a play.

1:35
Ben Clemens: His first step, beautiful

1:35
David: Sorry Ben, not a lot of strikeouts either. Way more balls in play. If you like fundamentally sound baseball, this league is up your alley. If you like the long ball or 100 mph heat, well, sorry….

1:35
Ben Clemens: Oh sorry, I misspoke

1:35
Ben Clemens: I wouldn’t mind if KBO had a few more strikeouts, but I prefer the current KBO environment to the current MLB one

1:35
Ben Clemens: Altherr gave that one a charge

1:36
Ben Clemens: Can’t be super happy if you’re Baek — these guys aren’t missing by much

1:36
Brian CashGod: Also had one of the coolest debuts in MLB history:

1:36
Kyle Schwerin: Is there a limit to how many “foreign” players a KBO team can have, like overseas basketball teams sometimes have?

1:36
Ben Clemens: Indeed there is. Each team can have three foreign-born players, and only two of them can be pitchers

1:37
stever20: is it me or did it not seem like much catcher framing there?

1:37
Ben Clemens: I haven’t really been able to tell

1:37
Ben Clemens: Baek seems to be ‘pitching to contact’ if you’ll forgive that platitude

1:38
Brian CashGod: Yup, Marcus is pronounced “tems” like the river too

1:38
Ben Clemens: kbofancystats.com and statiz.co.kr

1:38
Brian CashGod: already have a web gem and a base coach diving out of the way, this is fun

1:39
Ben Clemens: That first catch was exactly what I needed

1:39
Ben Clemens: to get me excited about baseball again

1:39
Waffles: Those field level seats with no barrier look awesome. I hope US stadiums embrace these with more netting coming about.

1:40
Ben Clemens: Yeah I’d sign up for it. I think it’s like a party area if I remember correctly

1:40
David: I wish American fans getting first exposure to this league could see what the KBO would be like with fans in the stands. It’s a totally different environment. Almost like a party / cook-out atmosphere. BBQs are allowed IN THE STADIUM. Legit cook on the spot BBQ outdoors in the outfield. Chants, beers flowing. It’s like a soccer environment in baseball.

1:40
Ben Clemens: I mentioned this earlier today, but I was planning on attending a KBO game next year on the way to a wedding in Thailand

1:40
Ben Clemens: I don’t know if the wedding is still happening, or how the season will work next year, but I’m dying to go

1:40
Kyle Schwerin: I feel like KT with Rojas, Despaigne, and Cuevas is definitely the best trio of foreign guys in this league.

1:41
Ben Clemens: They’re up there. I think that the Giants are high-volatility but their trio is pretty solid as well

1:41
Ben Clemens: Adrian Sampson was kind of good last year!

1:42
Ben Clemens: The Wyverns are up there too

1:42
Ben Clemens: Jamie Romak can smash

1:42
Ben Clemens: And Ricardo Pinto throws harrrrrrd

1:42
Gallo Dongs: as a rangers fan was def surprised sampson just signed in kbo. he was a mediocre innings eater but theres value in that.

1:42
Ben Clemens: Yeah and I mean, yeah, Straily was bad last year

1:43
Ben Clemens: But he’s also Dan Straily

1:43
Ben Clemens: And Dixon Machado was thisclose to putting it all together

1:43
David: Ben, you’ll have an amazing time. I think you’ll come back and say to yourself, “Why do MLB parks not do these things?” More fan interaction, more festive atmospheres……

1:43
Ben Clemens: I thought that after going to an NPB game, but I’ve heard that KBO is another level above that.

1:43
LG Twins fan: Following the league for more than 10 years, would never have imagined a KBO opening day live chat here at fangraphs!

1:43
Ben Clemens: It’s strange times, and it’s nice to know that in strange times there’s still baseball

1:43
Ben Clemens: Rucinksi’s breaking stuff looks wild btw

1:44
Ben Clemens: Wild in a ‘hard to believe’ kind of way, not in a way where he can’t control it

1:44
Matt: Is Luis Castillo the best player ever traded for someone who ended up in the KBO?

1:44
Ben Clemens: Haha well now I partially want to research this

1:44
Ben Clemens: But I’m going to start by saying yes

1:44
Ben Clemens: And I’ll revise if necessary

1:44
Ben Clemens: Wouldn’t be a FanGraphs chat without a nice little dig on the Marlins

1:45
Kyle Schwerin: Warwick Saupold perfect through 3 with 36 pitches thrown. Someone tweet out the Perfect Game Alert.

1:45
Ben Clemens: Dealing!

1:45
Ben Clemens: dannnnnnng

1:45
Ben Clemens: Now that’s a heck of a catch

1:46
Ben Clemens: This is a small sample, obviously, but the defense here has been ML-caliber

1:46
Ben Clemens: Oh boy, Saladino looking ridiculous

1:46
Ben Clemens: Rucinski is another guy who was just a fine major leaguer

1:47
Ben Clemens: He was good enough to get innings in a lot of bullpens

1:47
Ben Clemens: But he probably never would have made above the minimum and he would never be THAT far away from getting cut

1:47
Ben Clemens: But like, that’s major league stuff

1:47
Ben Clemens: Saladino looked very comfortable in that at-bat, but his hair is making me a little uncomforatble

1:47
Rob: It also wouldn’t be a FanGraphs chat without a food discussion.

