Posts Tagged ‘Korea’

Yes, Armando Galarraga got jobbed out of a perfect game.  No, that doesn’t mean baseball needs to start thinking about installing instant replay for every single play.  The worst thing MLB could do is have instant replay.  It would be a knee-jerk reaction that would damage the game that hasn’t quite recovered from labor strife in the mid-90’s.

Perfect games aren't that special anymore anyway. There's already been two this year.

Baseball is no longer America’s favorite pastime.  The NFL is king and baseball will never be able to touch football when it comes to fan interest and the amount of money it generates.  The 1994 strike damaged the game and you could say it never really came all the way back.  Sure, the long ball brought fans back but not everyone.  Baseball and baseball writers looked the other way when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were launching cartoonish bombs out of every stadium they went to in 1998.  Remember the jacks Sosa and Jason Giambi were hitting at Miller Park during the All Star game in 2002?  MLB and ESPN were eating it up and now they’re both disgusted with the players of that time and all the reports of PEDs.  Sometimes how we remember things and how they actually happened aren’t the same.

You let it happen Bud because baseball needed them

Now, Armando Galarraga is about to throw the 21st perfect game in baseball history, the 19th of the modern era, but a horrible call by first base umpire Jim Joyce spoiled the party.  Immediately the guys at the Worldwide Leader jumped on it and instant replay was all the rage with the talking heads.  Bud Selig, who seldom gets things right said it best when he said, “the human element has always been an integral part of baseball.”  The thing that makes baseball great, in my opinion, is that humans are in charge.  And, as we all know, humans make mistakes.  Sometimes the ball that outfielder dove for was a trap, sometimes that called third strike was a bit low and sometimes the runner is out when the umpire calls him safe.

I F'd up, it happens

As much as Selig has always opposed instant replay, he may have no choice but to give in on this one because you know the owners will be breathing down his neck.  The owners would be making a big mistake getting replay involved in every game.  The games are already long enough and kids aren’t flocking to the game like they used to.  Do you think more stoppages and longer games will help?  World Series games already end at close to 12 a.m. on the east coast.  I can envision games lasting until 1 a.m if replay is involved.

I was talking to a guy, let’s call him Tom, and he liked the idea of instant replay.  On a side note, this conversation really happened.  It wasn’t someone else’s conversation that I heard or read and made my own.  You’d be surprised how often this happens, even in Korea. Back to replay.  Tom thinks that because someone is already at the stadium watching the replays then why not have him do it officially.  The replay guy could butt in between pitches if he thinks a play should go the other way.  No challenges or anything.  He can just call down whenever he feels like it to change the game.  Sounds easy but what about the managers getting pissed and coming out to argue the overturned call?  That won’t make the game any faster.  Calls on the bases, catches, stolen bases, etc….  When does it stop?  Soon people will be clamoring for pitches to be reviewed and that will add to the nightmare.

I hope we don't see this in Major League Baseball

Don’t fix baseball ’cause it’s not really broken.  The players might be bigger, faster, stronger but the game is still the same as it’s always been.  Sometimes the guys in blue get it wrong but hey, it happens.  Don’t give in Bud, you’ve hurt the game enough.

It's the same game Stan "The Man" played

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come. ”  -James Earl Jones, Field of Dreams”

Wasn’t really feeling sports this week.  My White Sox still suck, Lance Armstrong was accused of doping (again), Hanley Ramirez has been doggin’ it on the field, I think something is happening in hockey and the inevitable Lakers – Celtics NBA Finals is gonna happen.  I don’t really give a shit, right now.

Something did pique my interest this week.  I’ve been in Korea for about nine months now and I’ve gotten used to the way things are around here.  I’m no Korean culture expert but I think I know what’s up.  But, I read something this week that made me question something about this place, something that every Korean loves and has to have.  I thought I knew quite a bit on this subject but then someone came along and blew my mind and I’ve had to rethink what I (thought I) knew.

Luckily, common sense prevailed and I realized I was right all along.  I like it when that happens.

The point here:

Never take what people think they know at face value.

Always do your research.

It’s ok to laugh at people who pretend to know it all.

Inside jokes are fun.

Thanks for indulging me.  Here’s a little something for your enjoyment.

Kimchi Recipe

Napa cabbage – approximately one pound
4 cups of cold water
3 tablespoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon of fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh green onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 teaspoon of dried red chili pepper flakes (more if you like things spicy, less if you don’t)
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of sugar

Directions:

Separate and wash cabbage leaves. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sea or kosher salt evenly on cabbage leaves. Place salted cabbage leaves in a large bowl, add 4 cups of cold water, cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator overnight. Be sure that water covers all cabbage leaves – place a plate or other heavy object on top of leaves to ensure that they stay covered with water.

