Last week we brought your attention to the Korean Baseball Association (KBA) placing a ban on Baltimore Orioles scouts, prohibiting them from attending any organized game in South Korea. The repercussions were the result of a kerfuffle that the Orioles caused when they convinced 17 year old left handed pitcher Kim Seong-Min to forego his final year of high school in his homeland to sign a $550,000 contract.
You see, the KBA doesn’t typically appreciate direct contact between Major League Baseball teams and high school players that haven’t completed their studies, and in response to the Orioles involvement, the organization not only levied a punishment against the franchise, but also banned the young pitcher from playing or coaching in South Korea for an indefinite amount of time.
Lost in the footnotes of the story was that the KBA lodged an official complaint with MLB over Baltimore’s actions, claiming that the Orioles’ actions hindered the development of youth baseball programs in South Korea, something that the two parties had previously signed an agreement to protect. It ends up that the complaint was effective because according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, MLB is set to void Kim’s contract.
I know we’re hard on the OriLOLes from time to time, but think about it this way: If I were to lay out this entire scenario to you without naming the team involved, and your life depended on guessing what organization it was that handled this situation so poorly, what Major League Baseball club would you guess?
Oh, and did I mention that ESPN’s Keith Law described Kim as “a 5’9″ Korean HS lefty throwing 80-83 with no feel for a breaking ball?”
Update from Korean writer Jeeho Yoo:
@masnSteve Clarifying Jang situation w/ LAA, contract wasn’t “voided” but was held up for 30 days at the time also, like the O’s situ. today
— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) February 16, 2012