“ML reverse export” foreigners also visited and greeted them…The KBO’s first-ever referee contract was terminated, ending in a moment of 2272G career

April 20, 2024 | by

For the first time in the KBO League, an active referee was fired during the season. The 28-year career of referee Lee Min-ho (54), who was recognized for his credibility among players, ended in an instant.

The KBO announced the results of its personnel affairs committee on the 19th. It deliberated on disciplinary action against three judges who undermined the fairness of the league by making mistakes and inappropriate words in relation to the ABS (automatic pitching judgment system) decision against the NC-Samsung match in Daegu on the 14th.

As a result, referee Lee Min-ho, who was the head of the referee’s team, decided to terminate the contract, referee Moon Seung-hoon suspended for three months (unpaid), the maximum period of suspension set by the regulations, and decided to take additional personnel measures after the suspension was terminated, and third base referee Choo Pyeong-ho suspended for three months (unpaid), the maximum period of suspension.
KBO said, “We held a personnel committee meeting because we thought the issue was very serious, and confirmed the disciplinary action.” On the 15th, a day after the incident, Choi Kyu-soon, the former referee, who was arrested after an emergency meeting presided over by KBO President Koo Young-yeon, decided to exclude them from their duties, leading to the termination of the KBO’s first-ever active referee contract. Until now, KBO’s disciplinary action against referees has been limited to a slap on the wrist, including suspension, fines, demotion of the second division, and stern warnings, but this time, the highest level of sanctions has been imposed. Former referee Choi Kyu-soon, who was sentenced to eight months in prison for inappropriate acts of borrowing about 35 million won from four club officials between May and December 2012 and was arrested for failing to pay back, had resigned from the recommendation after 2013.

KBO has introduced an integrated referee management system since 2018 to prevent the recurrence of unfair practices by referees after the “Choi Kyu-soon scandal” broke out. If any misconduct or violation of the rules subject to criminal punishment occurs, it will be immediately withdrawn under the “one-strike out system.” In the case of referee Lee Min-ho, it was not a misconduct subject to criminal punishment, but the seriousness of the issue was so great. The so-called “misjudgment concealment” by the referees during the Daegu game on the 14th was a major accident that cracked the league’s dignity and credibility to be dismissed as a simple mistake.

At the end of the third inning, the referee judged the second ball thrown by NC pitcher Lee Jae-hak during Samsung’s Lee Jae-hyun batter’s box with two outs and a runner on the first base. However, NC manager Kang In-kwon came out of the dugout to appeal after throwing three more balls and making a full count. The second ball, which was belatedly delivered to the dugout tablet, passed the ABS zone. The four judges gathered to discuss the matter, and NC refused to accept the appeal because the statute of limitations for appeal had expired. Although Lee Min-ho, the team’s chief referee, took the microphone and informed the audience directly about the matter, conversations that the referees exchanged during the eight-minute discussion between the referees were aired on TV.

The content was truly shocking. Team manager Lee Min-ho, who was in charge of the first base umpire, told referee Moon Seung-hoon, “Listen, I thought you recognized it as a ball. Okay? This is the only way we can get out of it.”That’s all he had. Voice is a ball,” it was revealed as if he was trying to manipulate the ABS result. When referee Moon Seung-hoon tried to match the words, “It was like a ball with a straight face,” referee Lee Min-ho said, “It wasn’t the same, it was a ball. If we don’t want to break it…”I said,” he said.

Mistakes can be made in a chaotic situation, but many baseball fans were angry at the way they tried to cover it up with ABS errors. Regardless of the intention, the referee must have tried to avoid responsibility. If both the referee and the third base referee, who were wearing in-ear, admitted missing the call as a mistake, they could have been criticized but could understand to some extent.

However, in order to avoid the situation, the team made the worst attempt to manipulate ball judgment and match words. The dialogue is sufficient to undermine the credibility and fairness of the league. Furthermore, the situation itself, in which the ABS, introduced by KBO for the first time in the world, is being suspected in the field and complaints are raised, could be interpreted as a kind of obstruction of work.

Ironically, the highest level of punishment that KBO has ever imposed on referees is Lee Min-ho, who has been recognized by the league. Former outfielder Lee Min-ho, who played for the Haitai Tigers from 1993 to 1996, transformed into a referee in 1997. Since his debut in the first division match at the match between Hanwha and Ssangbangwool in Gunsan on Sept. 1, 1999, he has played in 2,272 games through this year. He also played in 408 games in the second division.

He was a competent referee who was recognized for his skills as much as his long career. He received the KBO League Judgment Award in 2013, 204 and 2016, and also received the first prize by baseball players in 2015. It is not all about brilliant award performance. A survey of 100 active players conducted by Daily Sports between 2015 and 2016 also showed high reliability in the field as consistent ball judgment was considered the best referee for the second consecutive year.

He was also well known as a good-mannered referee, treating young players with honorifics. Maryle Kelly (Arizona Diamondbacks), a major leaguer who played a simulation game against the Kiwoom Heroes during the Arizona Spring camp in February last year, recognized referee Lee Min-ho first, approached him, bowed to him, and shook hands. Kelly said at the time, “I wanted to say hi because I haven’t seen him in a long time.” 고수익알바

Though the referee was recognized by foreign players, his 28 year career collapsed due to ill-advised judgment. Perhaps, he felt the responsibility to lead the team members well so that they would not suffer damage as he was promoted to the chief referee team leader last year. However, the direction was extremely wrong. The dismissal of referees, which was the first time in the KBO, was regrettable personally, but a chance to punish them was inevitable.


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