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Korean League Newsbeat

Friday, June 09, 2017

Foreign-born managers break through baseball team hierarchy in KBO

Whenever a slugger of the opposing team stands at home plate, SK Wyverns manager Trey Hillman asks his players to shift their standard positions and move to certain areas on the field to help them more easily catch a ball hit by the player.

The defensive realignment — called the “Hillman shift” among baseball analysts here — is based on odds drawn from accumulated data about the direction and distance a ball travels from the slugger’s bat.

The Hillman shifts have been executed 132 times as of May 18 since the March 31 opening games and about 67 percent of them were successful. Wyverns players have been able to outplay the sluggers of the opposing teams, thanks to the realignments.

Infield and outfield shifts are in vogue after Hillman joined the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) League early this year.

Data-based baseball strategy is one of the new baseball trends brought by foreign-born managers and coaches, including Hillman, and it has a real impact on the league.

Foreign-born coaching staffers are also agents of change in breaking through hierarchical manager-player relationships in the KBO League.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 09, 2017 at 12:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: kbo, korean league, shifts, trey hillman

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Eric Thames is a legend in Korea, now he’s restarting his career with the Brewers

The Babe Ruth of Korea is a Jesuit prep school graduate who is built like Terry Crews, wears a beard down to his chest, and was nicknamed God. But Eric Thames’s rock star life in Changwon reached its most outrageous point one late night last year.

“I was on a date,” he says. “We were on the street kissing, and a fan came up, hit me on the shoulder and was like, ‘Hey, can you sign?’ I’m like, ‘I’m with a girl right now! Get out of here.’ I was blown away.


“Wouldn’t matter if it was six in the morning, three in the morning, a dark alley or what. It was crazy. Because of my look—the beard, the tattoos—and because of what I did on the field, I couldn’t go anywhere.”

This year Thames said goodbye to South Korea, where for the past three seasons he put up video game numbers for the NC Dinos (.348 with 124 homers in 388 games), to take his second crack at fame in major league baseball. His first stint here, in which he bounced among the Toronto, Seattle, Baltimore and Houston organizations, was nondescript. Now, at age 30, he has a rebuilt swing, a newly found love of meditation and visualization, and the security of a three-year, $16 million contract to play first base for the Brewers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 06, 2017 at 10:48 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, eric thames, korean league

 

 

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