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Baseball: South Korea league kicks off with ‘socially distant’ first pitch – but no fans

By Chaeyoun Won and Hyonhee Shin | 5 May 2020

REUTERS — Lee Raon, a nine-year-old baseball fan, stood on the mound. But instead of throwing the ball, the boy, inside a giant clear balloon, walked towards the catcher in what was called a “socially distant first pitch” for South Korean club KT Wiz on Tuesday.

The ceremony marked the kick-off of South Korea’s baseball league season after a five-week delay due to the global coronavirus pandemic, which has all but wiped the world’s sporting calendar clean.

No fans were allowed in, and referees and coaches wore masks. Several clubs brought cheerleaders and major television networks aired the games, which would have otherwise been a treat for Children’s Day. […]

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2 Comments on Baseball: South Korea league kicks off with ‘socially distant’ first pitch – but no fans

  1. What a world we live in. One where Adrian Monk(Monk)and Bubble Boy(Seinfeld episode)are the new and accepted norm. What power that propaganda box had then and now.

  2. The NBA and MLB are also moving forward with plans to play without fans. NBA small-hat Commissioner Adam Silver recently held a conference-call with player reps from the union and told them to communicate to the players that there was a strong likelihood that games would be played without fans for the 2020-2021 season as well.

    The ramifications of this are lethal for many of the franchises; specially the small market teams like San Antonio and Utah who get by on small profit margins to begin with. The collective bargaining agreement between the players and the owners is based on revenue from the television contracts with ESPN/ABC and TNT. Only a small percentage of people-the diehards-will watch games without fans!

    This scenario creates not only budgetary issues for the franchises’ themselves, but how and when the players are going to be paid is now a serious problem with no revenue coming in from ticket-sales and concessions/apparel. You either have to defer payments until a later date which will affect players who are in-and-out of the league within 1-3 years or you pay now with serious reductions occurring at a later date. Even these two scenarios are based on the assumption that things will return to normal within a couple of years.

    I do not think these Commissioner’s and owners quite realize the severity of the problem facing the existence of their leagues! They most definitely do not realize the political dynamics of what has befallen them as they see this pandemic as a real event. A large segment of the population relies on their bread and circuses to help pass the time, and with that taken away, their will also be a big psychological and emotional impact on how people cope with day-to-day functioning.

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