What do US baseball fans think of the varsity drinking epidemic in a strange country across the Pacific?
A team drinking scandal is rocking the baseball world. In March, it was revealed that some of the players who participated in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in Tokyo, Japan, drank alcohol away from the team’s housing during the tournament.
Three players, including Kim Kwang-hyun, who started against Japan, and Lee Yong-chan and Jung Chul-won, apologised for their actions. They bowed their heads, explaining the timing of their drinking and whether female hostesses were present, but public opinion has cooled.
Talking Baseball, a social media account that covers baseball news, also broke the news.
“Three South Korean players are being monitored for drinking alcohol outside of the tournament,” they wrote. Former St. Louis player Kim Kwang-hyun has been removed from the team’s roster.”
The post generated a lot of comments. While they don’t necessarily represent the thoughts of all fans, they do give us a good idea of what’s going on.
There was a clear difference in culture and perception. The most common comment was that the players’ freedoms were too restricted.
“This team must be from North Korea,” “I thought the KBO was a South Korean league,” “I don’t know which country we’re in,” “I think North Korea has infiltrated South Korea,” “I’m thankful I was born in the United States and not in South Korea or North Korea,” and so on. Athletes felt that their freedoms were being overly restricted.
“Some countries take it too seriously,” and “If you’re fine the next day, it’s no big deal.”
One netizen, who identified himself as South Korean-born and living in the United States, called it a “double standard. “The coaches and front office drink every day, but demand that the players be incredibly clean and obey their orders,” he pointed out.
One fan invoked the name of David Wells, saying, “David Wells would have been ejected from that team in 12 minutes.” 메이저놀이터
Wells, a three-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, was a notoriously poor self-care pitcher. In his autobiography, he confessed to drinking the day before his 1998 perfect game and pitching in a less-than-sober state.
He had some sharp words. “They wouldn’t have won anyway,” one wrote, suggesting that the real problem was the performance of the Korean team, while another pointed out that “it’s not uncommon for Koreans to drink a lot.” “If they hadn’t lost in the group stage, there would have been no problem,” said one.