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Tight Samsung-Doosan Playoff Series Wearing Out Players

Posted October. 13, 2010 11:19,   


“Wouldn’t it be necessary to place a warning sign saying ‘Heart disease patients, pregnant women, children and senior citizens advised not to watch games?’”

The Korean baseball playoff series between the Daegu Samsung Lions and the Seoul Doosan Bears have seen close nail biters in all four games. Each of the four games has been decided by one run, with victory hardly assured even late in the game.

For this reason, new terms have emerged including “high blood pressure baseball” and “last-ditch effort baseball.” Even fans feel fatigued over how close the games have been, but the stress level of the players seems to be off the charts.

More players are complaining of extreme fatigue and stress ahead of the deciding Game 5. Samsung infielder Park Jin-man said, “One game in the postseason requires concentration and physical stamina equivalent to those needed for three games in the regular season. If playoff games continue to be decided by one run like this year, the fatigue players will feel will be beyond imagination.”

Park started at second base in Game 3 but injured his knee after the game lasted 11 innings. As a result, he had to sit out Game 4.

Samsung outfielder Park Han-yi, who had the game-winning RBI in Game 4, said, “This is more difficult than the 2004 Korean Series, when we had to play a nine-game series.” Samsung lost to the Hyundai Unicorns in the extended series with two ties in 2004.

Doosan infielder Kim Dong-joo also said, “I don’t even have the energy to talk because I`m so tired.”

Doosan catcher Yang Ui-ji, who played all 11 innings in Game 3, said, “I feel pain in every part of my body, including my waist and knees. I now understand what it means when they say ‘My sinews and joints are tingling with pain.’”

Pitchers are also feeling tired as a combined 16 pitchers -- nine for Doosan and seven for Samsung -- played in Game 3 and Game 4. Doosan manager Kim Kyung-moon said, “Considering the number of pitches they’ve thrown, we have no more pitchers to field.”

There is one thing that will make up for all of these hardships: victory. After winning Game 3, Doosan’s Lee Sung-yeol said, “I felt like I was going to die throughout the game. After our win, however, I felt extreme joy that I’d never experienced before.”

A Samsung player said as he left the stadium after his team lost, “I’ve realized how cruel a sport baseball can be.”

The fifth and deciding game of the series is set for Wednesday, with the winner going on to the Korean Series.