As the Korean Baseball season winds down, only 2 teams remain. The Hanwha Eagles and the Lotte Giants. I'm sure many of you are not too familiar with The Korean Baseball League and it's players and teams, but to summarize the league up in one word would be "intense". The league consists of 8 highly competitive teams. Last year was the first year that foreign players were allowed to play in the KBO. To my surprise Felix Jose, who was an all-star at one point for the St.Louis Cardinals, was playing for the Lotte Giants this year. He had a tremendous year leading the Giants to the World Series. He played in every game and was in the top ten in every hitting category. He is also in the record books as the first player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game and he also hit the KBO's 10,000th homerun. The Lotte Giants lost an exciting series and after all the excitement died down I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Felix Jose.
So Felix whatya doin in Korea?
OK, no seriously why did you come to Korea to play baseball?
Well, I went to the tryout camp in the States and the Lotte Giants picked me first in the draft, so I thought why not? I'd like to see what baseball is like overseas.
Was this a stepping-stone back into the majors?
No, but obviously anything can happen. There have been many guys who played over in Japan and then went back to the majors.
What's the biggest difference in the style of play between the States and Korea?
The managing style
In what way?
A lot of things are different. The U.S. managers would do things that Korean managers wouldn't do and vice versa.
In Korea the managers would take a player out of the game if he committed an error.
Honestly, how bad is the pitching here?
Actually the pitching here is pretty good! They don't have the overpowering power, but they know how to mix up their pitches to their advantage. A lot of breaking and curve balls.
Will you be playing in Korea next year?
Ok, would you like to come back next year?
Sure, if the opportunity was there.
How was your experience here?
Overall, it was pretty good and the team did a lot of things they were not able to last year. We had a lot of players have good years and we almost won it all.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with 1stopkorea.com and I hope we'll see you next year.
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