1:48
Ben Clemens: That is true, and I had some delicious Thai food for dinner tonight but this talk of Korean barbeque is making me hungry

1:48
Ben Clemens: I was *supposed* to get barbecue tonight, Texas barbecue, but we called a last-minute audbile

1:49
Ben Clemens: It was takeout night, we try to get takeout once or twice a week from local places we like

1:49
Kyle Schwerin: I saw rumors today about a June 6th spring training date and a July 1 start date for MLB? Was that made up? Or did that come from someone legitimate?

1:49
Ben Clemens: I haven’t seen that but the July 1 thing has popped up a bunch of times

1:50
Ben Clemens: I think it’d be a little early but I dunno, I’m increasingly thinking there will be baseball this year

1:50
Matt: I think Stark tweeted that was not a valid rumor

1:50
Ben Clemens: Thanks!

1:50
Rob: These Rucinski sliders are pretty good.

1:50
Ben Clemens: Yeah and his two-seamer is fine too

1:50
Ben Clemens: I love that get-me-over curve

1:51
Ben Clemens: I mean, I’m not sure it’s a good pitch

1:51
Ben Clemens: But he threw one that just kinda whiffled in there

1:51
Brian CashGod: it was Trevor Plouffe who reported it, he’s a former MN Twin who I believe is doing media stuff with Jomboy these days

1:51
Chad Muszynski: Seems like a start date is still very much at the rumor stage but it had to come from somewhere. I saw multiple players talking about it.

1:51
Ben Clemens: We’ll see. I feel reasonably confident that they’ll make something happen at least for the playoffs

1:51
Ben Clemens: Just because of the money at stake.

1:52
Waffles: Lions Jerseys > Dinos Jerseys

1:52
Ben Clemens: I feel like the Dinos font is a little too aggressive for me

1:52
Ben Clemens: But I like the helmet

1:52
Brian CashGod: Manfred doesn’t want to lose an opportunity to give out the “piece of metal”?

1:53
Ben Clemens: Haha well as I understand it, the ESPN, TBS, and FOX contracts matter a lot

1:53
Ben Clemens: And they’re more or less playoff contracts

1:53
Social Dingering: Pretty tough job last-minute for Ravech and Perez, think they’re acquitting themselves nicely thus far

1:53
Ben Clemens: I agree with this

1:53
Ben Clemens: This would be hard!

1:54
Ben Clemens: Dan, Paul Sporer, and I have been doing commentary over the show

1:54
Ben Clemens: And we have issues with cross-talk

1:54
Ben Clemens: And we don’t actually have to do play by play or anything

1:54
Matt: Any idea on current plans for baseball in Japan?

1:54
Ben Clemens: Last I saw (last week) it was still postponed indefinitely

1:55
Ben Clemens: Baek looks to be settling down

1:55
Waffles: I really like Baek’s motion, it is just so aesthetically pleasing…

1:55
Ben Clemens: One thing I’ve noticed from my extensive watching of twitter and youtube clips of the kbo

1:55
Ben Clemens: Is that pitching motions are way more diverse

1:55
Ben Clemens: And I love it

1:56
Ben Clemens: Baek dealing now!

1:56
Rob: “Establish the fastball.”  Drink

1:56
Ben Clemens: haha yeah you can take baseball out of the US, but you can’t get rid of the platitudes

1:56
Kirk Timjan: How are people choosing which KBO team to support? I’m an SF Giants fan, so I went with the unsophisticated answer..

1:57
Ben Clemens: Anyone with a good way of doing it, feel free to chime in. I checked out the mascots and the players I knew

1:57
stever20: I’m going Dinos in honor of Eric Thames being a Nats fan.

1:57
Ben Clemens: Sweet name too

1:58
Guest: Is there an equivalent that MLB front offices estimate off of? Meaning do they assume say a .320 hitter in the KBO is a .240 hitter in the MLB? Or something along those line?

1:58
Ben Clemens: Dan wrote about this recently:

1:58
Kyle Schwerin: Ben – any idea how the KBO and CPBL compare? I was watching some of the CPBL games the last couple weeks, mostly because they had English announcers on their streams, and it seemed like pretty good ball.

1:58
Ben Clemens: KBO is significantly higher-level

1:58
Ben Clemens: I haven’t seen any equivalency numbers for the CPBL but it’s like indy ball I believe

1:59
Ben Clemens: This is Double-A, Triple-A, somewhere in between those?

1:59
Ben Clemens: There’s big talent disaprity though

1:59
Ben Clemens: Among players. You might face a veteran of a 20 year old

1:59
Chang Koo: Though a Dodger fan through and through, I’m originally from Busan, so was a Giants fan before I was a Dodger fan.

1:59
Matt: Yeah my buddy and I went Dinos for the name

1:59
Chad Muszynski: I gotta go with Dixon Machado’s Lotte Giants

2:00
Ben Clemens: Every Ben Clemens chat is now a Dixon Machado lovefest

2:00
Social Dingering:

Just for reference, here is the hierarchy of how evaluators and front office officials generally view the quality of the various Asian leagues compared to MLB and MiLB.

