Blog Entry

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:09 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 1:24 pm
The Orioles usually upset their own fans by not being aggressive enough, or not spending money.

Now they've found their way into something of an international incident with a very aggressive signing.

According to Korea's Yonhap News Agency, the Korean Baseball Association announced Thursday that it will ban Orioles scouts from attending games, after the team signed 17-year-old pitcher Kim Seong-min for a reported $550,000. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is looking into the signing, after a request from the Korean Baseball Organization, which runs professional baseball in that country.

The KBA objected to the signing, because Kim was not yet in his final year of high school. The association also said that any other teams signing players that young would also be banned from scouting in the country.

The KBO was upset enough that secretary general Yang Hae-Young referred to "hegemonic rookie signings" in an interview with Yonhap.

The Kim signing has stirred emotions in Korea, where some people feel that even if the Orioles didn't break any rules -- it appears that they didn't -- they may have broken with accepted procedure and/or offended some sensibilities.

Unlike in Japan, where most players have come to American baseball through the Japanese professional system, quite a few Koreans have signed with major-league teams direct from the amateur ranks. Neither Hee-Seop Choi and Byung-Hyun Kim, for example, played professional baseball in Korea before coming to MLB, although both played in Korea after their major-league careers ended.

Choi and Byung-Hyun Kim, though, were both older than the pitcher the Orioles signed. According to reports from Korea, Kim Seong-Min is just the second player signed by an MLB at such a young age (the first was a player the Braves signed in 1997).

The influx of players from Asia has always been complicated, because of concerns in the home countries about the effect on their local leagues. The issue is whether taking the top players to major-league organizations would harm the leagues and development systems left behind, and whether fans in those countries would simply watch major-league games on television rather than support the local game.

It's no surprise that the Orioles are in the middle of it, because new Orioles general manager Dan Duquette hired longtime scout Ray Poitevint, who is known for his aggressive style in signing Asian players.

The Orioles expect Kim Seong-Min to report to their minor-league camp this spring in Florida.


Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:34 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

You make it sound like Kim did not know what he was doing. And that is not the case.

Since: Oct 27, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:02 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

I remember when the Dodgers signed Adrian Beltre when he was only 15 years old and they banned the Dodgers from scouting in the Dominican Republic for a whole year.

Since: Dec 6, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:04 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

Approx 10 percent of the population in Dominican Republic complete high school...  95+ percent of the population completes high school in Korea

If the 17 year old Dominican can't make it to the Big Leagues, he can go back and play in the Dominican League, with Kim, the regulation does not allow him to play pro ball in Korea.  The rule banning players who sign prior to their last year of high school for life in pro baseball is a retarded rule in KBO, but this rule has been there for a long time, and Orioles organization knew that...

Now Kim has essentially two options in life... he can make it to the Major Leagues, which statiscally is unfavourable, or come back to Korea and deliver pizza for rest of his life. If shit doesnt work out the Orioles can find another teenage pitcher with a pretty good arm, but Kim is fucked, and thats why the outrage at the Orioles organization. 

Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:32 am

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing


MLB signs 17 yr old kids from Dominican Republic all the you think they've finished high school? 

Since: Dec 6, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:40 am

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

that's not even the fucking point man. don't u think u should let the kid get a high school diploma before he plays pro ball? he's probavbly not gonna make it in the big leagues...

Since: Dec 6, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:31 am

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

The rules and regulations about underage signing has been there since the 90's in Korea. Both the player and the Baltimore organization knew exactly what the regulations were and they blatantly ignored them and did whatever.  

Baltimore cannot just swoop in and break all the rules in another organization and essentially steal players, especially when the kid is still underage.  What the ball clubs do in Latin America is already a big problem and Korea won't allow baseball colonization to occur when there is a vibrant baseball boom in the country. I'm not syaing that KBO isnt a douche bag organization (which it is) but you gotta play by the rules, and all this crap about American military presence in Korea is garbage because politics is politics and baseball is baseball.

It seems like all of a sudden this signing is a big problem, but really the problem has lasted for years.  It feels like Korean presence in MLB is very limited, but that is only because only like 5 players made it to the Big Leagues... there are over 50 kids who have signed and really never got anywhere.  My bet is that this kid won't make it to the Big Leagues, simply, because it is ridiculously hard to get to that level.

Had Baltimore played by the rules and waited like all the other organizations that are there including the MLB scouts this wouldn't have been a problem. What makes Douchebag Duquette so special that he should just sign underage pitchers when he can wait one more year and go through the process normally? And to come out and say that the Orioles organization is doing nothing wrong? That's just bullshit.

The most unfortunate thing about the whole situation is that kid is essentially screwed. He probably won't make it to the Majors and since he is banned from Korean baseball, he can't play there either. So now he's left with Single A career and not even a high school eduation. His parents should've thought about shit before jumping at some sweet talk by douche bag Baltimore scouts. 

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:21 am

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

Never thought I'd see the day where the North Koreans seemed more sane than those in the South...

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:36 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

Breaking news from Seoul! South Korean Prime Minister; Hung Dong Lo has issued a statement that all Baltimore Oriole officials must vacate the country by midnight February 12 or face forced deportation to that paradise to the North that is North Korea.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:50 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

Worse yet, most people don't know that we only signed a cease fire to end the Korean conflict.

Since: Jul 16, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:33 pm

Orioles scouts banned in Korea after signing

Interesting point...How many people know we have at least a full division plus in that little peninsula?  Why?  Most people don't even seem to remember that we fought a war there for their freedom, a nasty bit of business.  The Koreans certainly don't seem to mind the economic shot in the arm having all those 'merican soldiers means, don't mind us marrying their women or driving their cars, but let us steal one baseball player....

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