The next day, pour off water and thoroughly rinse cabbage leaves. You can shake them gently in the sink to remove excess moisture.

Place cabbage leaves back into large bowl and add garlic, green onion or scallions, ginger, dried red chili flakes, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Use your hands to rub seasoning evenly into all cabbage leaves. Be sure to use gloves to do this, otherwise, your hands will burn from the chili flakes. If you are pressed for time, mix seasoning ingredients with about a cup of warm water before adding them to cabbage to allow for easier distribution on cabbage leaves.

Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into a large glass bottle. Be sure to use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle. Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well – it will become kim chi brine. Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press down on them as they are stacked in the bottle.

Leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the bottle before capping it tightly with a lid. Allow bottle of kim chi to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Your kim chi is now ready to eat. Use scissors or a knife and cutting board to cut cabbage leaves into 2 inch pieces before serving as a side dish to a bowl of rice, soup, and perhaps a piece of fish. Refrigerate remaining kim chi and take out small portions right before meals. The refrigerated kim chi will continue to ferment slowly in the refrigerator over time, becoming more sour and flavorful with each passing day. So long as you use clean utensils to take out small portions, it will keep for up to a month in your refrigerator.


As most of our readers know, we are English teachers in Korea. Now I am in a similar boat as The Mark, I do not really care who wins these Olympic games or who participates in them. Sure if its on I will be watching, but I do not know the schedule, the athletes or many of the story lines besides what Tony and Michael talk about during the Morning PTI, 5:30 PM Eastern/7:30 Am KST. 

I believe the correct term is Photo terrorism.

According to them, PETA is not thrilled with Johnny Weir,  I could have gone without seeing his costumes. But If I had to witness them so you do! Anyways beyond that and the talks of Lindsey Vonn’s calf, I did not know whats happening with the American teams and individuals in Vancouver. 

That all changed yesterday as my administrator turned on the Korean broadcast of the Olympics. During what happen to be one of their main events, Speed Skating.  Now I have seen Koreans practicing speed skating….I have never seen any one in the United States speed skate. So I thought, ‘cool’, we are head to head, they can celebrate their victory of over America and it will all be a great day.’ 

Things started out great, we were in second with about 6 runs left, my administrator turned to me and fist pumped after one of the runs….Let them celebrate its Speed Skating… a crowd of the teachers started to gather around the computer and take in the event. This was going to be their Gold

Enter Shani Davis of Chicago,  and the second to last heat, six of us watching: four teachers, one administrator, and the foreigner (me),  mix in a language barrier and you are primed. Mo Tae-Bum had already set the standard with a time of 1:09.12.  As the race started they got closer to the screen trying to will on their skater to beat Davis, to have a collective fist pump in my direction. But coming around the second turn it was evident, that this guy was not their savior, Davis took over and started putting some distance between them, but things were still alright with the Koreans due to Mo Tae-Bum’s performance. 

Vh1 Best Month Ever Candidate: February-Shani Davis

Yet as Davis kept moving faster and things started to look pretty grim for South Korea and me. I started getting glances, looks of disappointment. Davis crossed and he was the new leader, 1:08.94, the Americans ran on to the ice and were congratulating him, and the Korean station showed it all. Let me say this my co-workers were not mad at me….just disappointed, kind of like “how could you have done this to us, Bearded Guy. How could you win this one?” 

How does one respond to that? 

I can’t say “I didn’t know we even had a team.” Although that would be mostly true, I do not want to hurt their feelings more, by saying “I did not even care about the event.” All I could do was sheepishly shrug. Avoiding their further embarrassment, they quickly dispersed but the damage had been done, at least to their psyche. 

Sorry Korea,  we are better at most sports, some that we do not even know about, than you! Beyond that apparently we have more in speed skating than Apolo Anton Ohno, who is also the arch-enemy of South Korea. I think they hate soul patches! 

Apparently this is the worse way to win in Korea: having to Stand next to Ohno

Note:  How does the US women hockey team beat Russia 13-0? Isn’t hockey their thing? Could I compare it to United States losing in football internationally? Thoughts? 

1000m Long Track Champion represent 

The Bearded Guy 

The Winter Olympics start on Friday and I think I care less about them than I did about the Super Bowl.  The Super Bowl had a team I don’t care about (New Orleans) against a team I hate (Indianapolis).  Throw in the fact that I’m not in the states and the Super Bowl might as well have been the NHL Finals, except for the whole Jim Nantz thing.