MLB
NPB (Japan)
AAA
KBO (Korea)
AA
High A
CPBL (Taiwan)
Low A

5 May 2020
2:00
Ben Clemens: Hey, I was pretty close!

2:01
Ben Clemens: Rucinski’s two seam is looking really nice so far tonight

2:01
Ben Clemens: I don’t know how much I like the third-base-side foot positioning for righties

2:01
Ben Clemens: I wasn’t paying attention to see if he shifts to the first base side against lefties

2:02
Ben Clemens: That’s something I’d been considering writing about. The Rays seem very into having their relievers move spots against opposite handed hitters

2:02
Ben Clemens: Meanwhile lol that slider

2:02
Ben Clemens: That was filthy

2:02
Kyle Schwerin: Thanks for the context, Ben! Warwick Saupold perfect through five on 52 pitches! Let’s gooooooooo Aussies!

2:02
Rodrigo Aarao: Suppold with 5 no hit innings in the Eagles x Lions game

2:03
z: this rucinski’s slider is terrific

2:03
Ben Clemens: Yeah uh, it’s nasty

2:04
Ben Clemens: He’s spotting it off the sinker really well too

2:04
Zak: Loved that article from Dan but thought he kinda skipped over Ui-Ji Yang’s absurd projections

2:04
Ben Clemens: That’s coming tomorrow!

2:04
Ben Clemens: What if Mike Piazza were reborn as a KBO catcher?

2:04
Jonesy Whales: Looks like the Giants/Wiz game is getting underway shortly, too

2:05
Ben Clemens: ohhhhhhh my goodness that latest Rucinski strikeout

2:05
Ben Clemens: That’s unfair

2:05
Waffles: Do you think the diversity in pitching and hitting styles is due to the newer league and no big names to copy or something different?

2:05
Ben Clemens: I’m honestly not sure

2:05
stever20: how did the Marlins not keep him after 2018?  He wasn’t bad for them in 2018.

2:05
Ben Clemens: Money, basically

2:05
Ben Clemens: He got more in the KBO

2:06
Matt: Since the bat flips are big here, do the pitchers celebrate more as well?

2:06
Matt: Because he should be dancing after these Ks

2:06
Ben Clemens: I’d be in for it

2:06
David: If you are having trouble choosing teams, you can choose by your favorite corporation (lol) since they are all owned by corporations, or city (3 in Seoul, 2 in neighboring counties, 1 by the bay (Lotte), 1 near the bay (NC), and the 3 others in rural areas)

2:06
Ben Clemens: The Heroes aren’t owned by a corporation, right?

2:07
Ben Clemens: But yeah, that’s another way of doing it

2:07
Ben Clemens: Check out the Wiz’s mascots when you get a chance, though

2:07
Chad Muszynski: Need moar batflips. The pitching has been fun though, especially Rucinski.

2:07
Ben Clemens: Yeah that first inning made me think we might be getting a shootout

2:07
Ben Clemens: The top of the first, specifically

2:07
Ben Clemens: But Baek has actually looked quite good since then

2:08
z: kt wiz’s corporation is a huge starcraft esports team apparently

2:08
Ben Clemens: Whoa really?

2:08
LG Twins fan: Yes the Heroes are sponsored, but not owned.

2:08
David: Yes Ben, not owned technically by a corporation. Just a collection of people

2:08
David: So maybe that’s a selling point for fan loyalty

2:08
Ben Clemens: Thanks! That’s quite cool. The Green Bay Packers are like that in the US, but it’s quite rare here, and that’s a fun thing

2:09
z: maybe not kt wiz actually now that i’m looking it up. but one of the teams was a starcraft team

2:09
Ben Clemens: Haha ah dang

2:09
Rob: Thank you all for being part of one of my happiest moments in months.  I’ll be hitting the sack now.  Go Rucinski!

2:09
Ben Clemens: Have a great night!

2:09
Chad Muszynski: Loved him but can you really say BK Kim won the WS for the Diamondbacks?

2:09
Ben Clemens: He wore Jeter down

2:09
Ben Clemens: For Randy and Curt

2:09
z: “The owners of the team also own KT Rolster, one of the world’s top Starcraft e-sports teams”

2:09
Ben Clemens: Bang, right all along

2:09
Jonesy Whales: The English broadcast is honestly quite good, especially for doing it the first time and it being 2 AM on the east coast. Impressive!

2:10
Ben Clemens: 100% agreed. It’s tough not to be in person, and Ravech sometimes has an ‘I’m looking at this small buffering monitor’ face

2:10
Ben Clemens: But they’re making it work

2:10
David: If you are from SF, or maybe Miami, you can choose Lotte who is in Busan. The “beach” city in the southern coast of Korea.

2:10
stever20: one person I’m pretty impressed with is the home plate umpire.  he’s calling a great game.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Concur

2:11
Mike: Adding Thames and Passan always helps too.

