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  • KBO playoffs

    1. The KBO is pretty good. I started watching the KBO when it was literally the only game in town when the pandemic struck. The coverage got better over time, starting kind of informally and with the ESPN announcers at home workstations and having no idea who anyone was or what they could do, apparently getting most of their info from Wikipedia, and spending disproportionate time talking about baseball in general and about the MLB until they could get to speed, eventually finding some KBO insiders and experts along the way. As the playoffs began, the game performances began taking center stage, with the analysis done as best as they could without the kinds of gear we take for granted, namely telestrators, control of replay and so on.

    2. The league started admitting fans in small numbers a few weeks ago, but this morning's second round game in Seoul looked to be about 2/3rds full, and it was kind of crazy in the audience with fans performing organized cheers and loud music on pretty much all the time, though fortunately I did not hear any of that awful KPop. It certainly seemed to ratchet up the pressure and make it seem very, very real and personal for all involved.

    3. The part that was unsettling for me is the championship format. Instead of a bracketed tournament like the tennis, the NBA and NCAA, or a reseeded bracket like NFL and NHL, the KBO uses a ladder format in which prevailing lower teams move up to play a rested opponent. The Dinos, who finished first, have about 3 weeks off while the lower seeds knock each other out. I'm kind of meh about that.

    4. But more irksome is the round format. In the 5 vs 4 round, 5 (the Heroes) had to beat 4 (the Twins) 2 out of 2 in the series, with the kicker being that a tie (after 15 innings) is congruent to a loss to the lower seed. On Saturday, the Twins advanced with a 13th inning walkoff in game 1, but even if the score stayed 3-3, all the Twins needed were six more outs to advance. I'm not too bad with that, but the most extreme case is that the Twins have perfectos thrown against them twice in a row and still advance with an 0-1-1 record in that round. That's pretty ugly. Soccer offers the potential for a team to absolutely win one of those two legged playoffs without overtime or penalty kicks even though both games ended in draws, but the KBO rule allowing advance without doing anything is even beyond that so it rubs me the wrong way, and I'm no purist.

    I welcome a comparison of notes.

    Everybody, stay safe and distanced. Be smart out there.
    Last edited by rodk; 11-05-2020, 07:08 AM.

  • #2
    The KBO and hence all pro ball ended today with, spoiler alert, the NC Dinos winning the game and the championship series 4-2.

    The telecast was about as good as it can be from a distance. Eddie Perez seemed humbled by the opportunity to call games even at 4 in the morning where he was cooped up in Florida, saying today that even with the early hour, having baseball kept him sane. Honestly, me too. Having it go at 5 AM is great when you have insomnia resulting from Covid related panic. Experiencing Daniel Kim, the KBO Insider for ESPN, learn to be a professional broadcaster on the job while announcing from a closet in his apartment was joyful, and good luck to him.

    Hopefully ESPN will bring the KBO back next year. It isn't the majors. It didn't have to be the majors for baseball to bring fun, joy, a different experience and approach, and new characters into a tough 2020.

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