Friday, July 05, 2013

Bits and Pieces

I first saw this posted at the Marmot's Hole yesterday, and was impressed with the writing. I'll have to pay more attention to Kim Tong-hyung's writing in the future. It reminded me of some of James Wade's writing (such as this). I should also note that the Chosun Limericks book mentioned at the end of that last linked post should be available from the Royal Asiatic Society (best to email them and ask about it).

I also enjoyed Mark's photos of a swollen Cheonggyecheon and his wanderings around Seoul. I'd have to vehemently disagree with this choice of favourite time of year, though. Words cannot fully express how much I despise this heat and humidity (now with an added bonus of downpours!).

And the Kyunghyang Sinmun has a lengthy article based on foreign sources suggesting that Queen Min was not killed in 1895 (Hat tip to Hamel). This is apparently not new information; in the aftermath of the incident there were several reports suggesting that she might have survived. If she did, perhaps she ended up with these fellows?

I'm also not sure what to make of this:
Three members of Girls’ Generation will sing the Korean national anthem at the July 29 baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, according to the group’s agency, SM Entertainment.

The teams planned the event to mark the matchup between two Korean players: pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin of the Dodgers and outfielder Choo Shin-soo of the Reds.
Singing the national anthem of a foreign team that is being played, I get, but is playing the national anthems of individual players on baseball teams something that is commonly (or ever) done? Or is Korea just special in this case?

6 comments:

Mark Russell said...

Hi Matt - Thanks for the link. As for disagreeing with the weather, please note that I said I liked it when the summer rains "pour down." As in, the times it is actually raining. Not the nasty, humid periods between each rain. Once the rain stops, it takes about 3 minutes before things heat up again, the rain water starts to evaporate and everything turns into a sauna. But while it is raining, Korea is a beautiful place.

But your mileage may vary, of course...

jjj_alltheway said...

Yes, Korea is special! Here is a current list of other foreign players in the MLB that don't get their national anthem played during games with maybe an exception being made in the playoffs, World Series, or All-Star game?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_Major_League_Baseball_players_by_nationality
Is it only sickly discriminatory teams like the Dodgers that does this? Ultimately, the MLB is to blame when they allow discrimination toward non-Asian players as done when it only provides Asian players with interpreters 100% paid for via the MLB.
When is the LA Dodger stadium going to have a Cuban Day for Cuban and rookie sensation Yasiel Puig? MLB fans can sit and sing the Cuban national anthem. The Dodger stadium should do this when any one of the other 24 Cuban players teams play at LA Dodger stadium. The same can be said for other foreign MLB players on the Dodger roster Hanley Ramiraz(SS) Dominican Republic, Juan Uribe(3rd base) Dominican Republic, Jose Dominguez(Pitcher) Dominican Republic, Ronald Belisario(Pitcher) Venezuela, Kenley Jansen(Pitcher) Curacao. There are 120+ Domincan players in the MLB, 84 Venezulan players, 5 Curacao players, and 2 Korean players. On Korean Day July 29th, Korea should plant the Korean flag on the pitcher’s mound in Dodger stadium like Korea did in the past after a World Baseball game vs. Japan.

wetcasements said...

I've never heard of it being done before, but given the number of Koreans and Korean-Americans in LA it makes sense from a PR perspective.

"as done when it only provides Asian players with interpreters 100% paid for via the MLB"

Eh. MLB isn't a charitable cultural organization. A lot of guys come from Spanish-speaking countries, and learning English is much easier for them (just like learning Spanish was much easier for me than Korean will ever be). The languages are very similar.

With a Korean or Japanese ballplayer it's a drop in the bucket for MLB to hire a translator. Teams bring over Asian talent when they think that there, ya know, talent involved.

"When is the LA Dodger stadium going to have a Cuban Day for Cuban and rookie sensation Yasiel Puig?"

Honestly, every day in MLB is a celebration of hispanic cultures -- Cuban day, Puerto Rican day, Dominican day. It's already the default.

So yeah, I find it weird that the Korean National Anthem will be performed, but it doesn't bother me one bit. The Dodgers want to make more profit by growing their fanbase, and given the demographics of LA re: Korean folks it makes a lot of sense.

Of all the things in the world to be outraged about, this is weaksauce.

jjj_alltheway said...

wetcasements,
I was just joking when I said Koreans are special while you must think they are? Thinking it "weird" the Korean national anthem will probably be played and calling it "weaksauce" while dismissing other MLB players is all telling and just because it "doesn't bother me/YOU."

Just because Cubans and others might defect to join the MLB while Asian players don't, doesn't mean they're any less of a people or make Asian players special.

"With a Korean or Japanese ballplayer it's a drop in the bucket for MLB to hire a translator."

Do you know what ain't a drop in the bucket? MLB teams pay Asian teams/leagues such as the KBL $50 million or whatever the mother load, so is this why you think Koreans/Asians are special? Open your eyes and mind, treat others as you'd want to be treated!

"Honestly, every day in MLB is a celebration of hispanic cultures -- Cuban day, Puerto Rican day, Dominican day. It's already the default."

I'm not sure what you mean? But, I doubt Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans etc...fans and MLB players would agree with you!

Even though you easily group "Spanish-speaking countries" together doesn't mean you should when talking about national anthems.
The problem is that there isn't just one national anthem for all the expat MLB players, including Cuban and Venezuelan players. Wouldn't it be great to hear the Cuban Nat. anthem and Venezuelan Nat. anthem, especially if/when Eric Snowden moves to Venezuela?

You can be sure the Venezuelan Dodgers Pitcher Ronald Belisario ain't going to be hearing his Nat. anthem sung at Dodger stadium anytime soon so why the Korean anthem?
The MLB shouldn't be treating players differently especially when the political situation of their home country could creep in.

Korean fans are some of the most fair weather fans in the world. When Ryu ain't pitching, there ain't many going to Dodger stadium.

I don't think you're Cuban, Venezuelan etc...so I don't think you know how they would feel or what they would think while listening to the Korean anthem while their anthems aren't played. Or maybe if you imagine for a moment if you were an MLB player, would you just think while standing or sitting in the dugout...Oh well..."A lot of guys(in the MLB) come from Spanish-speaking countries"?

Don't dismiss each player and their individual countries!

"A lot of guys come from Spanish-speaking countries, and learning English is much easier for them (just like learning Spanish was much easier for me than Korean will ever be)."

Your ease of learning a language has nothing to do with all the other expat MLB players. And it's not just about the language, it's about having someone there with you who is like you that follows you around anywhere in practice everyday including sometimes on the field during games. Have some humanity or ask them how easy English is for them.
http://news.msn.com/pop-culture/mlb-allows-asian-interpreters-on-mound-but-what-about-latino

"Eh. MLB isn't a charitable cultural organization."

That's why it shouldn't be showing favoritism toward one group(Asians) and discriminating against others.

wetcasements said...

Again, the LA Dodgers are not a charitable non-profit, they are a business. Somebody in their PR or marketing department decided this would put more butts in the seats, so they're doing it to make more money. They are not a sleeper agent of Park Gun-hye's super-secret Hallyu campaign.

Capitalism and mental health-care -- two things you should look into, jjj.

jjj_alltheway said...

wetcasements,
"Capitalism and mental health-care -- two things you should look into, jjj."

I see, discrimination in the name of "Capitalism and Mental Health-Care"? You sound adrift, are we to gleam something of this? Are you giving us a message or is it a deflection? Why did you include "mental"? You are rich! And I'll remember that.