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Samsung Eliminated from Konami Cup

Posted November. 13, 2006 07:00,   


The Samsung Lions, champions of Korean pro baseball for two years in a row, dropped their heads after their elimination from the Konami Cup Asia Series 2006 with one win and two losses.

Samsung’s “defensive baseball,” conducted by its manager Sun Dong-yol, revealed its limits, as it was not supported by proper offense.

To some extent, Samsung’s poor performance was predictable. Samsung was the latest among the teams in the Konami Cup to finish the domestic league as they had as many as six games in the Korean Series against Hanwha, including three that were extended to extra innings. One of their key players, Oh Seung-hwan, fainted on the plane to Tokyo, which shows how exhausted the players were.

After being defeated by the La New Bears, 2-3, manager Sun said, “We had only five days to prepare. The reason for the difference between last year’s performance and this year’s is the time we had for preparation.”

On the other hand, Taiwanese pro baseball, which has been undervalued, proved itself competent enough not only against Korean baseball, but against Japanese baseball. In the three games of the preliminary round, La New hit the most number of homers among the all the participating teams, five, and kept their earned run average to a mere two.

Hong I-chung, manager of La New, said, “Among the top levels of Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese pro leagues, there seems to be no big gap.”

The Lions’ gloomy faces on their way back home, despite the fact that they have won the Korean series for two straight years, represent the “Konami Cup dilemma.” As many see the tournament now as one between nations, those teams that proceed to the Korean series now have to take it into consideration and save their capabilities. Sun said, “I felt so regretful while I was spurring my already tired players on.”