2:11
Ben Clemens: Passan is the man

2:11
Ben Clemens: I think I can tell this story, so I will: when I started working full time here, he DM’ed me to say congratulations and to say that he was super sorry he didn’t have more time to talk to me at the winter meetings

2:11
Ben Clemens: I had talked to him for about five seconds when he was literally on his way to meet someone else

2:12
Ben Clemens: How in the world did he remember me?

2:12
Ben Clemens: And then apologize for it?

2:12
Ben Clemens: What a guy

2:12
Ben Clemens: Like, just the nicest dude in the world in addition to, you know, breaking all the news and writing a sweet book

2:12
Chad Muszynski: Home plate ump is double masked too, right?

2:12
Ben Clemens: Yep

2:12
stever20: cant wait to hear what he has to say about MLB here now.

2:12
Ben Clemens: Yeah that was a killer cut to commercial

2:12
Kyle Schwerin: Ravech showed his setup towards the end of the SVP Sportscenter and he’s just watching the feed on an iPad. Seemed not ideal lol

2:13
Ben Clemens: lolllll

2:13
Ben Clemens: Getting to about halfway through beer number two on the night. Passan’s ‘I’m not sure if the broadcast has started up again yet’ stare is weirding me out

2:14
Ben Clemens: Wow getting a bat on the slider at all is kind of impressive at this point.

2:14
Brian CashGod: oh this is great

2:14
Ben Clemens: So this seems overall positive right?

2:15
z: this 3b for the dinos is solid

2:15
Ben Clemens: Yeah that little adjustment on the in-between hop was hard

2:15
steven hong: Do you guys have the online stream link that’s free by any chance?

2:16
Matt: It is kind of nice with all these balls in play

2:16
Matt: two nice throws back to back

2:16
Ben Clemens: Yeah I am enjoying this so far

2:16
Ben Clemens: The defense has been CRISP

2:16
Ben Clemens: I wouldn’t mind a few more baserunners and some plays on the basepaths

2:17
Ben Clemens: But there have been I think 4 great defensive plays already

2:17
Social Dingering: Thoughts on the artificial noise being pumped in?

2:17
Ben Clemens: I’m fine with it

2:17
Ben Clemens: I like my baseball with a little sound

2:18
Ben Clemens: I think it’d be weird if they had fake cheers and such

2:18
Ben Clemens: BUt I don’t mind just some chatter

2:18
Ben Clemens: Saladino lost a year off of his life on that check swing

2:18
Kyle Schwerin: So ESPN said they plan on showing postseason play. I wonder if that will hold true if MLB is playing? They said “for the next 6-8 weeks” showing games 6 days a week. What if MLB is playing by then? I guess there’s no time overlap, but surely there’d be some resource issues in terms of announcers?

2:19
Ben Clemens: They can dig up some announcers.

2:19
Ben Clemens: I think they’ll show the playoffs if they’re getting ratings

2:19
Ben Clemens: And I mean, they’ll be getting ratings

2:19
Ben Clemens: This game is 0-0 and I’m having fun

2:19
steven hong: It’s such a shame that the games are held without any audiences. The most unique part of the korean baseball experience is the cheerleaders and the theme songs each player has. It’s like merging WWE and baseball together. It’s really awesome.

2:20
Ben Clemens: I wish they’d show more of the fan experience in the previews of these

2:20
Ben Clemens: Boy, I can’t really tell if that was a hanging slider or if it was on prupose

2:20
z: i’m curious what the ratings end up being for the 5est start games

2:20
Ben Clemens: I’m so glad tonight’s game is one that’s doable in Pacific time

2:21
Ben Clemens: I volunteered to chat during it without knowing when it would be

2:21
Matt: my takeaway from seeing people in this chat talk about the fan experience is that I am going to a live game in Korea at some point in my life

2:21
Ben Clemens: Haha I know right?

2:21
Ben Clemens: That’s my takeaway too

2:21
Kyle Schwerin: Saupold through six on 63 pitches. Just made a spectacular defensive play, kicking a ball down coming back at him, then running towards the second baseman, barehanding, and throwing while spinning.

2:21
David: I hope you just saw the defensive play by Saupold to hold his no-hitter!!! What a play!

2:22
Ben Clemens: Ugh I missed it. I need to get a second monitor for my laptop to go along with the tv

2:22
Ben Clemens: Saupold no-hitter on opening day would be awwwwwesome

2:22
Kirk Timjan: Chances we can get a Petriello Stactast broadcast for one of these KBO games?

2:22
Ben Clemens: Everyone bug Mike about it and maybe!

2:22
Ben Clemens: Those Statcast broadcasts are phenomenal

2:22
Ben Clemens: (realistically I don’t think he’ll do one)

2:23
Ben Clemens: But I think I speak for all of us when I say that we need more of them

2:23
steven hong: @Matt   this will give you an idea as to what it’s like being there

2:23
Matt: What are the ratings for those statcast games?

