Mark Lippert, the US ambassador in South Korea predicts Park Byung-ho will have success too in the MLB

A lot of things happened to Mark Lippert in South Korea this year, good and bad things… Damn the bad things and let’s go to the good things!

Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, watches a Korea Baseball Organization postseason game between the Doosan Bears and the NC Dinos at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Oct. 22, 2015. (Yonhap file photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Lippert’s not busy representing the US in South Korea, Mark Lippert loves attending KBO ballgames (Doosan Bears games, SMH…). In fact, the top U.S. envoy to Seoul has become such a dedicated fan in just over a year here that he sometimes gets “angry” when his official duties prevent him from going to the ballparks… Haha, still remember the time with Doosan facing off the Lotte Giants (HELL OF A GAME!!) trailing 5-1 in the 9th with Choi Joo-hwan walking them off a via 3 RUN SHOT!! He was leaving in a hurry at the end of the game, but atleast he got to witness an AWESOME moment.

 

Here’s Lippert’s (Dustin Nippert helped him out in this one) first pitch back in April 18,2015

 

 

 

And the AWESOME comeback shot from Choi Joo-hwan (with batflip) of the Doosan Bears that same day.

 

 

Lippert, who grew up a fan of his hometown club the Cincinnati Reds, has endeared himself to baseball fans in South Korea by taking in Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) games with his family…

Lippert reckoned that he went to about a dozen games in 2015, a total he’d like to see increase next year. (Awesome man, just awesome, would have love it if he root for the LG Twins….)

“The good thing is my wife, Robyn Lippert, really likes going to baseball games,” he said. “Now, I’ve been able to appeal to her. I went to a lot of games this fall after we got back from vacation. I said, ‘We’ve got to keep Friday and Saturday open so we can go to more ball games.” Via Yonhap.

Lippert is a Bears fan (ugh….), but he has also taken a particular liking to slugger Park Byung-ho (YES!!),of the the Nexen Heroes. Park, the league MVP in 2012 and 2013, led the KBO with 53 home runs and 146 RBIs this year, and he’s currently in contract talks with the Minnesota Twins, which won the bid for the posted first baseman at 12.85 million USD. Will have until December 8,2015 (deadline) to finalize the contract…

Via YTN, Mark Lippert, calling the player “Park Byung-home run,” at first said Park is his favorite KBO player. The envoy then caught himself and said Park “was” his favorite KBO star, perhaps sensing the slugger will likely be in a major league uniform next season. You see Park Byung-ho’s swing, and it’s just an amazing, fluid and powerful swing,” Lippert said. “So you’ve got to think he’s going to do well.”

Slugging 1B (FA) Lee Dae-ho will travel to the US early December for MLB contract talks

1B Lee Dae-ho, 33 years old, will depart for the US in early December. Lee (also the winner of this years Japan Series MVP award and so far the first ever South Korean to win it) is currently in Tokyo, Japan right now and his team will face Team United States in the finals tonight… Montis Sports Management Group (MSMG) is his agency, which also teamed up with the US based MVP Sports management group said that Lee Dae-ho is “garnering a lot of interest among MLB teams”.

 

In Lee Dae-ho’s 11 seasons with the KBO Busan Lotte Giants, he smacked 225 homeruns and 809 RBI’s while having a BA.AVG of .309, and was the Triple crown winner in 2006 and 2010, also the three time batting champion and two time homerun king in the KBO league in those respective years, his NPB stats can be seen here.

 

Was also the game player MVP for the South Korean team against Team Japan last night.

 

Former Major leaguer Eric Thames won the MVP award in the KBO league

Eric Thames was just announced today as the winner for the 2015 KBO MVP award,  garnering a total of 50 votes from the SK media, edging out Park Byung-ho who only tallied 44 votes overall.

 

The 1st baseman Eric Thames is the 3rd foreign player to win the season MVP award in the league, with Tyrone Woods and Daniel Rios as the other two. Going 40-40 (40 homeruns and 40 stolen bases) this season, Eric Thames is the ONLY player so far in the league to accomplish this outstanding 40-40 feat. You can see some of his other stats here. Thames helped the NC Dinos to their second straight postseason appearance in just it’s 3rd year running in the KBO (The NC Dinos made it’s league debut back in 2013). He also had 2 cycles hits in this season alone, one against the Kia Tigers in Gwangju Kia Tigers Champions field, and the other at Mokdong Stadium against the Nexen Heroes.

 

You can see the award ceremony here in the video below.

 

Kenta Maeda’s statement with Nikkan Sports about going to the Major Leagues

(Via, Nikkan sports, translated by Yakyubaka)

 

Here what Kenta Maeda said to Nikkan sports regarding about the Majors… (Nikkan sports questions are in Italic)

 

Did you have a meeting with the organization?

Yes. I did. I let them know what I was thinking.

What did you talk about with Carp official Kiyoaki Suzuki?

Things. I can’t really go into details.

Do you feel relieved?

I wasn’t feeling confused or anything. We were always supposed to meet after the Premier 12 and I felt I had to let them know what I was thinking. I’m grateful that Suzuki was able to make time to talk to me so soon after the Premier 12. I think it was good that we were able to do this so soon.

Will you be talking to Suzuki a lot?

I’m not really sure. It isn’t like everything was decided today, so I think we will talk.

What about the Majors?

My feelings grow stronger every year. It must have been a few years back, after I mentioned it during contract negotiations, people started asking me about the Majors, they sometimes asked if I was going to the Majors.

Why the Majors?

There are many reasons. I think it’s a different kind of baseball. Not everyone can make it there. If I have a shot at making it, then I’d like to take it. A lot of Japanese players are going, but for some, they haven’t done as well as they would have liked, or things aren’t going as well as they were in Japan. And that’s why I want to go. I don’t think the level in Japan is low, it’s just the scale is so different. There’s a difference in the number of teams. If I do this now, there might be a team that wants me. That’s also why I want to go. I don’t think I’d feel this way if I had no chance.

What about your training?

I haven’t decided. I have a little freedom in December, I think I will be training when I can, where I can. I’m not really all that concerned about it. I don’t think I’ll be appearing in events like I normally do.

What comes next?

My feelings alone mean nothing, so hopefully things will continue to move forward during discussions with the team.

 

If Kenta Maeda plays in the MLB this next 2016 season, I know he’ll have a great rookie year to whatever team he plays for. He also won the Eiji Sawamura award this 2015 season.

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