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Kim’s History Doesn’t Matter

Posted October. 08, 2003 23:00,   


The American League Championship Series between arch rivals New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will be held from October 9. The Korean fans’ major concern is whether Kim Byung-hyun (24), cornered by the ‘middle finger event’, will be on the roster or not.

First, the atmosphere on the spot seems to be on Kim’s side. Boston’s manager Grady Little, who arrived in New York for Game 1 and 2, said, “The only thing we consider in deciding whether Kim will be on the roster is his health, not history,” in an interview with MLB.com, the homepage of Major League, on October 8.

He also said, “We will wait until the deadline before submitting the 25-men roster to the executive office to make the decision about Kim” The deadline is midnight October 9 (Korean Time)

If taken at face value, this can be interpreted that if Kim feels good, the manager would give him the opportunity to pitch without putting both Kim’s middle finger event and Kim’s previous jinx against the Yankees in question. This gives Kim a chance to restore his honor in these two respects.

Kim has a painful history against the Yankees. While pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks, he surrendered consecutive game-tying home runs in games 4 and 5 of the 2001 World Series against the Yankees, both in the 9th inning.

But the possibility of Kim’s absence from the roster can’t be dismissed altogether. Furthermore, even if he is on the roster, he may not be able to pitch frequently.

After Kim gave his middle finger to the home fans on October 5 in the Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics, he stayed in the dugout without even pitching in the bullpen. Although Kim stated it was because of abrupt pains in his shoulder, few people believed that.

Manager Little suggested a hint of Kim’s exclusion on the interview with MLB.com the day before, saying, “We would use Alan Embree against such left-handed hitters as Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui, and Scott Williamson and Mike Timlin as the reliever against the right-handed hitters such as Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano.”

Hwan-Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com