2:23
Ben Clemens: I have no clue actually

2:23
Ben Clemens: I’ll see if I can look it up

2:23
Ben Clemens: IT’s baseball the way I’d like to consume it, though

2:23
Ben Clemens: It doesn’t hurt that they have Benetti

2:23
Ben Clemens: For my money he’s the best play-by-play guy in the game today, and I watch a lot of RSN games

2:24
Ben Clemens: Mike is great, but Benetti makes that booth hum

2:24
Ben Clemens: Did anyone see Passan’s bookshelf, btw?

2:24
Ben Clemens: The two things with pride of place were his book (sure) and a Rage Against the Machine album

2:25
Kyle Schwerin: It’s a good thing I’m laid off so I can stay up until 3:30 watching all this.

2:25
Ben Clemens: I’m sorry to hear that — but at least there’s sports again

2:26
Ben Clemens: Wishing all the best, and I hope whoever you’re rooting for tonight wins!

2:26
Matt: one of my group chats recently posed the question of what everyone’s home studio bookshelf Would have on it

2:26
Matt: Fun question

2:26
Kirk Timjan: Benetti must be the only person to share a booth with both Mike AND Bill Walton

2:26
Ben Clemens: OMG did you listen to the Walton game too?

2:26
Ben Clemens: It was amazing

2:26
Ben Clemens: Uh, sorry, I missed a home run

2:26
z: a idinger!!!

2:26
stever20: that might be the weirdest homer I’ve ever seen.

2:27
Ben Clemens: What the heck

2:27
Ben Clemens: I mean, it might have been foul

2:28
Ben Clemens: Too bad they didn’t spring for another 15 feet worth of pole

2:28
Brian CashGod: oh this game has everything

2:28
Ben Clemens: The umpire with the mirror shades is sweet

2:29
Chad Muszynski: NOW baseball is back baby. Extended replay review.

2:29
David: see that’s where the KBO – MLB difference lies: Top 7 in Hanwha – SK game. Hanwha up 1-0. 1st and 2nd, 0 outs. They bunt to move runners to 2nd and 3rd. In MLB, they are 100% swinging away (especially since KBO has DH like AL)

2:30
Ben Clemens: Yeah. It’s not as extreme as NPB, where it’s bunt city, but KBO is definitely more 80s or early 90s in terms of bunts than MLB

2:30
Brian CashGod: it starts with controversial replay reviews, and the next thing you know the Doosan Bears are beating a trash can in the dugout to signal pitches to their batters

2:30
Ben Clemens: Eu-Ji Yang, Mike Piazza 2.0, strikes again

2:30
Ben Clemens: He’s got a nice swing huh?

2:31
Gallo Dongs: [code-block]

[/code-block]

2:31
Ben Clemens: Oh baby

2:31
David: A huge base hit to put Hanwha up 3-0

2:31
z: eagles have a nice 3-0 cushion now for saupold

2:31
stever20: Baek starting to struggle.

2:31
Ben Clemens: Yeah Baek has had a weird outing tonight

2:32
Ben Clemens: He was rocky, then he looked great, and now he’s falling apart again

2:32
Ben Clemens: Fair or foul, that home run ball was smashed

2:32
stever20: was lucky 1st inning it wasn’t 2-0 after 2 batters

2:32
Ben Clemens: Yeah it easily could have been

2:32
LG Twins fan: With Hanwha, 3-0 is usually far from a nice cushion once the bullpen is in!

2:33
Ben Clemens: Oh man, Hanwha, the Nationals of the KBO

2:33
Ben Clemens: That’s the kind of fatalism that lets me know baseball is really back

2:33
Ben Clemens: Baek’s delivery is so smooth

2:34
Ben Clemens: I’m used to the deceleration snap you see in a lot of ML pitchers

2:34
Ben Clemens: he’s just fluid in and out

2:34
Ben Clemens: Their comparison for Baek was Brett Anderson

2:34
Ben Clemens: Very frustrating for me — Anderson has now hit the IL twice in a month in my OOTP simulation

2:35
Ben Clemens: But I can kinda see it — he’s definitely a pitch to contact type, though it doesn’t seem like he gets as many grounders

2:35
David: Swole daddy. lol

2:35
Ben Clemens: He is jacked

2:35
Ben Clemens: Swole indeed

2:36
z: dinos again!

2:37
Ben Clemens: The hard contact just continues against Baek

2:37
Ben Clemens: Does a better route get that one? Maybe

2:37
Ben Clemens: But he was right into the wall

2:37
Guest: that wall didn’t look soft.

2:37
Ben Clemens: Yeah that’s a tough catch there with the wall in play

2:38
z: saupold walks a runner on in the 7th

2:38
David: 1st walk for Saupold. No-hitter still alive

2:38
Kyle Schwerin: And now the no-hitter is gone. BOOOOOOOOOOO.

2:38
Ben Clemens: nooooooooo

2:38
Ben Clemens: Boo, that would have been fun

2:38
Ben Clemens: It’s still quite the start from Saupold

2:38
Ben Clemens: And Baek just reached back for a little extra for a strikeout, which puts him at 5k in four innings

2:39
Ben Clemens: He’s somehow both striking everyone out and getting rocke

2:39
Ben Clemens: d

2:39
LG Twins fan: Tigers-Heroes suspended due to smoke coming from a fire near the stadium. Already crazy!