I think the Penguins won the last Stanley Cup but I'm not sure

I guess I used to watch the Winter Olympics but I can’t remember anything memorable happening except for the Miracle on Ice, the Nancy Kerrigan – Tonya Harding thing and Dan Jansen getting his heart-broken over and over.  The only thing the Winter Olympics might be good for is to introduce you (me) to exotic, beautiful, foreign, female figure skaters.  It started with Katarina Witt in and then it was Kristi Yamaguchi and Oksana Baiul.  I don’t think I’ve watched too much of the last two Winter Olympics because I can’t think of any hot chicks from those games.

I’m sure the Winter Olympics offer more than just watching scantily clad, hot females, but what?  Why should I spend more than five minutes watching these games?  Part of my problem watching the Olympics is that the coverage was always America Über Alles no matter what channel they were on.  That won’t be a problem here in Korea but I still don’t care.  I’m pretty sure the coverage here will be very Korea-centric.  If a South Korean wins a  silver or bronze medal, forget about it.  If a gold is won by a Korean athlete, that athlete will automatically be the best ever at that sport and later we’ll find out how Korea invented that particular sport.    

If Kim Yu-Na wins gold in Vancouver, look for some history to be rewritten

To be honest, I’m not much of a winter person and maybe that’s why the 21st Winter Olympiad is being met with so much indifference by me.  Wait, I hate running but I am a huge track and field guy during the Summer Olympics so the lack of love for the cold can’t be the reason.  If anyone has any ideas on why I should watch the games from Vancouver, let me know. 

Is the fact that I loathe Canada a reason for my apathy?

America's upstairs neighbor

This post is slightly delayed. I was given a surprise week of vacation at school as my Winter camp was over and I was what they call “Desk sitting.” I don’t think students ever go to school in Korea. Anyways I was away from my computer, but I am back to talk about the anti-climatic ending of Jersey Shore and the weekend in sports, although it is technically still going on.

First off, how terrible was the ending of the shore?

It almost killed the series. There was no drama, no fighting, and a lot of Snookie looking for a date that was not to be found, which was the main emphasis.  Of course this was not a new theme for Snookie, even some of her homely hook-ups* from the past month were not vibing going on a real date with her on her final night at the Jersey Shore. It was pretty embarrassing, to see her throw her self at everyone including The Situation and come up empty. Which prompted her to respond in the reunion, about how she had on beer goggles some of the time and regretted her decisions.  Really? Seems like they did as well!

The highlight of the finale was the reunion! In which Ronnie “…cuts girls like barbers,” over some never before seen footage.  The show was filled with more awkward moments as the cast is stuck in limbo between fading to obscurity, while still being at the peak of what their lives will become.  Would you really hire any of these guys, besides at a screen printing shop on a boardwalk? The answer is yes, only Ronnie though, and only as a cage fighter in an untested MMA league. MTV needs to release a 2 hour long dvd of the fights of Jersey Shore with interview commentary, it would be a cash cow! Tell me you wouldn’t buy it or at least download the torrent.

Sadly I bid farewell to the show as it probably will not be returning for a second season, “Thats one punch kid” to pop culture.

In an interesting week, Kentucky held the number one spot for roughly a day before falling to Devan Downey. Obama must have really jinxed them, as he called in them to congratulate them on becoming number one. I appreciate Prez. Although, as I said before, I am not worried about Kentucky too much, as soon their season will be stricken from the record books, they will fall under 2000 wins and North Carolina and Kansas will beat them to the milestone. Got to love Calipari.

Because there is never anything to do on a lazy Saturday

On a side note, I have to say ‘Com on’ to K-State fans and their Sport Information Department. The Octagon of Doom is ridiculous. Of course,  ESPN had to run with it cause their is nothing else to talk about in the area, the stadium lacks character and history, so hopefully the fact that it has 8 sides will carry College Gameday had to be their thought process. Granted, the fans were loud, especially a certain male clarinet player, but when you have lost on your home floor to Kansas 25 of 26 times, who is the team that is suffering from being in the octagon of doom?

The Bearded Guy: What is K-State!

Trebek:  Correct, now moving on to your NFL lines…..

About my picks, technically I won both games last week. Picking against the spread, the Colts covered thanks to a nice second half, and so did the turnover ridden Vikings who seemed to have the ball the whole game but continued to give it to the Saints.  Still they covered the 3.5 for which I am thankful.

