‘Hanyusum Virtual Out Controversy’ Do you have the ability to see the future? Everyone did it ‘wrong’, and only referee Woo Hyo-dong wrote ‘solitary’.

September 23, 2023 | by

“The biggest problem is the reading center, even if the on-field judgment is inadequate”

The KBO officially announced on April 22 that it has suspended umpire Woo Hyo-dong for “causing chaos with his poor officiating during the LG-SSG game at SSG Landers Field on April 21.”

SSG lost 1-2 against LG on the 21st of this month, with “other factors” playing a role in the loss. Trailing 0-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, SSG had the bases loaded after Guillermo Heredia singled, Choi Jung-hee doubled, and Han Yu-seom walked. It was the most important ‘game-winning’ at-bat, as a single could have tied the game or, if it came in the form of a long ball, could have put the game out of reach.

LG brought in Baek Seung-hyun to put out the fire, and SSG Park Sung-sung stepped up to the plate. He pulled a 149-kilometer fastball from Baek Seung-hyun into the outfield for a very strong hit toward the first baseman, but what happened next was unexpected as the ball sailed past LG’s first baseman Kim Min-sung and hit first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong in the abdomen, who was standing outside the foul line.

The ball was so fast that the first base umpire, Woo Hyo-dong, who had no time to dodge the ball, was flustered and unable to make a call. The first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong raised his arms and made a gesture of ‘foul’, but then declared the ball dead, and the ‘chaos’ began. The four umpires then gathered together and started talking, and the call was corrected to ‘fair’. This time, the LG bench requested a video review of the ‘fair/foul’ call.

When Park was hit by a pitch, Eredia, the third baseman, went home, Choi Jeong, the second baseman, went to third, and Park, the pinch runner, went to first base. However, Han Yoo-seom, the runner at first base, stopped running and returned to first base after seeing the ball hit umpire Woo Hyo-dong in the abdomen. The video replay center determined that Park Sung-hwan’s pitch hit the glove of first baseman Kim Min-sung and upheld the “fair” call, but Han Yoo-seom, who was on first base, would not have been able to reach second base even if the initial call had been “fair,” so he was called out.

At the time, the KBO said, “The ball went past the first baseman’s (Kim Min-sung) glove, so it was declared fair, and then it was in play while being judged.” The video review center stopped play after the ball hit the umpire, but even if the umpire had declared fair right away, Han would not have been able to get to second base, so the umpire called him out.” In other words, the video review center went beyond judging the foul/fair call and called Han out as if it had predicted a situation that never happened.

Outraged by the call, Kim Won-hyung stormed out of the dugout and loudly protested to the umpires. But it didn’t change the outcome. He was ejected from the game for protesting the video review. SSG scored a run when Park Sung-hwan’s hit allowed a runner to score from third base, but they couldn’t get the decisive hit at first and third base and lost 1-2 to LG.

For SSG, it was a devastating defeat. If the first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong had called ‘foul’ in the first place, Han Yoo-seom would not have been out for a ridiculous reason, and even if he had called ‘fair’, no one knows if the LG pitch would have reached second base. SSG was left with no recourse as Han did not run for second base, but the LG Bears did not make a follow-up play either.

In response, SSG owner Jung Yong-jin expressed his disappointment on social media that the team was “robbed of victory,” and on the 22nd, he visited the KBO in person. “The reason why players play with all their might and fans cheer at the top of their lungs is because of the premise that the game is being played fairly,” he said. “Please have a sense of mission, not just for our club, but for the players who put their lives on the line for a single ball.”

As the controversy grew, the KBO announced on the 22nd that “Umpire Woo Hyo-dong misapplied Official Baseball Rule 5.06 (c) Balk (6) and should have called an in-play, but instead called a balk, causing confusion in the game.” “Umpire Woo Hyo-dong will be suspended for the remainder of the season after the 22nd,” the KBO said.

There is no denying that Woo’s inaccurate gestures and incorrect application of the rules sparked the controversy. However, the fact that the video replay center decided whether Han Yoo-seom was out or not, rather than just making a fair/foul call, is certainly problematic. That’s why coach Kim Won-hyung was furious with the video review center.

“I knew that talking to the umpires on the field wouldn’t change (the call), but I told the umpires on the field exactly why the center made the wrong call,” he said before the 22nd game. “I also told the umpires, ‘This is baseball, I don’t understand that you make a call based on the assumption of the next play,'” he continued. 스포츠토토

“If you’ve watched baseball, you know that there were issues in the dugout. I think it’s wrong to put all the blame on the first base umpire on the field. I don’t understand why they do that when all they have to do is call fair/foul. There is no guarantee that Hanyusum is 100% dead. It’s frustrating to see a one-dimensional call.”

If the on-field judgment had called Han Yoo-seom out, it would have been understandable. However, the fact that it was a decision made by the review center made Kim Won-hyung even more angry. “A balk means that everything stops,” he said. So we just need to clear up the first situation. Someone can take advantage of it, and it’s unfair, but it’s very unfair to call something that didn’t happen. The opponent didn’t make a follow-up play either,” he said.

Coach Kim Won-hyung said, “Even if the momentary judgment on the field was a little weak, the first problem is the reading center. I don’t know why it came up in the discussion. The reading was prolonged, so I thought, ‘What is it?'” He emphasized, “Don’t do anything external, just look at what you want and leave the rest to the field.”

LG coach Yeom Kyung-yup testified that the first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong called a foul and umpire Bae Byeong-doo called a fair. He believed that the umpire’s call caused confusion. In light of this, Woo Hyo-dong, umpire Bae Byeong-doo, and the video replay center were all at fault for creating a “new rule” that was not in the KBO’s regulations. Despite this, the KBO only punished Woo Hyo-dong for causing the “initial” confusion. The umpires, the video review center, and everyone else was at fault, but only Woo Hyo-dong was punished.


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