2:39
Ben Clemens: Uh, what?

2:39
Ben Clemens: Can’t predict live sports!

2:39
z: i’m drinking this korean beer and unfortunately am onto my final one left

2:40
Ben Clemens: I have a bunch of beer but I think that this one is my last for the night. Big day of writing tomorrow plus a stream. If this werne’t the first baseball game of the year I would have turned in by now

2:40
Kyle Schwerin: Jamie Romak broke the no-hitter up.

2:40
Ben Clemens: I know very little about Romak but he has just hit and hit and hit in the KBO

2:40
Ben Clemens: in KBO?

2:40
Ben Clemens: Either way

2:40
Ben Clemens: Dude can hit

2:41
Brian CashGod: They rarely are, that padding doesn’t give much. If you ever get to tour a major league or similar field I recommend jumping up against the wall, but don’t dislocate a shoulder!

2:42
Ben Clemens: Kim is taking ‘taking all the way’ to new heights here

2:42
Ben Clemens: Just straight up stepping out mid-pitch

2:42
z: let’s see if rucinski can stay composed here

2:42
Ben Clemens: Yeah that plate appearance did not go well

2:42
Ben Clemens: He just couldn’t get his fastball over

2:42
David: Romak hit 43 HRs in 2018…….that’s impressive in the KBO

2:43
Ben Clemens: Yeah and even with the de-juiced ball in 2019 he was quite good

2:43
Ben Clemens: He strikes out a bit more often than average but makes up for it

2:45
z: straily gives up his first run

2:45
Ben Clemens: Boo again

2:45
Chad Muszynski: This is poor social distancing all around. Translator needs a mask too.

2:45
Ben Clemens: Haha well he probably got his temperature checked already

2:46
dude: I just tuned in. Where is the crowd noise coming from?

2:46
Ben Clemens: It’s piped in

2:47
Ben Clemens: This is a delightful batting stance, by the way

2:47
Ben Clemens: I don’t exactly know what comp I’d put on it

2:47
Ben Clemens: Okay, I guess Eu-Ji Yang is not Piazza

2:47
Ben Clemens: That throws was right on the money

2:47
Pitch_out: An out on the bases!

2:48
Ben Clemens: And an error! We’re getting the kitchen sink now

2:48
Ben Clemens: Though in fairness that wasn’t an easy play

2:48
Ben Clemens: Still an error though

2:49
stever20: 4 innings in about 75 minutes.  Not too bad.

2:49
Ben Clemens: Yeah this game is humming right along

2:49
Ben Clemens: That was a heck of a pitch there by Rucinski

2:49
z: nice by rucinski there to get out

2:49
Ben Clemens: Yeah he didn’t look sharp in that inning but he bore down in the end

2:49
Chad Muszynski: Detroit Tigers really need a Pizza Pizza ad on their batting helmets. Why not?

2:50
Ben Clemens: I dislike the batting helmet ads less than most

2:50
Ben Clemens: The International Series games have them and I know people complain

2:50
Ben Clemens: BUt eh, I don’t care

2:50
Ben Clemens: I just want baseball

2:51
Chad Muszynski: I don’t care either. A least soccer teams are honest about it.

2:51
dude: Chances of an mlb expansion team being named after a dinosaur? Lots of birds and animals.

2:51
Ben Clemens: Yeah exactly

2:51
Ben Clemens: Whoops grabbed the wrong one

2:51
z: my lifetime of watching international soccer has desensitized me to uniform ads

2:52
Ben Clemens: Odds aren’t super high, but hey, Toronto Raptors

2:52
Gallo Dongs: this is amazing. i’m watching 5 games at once. i don’t remember the last time i’ve done that for mlb

2:52
Ben Clemens: I do it once in a while, but yeah, this game is really driving home how much I’ve missed baseball

2:53
Ben Clemens: Bah, guess they still have some tech kinks to work out

2:53
z: hopefully they aren’t discouraged lol, cause it has been pretty good so far

2:54
Ben Clemens: Yeah totally agreed

2:54
Ben Clemens: They’re fading into the background for me, which is PERFECT

2:54
Ben Clemens: That’s exactly what I want to have happen

2:54
Ben Clemens: I catch the high points and mostly they are just letting the game happen

2:54
David: Saupold with an 8IP, 1H, 0 ER performance on opening day

2:54
David: I mean that is quite an opening day start

2:54
Ben Clemens: Love

2:54
Ben Clemens: It

2:55
Ben Clemens: Baek continues to confuse me. He’s looking great again!

2:56
stever20: does the KBO have any 3 batter rule for relievers?

2:56
Ben Clemens: They do not

2:56
Ben Clemens: Altherr is getting a chance to break the game open here

2:57
Ben Clemens: Third time through, platoon advantage

2:57
Ben Clemens: He’s a big dude

2:57
Ben Clemens: Like, I knew that, but I hadn’t seen him hit in a while

2:57
Ben Clemens: He’s large

2:58
David: Aaron Altherr (as a Phillie, my fav team), used to crush lefties in the MLB. Should be effective vs this type

2:59
Ben Clemens: 2017 Altherr has hit a home run already here

2:59
NC Dino’s Fairweather Super Stan: I think the true test of the broadcasts is how they will allow the announcers to showcase the player’s personality as the Season progresses.

