The Rundown: A Salute to Asian Professional Baseball, Kerry Wood Celebrates an Anniversary, No Current Plans to Restart MLB Season

“The bassoon is one of my favorite instruments. It has a medieval aroma, like the days when everything used to sound like that. Some people crave baseball…I find this unfathomable, but I can easily understand why a person could get excited about playing the bassoon.” – Frank Zappa

I am mildly attuned to the hype regarding KBO baseball, but I will be extremely disappointed if the masses that currently embrace the alternative to American baseball abandon their Asian counterparts if and when there is a reboot of the 2020 MLB season. That seems inevitable to me, though I hope I am underestimating their new fans. I just can’t help but feel that a sinister screen scrolling announcing the return of America’s pastime, like the ones in the Star Wars movies, will have those who have found a new hope with Pacific Rim professional baseball jumping ship.

To me, the fascination with the KBO and Taiwan baseball runs parallel with those who have enjoyed the train wreck that is Joe Exotic in the Netflix series Tiger King. The hype and hyperbole seems forced at times, too much for something that is new to a worldwide stage. The curiosity factor is obviously huge, but is that enough to carry the game when fans can start watching the daily exploits of Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, and Kris Bryant again? Probably not.

That’s not to say the games aren’t fun to watch. Korean and Taiwanese baseball provides something of a soothing respite during the ongoing pandemic. With the empty stadiums, the sounds of the game — such as the crack of a baseball bat meeting a 90 mph fastball or an over-exaggerated third strike call — are so wonderful that you can almost smell the fresh spring grass through your television set. Visions of one day returning to Wrigley Field to see a must win Cubs-Cardinals tilt feel more real right now than at any time since baseball halted operations nearly two months ago. Fans of MLB should be forever indebted for the reverie that accompanies those broadcasts.

If you’re looking for live sports, there’s no current alternative, and that newfound love for our baseball brethren is genuine for many. The time will come, however, when Asian professional baseball is merely an afterthought except to true die-hards. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Heroes should never be forgotten, and right now those players are the true guardians of the game.

Cubs News & Notes

Apropos of Nothing

Do you think Kid K watches replays of his historic performance when they are aired?

Find Your Inner Hero

California restaurant owners Deke And Patti Lyndall are delivering hundreds of free meals three days each week to first responders and frontline hospital workers in their community.

“My mom and dad said sometimes it isn’t about making money. It’s about doing the right thing,” he said. “We are losing money but we decided if we are going down, we are going to go down doing the right thing.”

Odds & Sods

We live in a different world than we did whan Top Gun was first released. Apparently Val Kilmer had a slightly different career path, however.

MLB News & Notes

Watching KBO baseball provides equal amounts of anxiety and joy.

The Indians organization held internal meetings regarding a potential reboot of the 2020 season with game starting July 1.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic says that baseball has no firm plan in place to restart its season anytime soon (subscription required).

Quoting Rosenthal: “There is no plan, can be no plan, until Major League Baseball gains a clearer perspective on which states are containing COVID-19 well enough for games to be played safely in their most stripped-down form, without fans.”

The Nationals partied so hard after winning the 2019 World Series that they were kicked out of a bar.

Willie Mays is celebrating his 89th birthday.

Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martínez is leading COVID-19 relief efforts in the Dominican Republic.

Extra Innings

I think this would be a perfect time for the Cubs organization to bring Sammy Sosa back.

They Said It

  • “We’ve all seen the way a common cold goes through a clubhouse..We’re in such close proximity, it’s impossible to enforce social-distancing measures when you’re trying to play a Major League Baseball season.”Sean Doolittle

Wednesday Walkup Song

Hero of the Day by Metallica. A salute to Asian professional baseball players.

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