Great Season All Day

Great Season All-Day

In reality, I picked the Vikings to flat out win. So I was really 1 and 1. It might be time for some one in the media to call out Adrian Peterson. He has gotten a ‘pass’ long enough, two lost fumbles one at the five yard line to score right before half.  Why does not anyone talk about the clutch-ness of Running backs?

Super Bowl pick is still the same I will take the Colts.

Korean Sports:

Dudes Volleyball last night and….no cares.

Handball highlights, This ones for Brian!

This might be the only time anyone has said this,  FEAR CROTIA!

Korean Pop Culture:

The long awaited sequel is here! Attack the Gas Station 2. Spoiler alert: Dumb criminals get bored and rob the gas station again. Impersonating workers they pump peoples gas and keep the money! Apparently based on real events! Don’t miss it!

*Snookie technically only made out with the guys, nothing more. Not her choice!

Salute

The Bearded Guy

No one will ever call me a hero for my game picks!  For the second week in a row, I went 1-3.  I declared that we had to take the over (57) in the Saints and Cardinals game,  it ended at 59.  So I was in a funk because of this miserable performance again, and couldn’t bring myself to post. 

On the upside, Texas suffered a KU situation, battling at home against A &M, basically playing like garbage but pulling out the win in overtime (see KU vs. Cornell).  Then followed the survival with a road loss to a rank opponent who is probably overrated. K-State will still be K-State, they will be eliminated in the second round of the tournament. (While Tennessee was playing with great emotion after the loss, see hotbox-gate)  So now the only unbeaten left is Kentucky, but in all reality its only a matter of time until they are winless, just ask the 2007-2008 Memphis tigers or the Marcus Camby UMass 95-96 team, they have are a Calipari NCAA Sanction waiting to happen. Someone may want to check John Wall’s SAT/ACT scores.  Another question worth pondering if the 2007-2008 Memphis Tigers and the 1995-1996 UMass Minutemen (the good kind) went defeated how did Calipari win the Naismith  College (96 and 08) and the Conference USA  (2008) and A-10 (96) coach of the year awards? He must be the only coach in the history of the game to have a completely defeated team TWICE and win coach of the year with said defeated team!  Someone should discuss that….That being said, he still hasn’t won a national championship.  Speaking of Shady….. 

Article to check out: The Dirtiest Player, GQ 2-2010 

Don't mess with his Carwash

The wheels have come off for the quietformer Colts Receiver Marvin Harrison. Apparently he is not a nice guy.  Everyone used to love him, he did his job, he was quite, the anti-T.O. Then all of a sudden he is kicking a dude in the streets in Philly and trying to shoot him while the guy is in a car.  Some role model, as a society maybe we should back-off the idea of the idea of humility on the football field makes for a great person.  Something worth noting: His sports bar is aptly named Playmakers, obviously he loved the  canceled ESPN show when the players are going crazy beyond the football field so much that he named his sports bar after his beloved canceled show. 

At least he has finally earned a nickname: Marv the Menace!  Look for him to release a hip-hop album very soon. 

What to watch: Final episode of the Jersey Shore

Don't make him use his strength

I am already in mourning.  I can’t wait for the final episode followed by the reunion, a reunion I will watch any time I feel like the dumbest person alive.  Ronnie has turned out to be controlled by Sammi unless you follow him on the boardwalk and then some sort of hulk character emerges and he kills anyone on the 2X4s who makes any comments about him.  Ronnie hasn’t mentioned what he does outside of this month on the shore, but can you imagine his employer seeing him drop the dude with a running one punch!!!  Someone needs to put up a photo of that dude crumpled on the ground and Ronnie jumping up and down!  Ronnie possess that strength that certain people have that aren’t that smart!  Speaking of physical violence, J-woww may be a man!  This would explain the terrible boob job and extreme strength.  When this show started who knew almost everyone would get hit in the face!  The Mark is going to hit this up more in depth so I will stop for now… 

Korean Sports Update: 

It's a celebration bitches

Some men’s and women’s volleyball teams competed, half won and half lost, and no one was entertained by their beauty, besides the one female Puerto Rican  player. 

Handball maintains an untapped market that the United States could dominate.  A slow-paced game, that all you have to do is attack a goal by throwing the ball! Really  Come on now, US let’s get some intramural teams together and a get ready for 2012. 

He would have score 50 a game!

KBL missed out on the Stephon Marbury “Sweepstakes”.  He signed in the Chinese league for some low amount of currency so he can sell The Starburys in China.  China welcome blisters and broken down shoes! 

Problematic song of the Month: Miley Cyrus- Party in the USA (Chopped and Screwed).  Thanks Draper! 

Ok Cheers! 

The Bearded Guy