2:59
Ben Clemens: I’m curious to see how they’ll handle these broadcasts as they continue

2:59
Ben Clemens: Today’s is just ‘here’s baseball, revel in it!’

3:00
Ben Clemens: I’ll be interested to see how they follow stories and so on

3:00
z: ahhhh unlucky there for altherr

3:00
stever20: Altherr has had the close but no cigar day for sure….

3:00
Ben Clemens: Owie

3:00
Ben Clemens: Two of three balls have been absolutely stung

3:01
Matt: I really wish the US was on the metric system

3:01
Ben Clemens: I mean…. I have some bigger wishes right now, but fair

3:02
Ben Clemens: A quick programming note: I’m going to call it a night in 30 minutes

3:02
Ben Clemens: Hahahaha wow are you guys seeing this KT Wiz socially distanced first pitch ceremony?

3:02
Ben Clemens: That’s tremendous

3:03
David: The bubble? lol

3:03
Brian CashGod: to hell with social distancing, let’s just all climb in bubbles for the next month!

3:03
HeyGgamdi: What is the level of hitting Lee Jung-Hoo?

3:03
Ben Clemens: I haven’t yet seen him hit, but the numbers look good!

3:04
Ben Clemens: More singles and doubles than dingers, but a very solid line

3:04
Ben Clemens: The Heroes just mash

3:05
Ben Clemens: They are the best hitting team in the league

3:05
Brian CashGod: Ravech with the good understanding of wyverns vs dragons – he’s correct, the “dragons” on GoT were actually wyverns

3:05
Brian CashGod: dragons have four legs, wyverns have two

3:05
Ben Clemens: Lol, late night proper technical mythological animals

3:07
z: I like the cement design in the outfield with the park sort of built into the hillside

3:07
Ben Clemens: This stadium feels like an upper-minors park to me, I’m into it

3:07
Ben Clemens: Rucinski is working the two-seamer off the plate away to lefties

3:08
Ben Clemens: That’s a great pitch against lefties. I wondered how he’d fare given his slider matters so much, but  yeah, it’s fine

3:08
Kyle Schwerin: Saupold finishes off the CG SHO 2-hitter on 101 pitches. Not bad.

3:08
Ben Clemens: So close to the sub-100 pitch shutout

3:08
Ben Clemens: But yeah, that’s dealing

3:08
Mike: Looking up some older articles on these KBO players is fun. Altherr/Thames comparison…

3:09
Ben Clemens: Yeah, Altherr was a real thing then!

3:09
Ben Clemens: I mean, that 2017 didn’t really look fluky

3:10
Ben Clemens: He just smashed the ball, basically

3:11
Ben Clemens: He was great, and his xwOBA was telling you it wasn’t completely fake

3:11
Ben Clemens: He really did hit the ball really hard and get it in the air

3:11
Ben Clemens: And then……

3:13
Ben Clemens: They’re talking about Sung-Bum Na as a potential MLB posting

3:13
Ben Clemens: I didn’t really know that much about him, but I’m taking a look at  his stats now

3:13
Matt: Na Sung-bum rocked a 1.089 OPS with only 4 HR last year. must have crushed the gap

3:13
Ben Clemens: Nah he just missed a lot of the season

3:13
Ben Clemens: 280 ISO but only 100-ish PA

3:13
David: Ben, hope you enjoyed KBO opening day. Hope for more

3:13
Ben Clemens: I did! This was a ton of fun

3:14
Matt: Ha woops. Good call

3:14
Ben Clemens: Yeah I did the same thing at first.

3:14
Ben Clemens: His career line is bonkers though

3:14
Ben Clemens: .316/.383/.534

3:14
Ben Clemens: In center

3:14
Ben Clemens: Yes please

3:14
Ben Clemens: Adios pelota

3:14
z: dinger!

3:15
Ben Clemens: The Dinos are not messing around now

3:15
Ben Clemens: I’m not completely sure why Baek is still out there

3:15
Kyle Schwerin: Not only are the bat flips clean, but the KBO umps coming out firing, too.

This ump’s strike three looking call is like he’s starting a lawnmower.
5 May 2020
3:15
Ben Clemens: Lolll

3:16
Ben Clemens: Oh now we’re really cooking with gas

3:16
Kyle Schwerin: THERE’S A BAT FLIP

3:16
Zak: BP in Daegu

3:17
Ben Clemens: He really got all of that one

3:17
David: One last KBO prospect: Kang Baek-ho of KT. 19 years old. Hit 29 HRs as a 18 yr old last year

3:18
Brian CashGod: I’m starting to fade so I’m gonna call it a night, but that was a nice way to end it. Thanks for the great chat Ben!

3:19
Ben Clemens: Have a great night

3:19
Ben Clemens: You’re beating me out the door by about 10 minutes.

3:19
Kyle Schwerin: David – Is he related to Jung-Ho?

3:19
Ben Clemens: Neat little tidbit in the broadcast there; the Dinos were early adopters of second-wave analytical stuff, and the Lions are catching up

3:20
Ben Clemens: The Giants are pushing that way as well; their GM is from the Theo Epstein GM tree

3:20
HeyGgamdi: Winning candidate Heroes 8 : 0 Tigers lol

3:20
David: No no relation to Kang Jung Ho of the Pittsburgh Pirates

3:22
David: The Kiwoom Heroes just rake. Have 2 young studs. They could be your title contenders this year

3:22
Ben Clemens: Their offense is going to be fun to watch

3:23
Ben Clemens: Ha Seong Kim just hits and hits

3:23
Matt: Ben, where are you watching from?

3:23
Ben Clemens: Lovely San Francisco

3:24
Ben Clemens: It’s late here, but not unreasonably so

3:24
David: Have Park Byung-Ho if you remember Ben of the Minnesota Twins. Didn’t turn out well for him there but in KBO, he’s back to being a monster hitter

3:24
Ben Clemens: Yeah I never thought he got enough of a chance with the twins

3:24
Ben Clemens: I was worried the same thing would happen to Choi Ji-Man before the Rays started giving him playing time

3:24
Kyle Schwerin: According to BA, Kiwoom has 4 of the top 10 MLB prospects in the league. Probably fun to watch for the future!

3:25
Ben Clemens: Rucinski has been quietly effective tonight

3:25
Ben Clemens: I jinxed him nicely there

3:25
Ben Clemens: But that’s the first outfield contact in a while

3:26
Ben Clemens: His sinker/slider combo is just not hittable. He’s had some walk issues but no one’s getting anything on it

3:26
Kyle Schwerin: four walks/hbp in 5.2 though isn’t gonna play.

3:27
Ben Clemens: Yeah he had a serious control lapse in the middle innings there

3:28
Ben Clemens: I dunno what got into him

3:28
Ben Clemens: But I was very impressed by his ability to miss bats

3:28
Kyle Schwerin: Alright, 3:30 is the best I’m gonna do here in Michigan. Thanks for the chat, Ben!

3:29
Ben Clemens: Have a great night Kyle! Thanks for hanging out

3:29
Ben Clemens: I’m staying up for the next half inning to see Baek’s replacement and then I’m heading to bed

3:29
David: Very difficult to tell a KBO hitter, give him 200 ABs in MLB, and expect him to produce. It’s why it’s so much easier for pitchers to make the transition.

3:29
Ben Clemens: Yeah you see this with NPB players as well

3:29
Ben Clemens: Pitching is proactive and hitting is reactive, so pitchers fare better when they switch leagues

3:30
Ben Clemens: Another delightful delivery, btw

3:30
Ben Clemens: Leg pop, long pause, let it fly

3:30
Ben Clemens: Big fan

3:30
Ben Clemens: Passan is still up live-tweeting bat flips

3:31
David: Right and also as you are seeing tonight, the pitching style is very different. Lot more breaking balls early in counts. You don’t have guys coming in for 1 hitter throwing 100

3:31
Tommy: That delivery wouldn’t be legal in MLB would it? He is putting his foot back down on the mound. Kershaw does a similar thing, but never retouches the mound.

3:32
Ben Clemens: I’m not convinced his foot touches down

3:32
Ben Clemens: It hovers there, and I think sometimes it touches

3:32
Ben Clemens: This would be a weird corollary of the Carter Capps rule, and I don’t know how they’d handle it

3:33
Ben Clemens: This is like the Carl Edwards thing

3:33
Matt: on cue with the close up!

3:33
Matt: looks like it touched

3:33
Ben Clemens: Yeah I thiiiiink it touched

3:33
Ben Clemens: It was crazy close though

3:33
Ben Clemens:

Carl Edwards, Jr.’s Foot Plant vs Sean Doolittle’s Toe Tap.

OBR 5.07(a):
“A pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate with either foot.”

19 May 2019
3:33
Ben Clemens: I report, you decide

3:34
Ben Clemens: I honestly don’t know. I think they might not allow it?

3:34
Ben Clemens: It’s somewhere in between those

3:34
David: I think the Carl Edwards one is soooooo a balk everytime he does it

3:34
Ben Clemens: To me the Edwards one is a balk

3:35
Ben Clemens: And the Doolittle one is not

3:35
Ben Clemens: Lee’s is somewhere in between

3:35
Ben Clemens: It’s somewhat rhythmic, but his shoulders stop pretty completely

3:36
Ben Clemens: Alright, on that note, I’m going to head to bed. Thanks so much to everyone, and especially to you David, for chatting with me tonight.

3:36
Ben Clemens: I really wanted to get some baseball back, and this was perfect.

3:36
Ben Clemens: Have a tremendous night everyone, or day if you’re tuning in from Korea, and let’s do this again some time. Watching baseball and talking with other poeple who love baseball on the internet is my favorite thing in the world.

We hoped you liked reading Ben Clemens KBO Opening Day Chat by Ben Clemens!

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Ben is a contributor to FanGraphs. A lifelong Cardinals fan, he got his start writing for Viva El Birdos. He can be found on Twitter @_Ben_Clemens.

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